May 14, 2014

How much validity to claims that antivirus software is “dead?”

Symantec's Senior VP Brian Dye said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal that antivirus software “is dead” and the company no longer considers it a money maker. Of much more concern to me than Symantecs balance sheet, Dye also said that their antivirus software only catches about 40% of all cyber-attacks. Does he have a point? Is the antivirus software most of us run more valuable for a placebo effect to make us feel better than it is for actual protection?

I don't know, I've been running Linux and OS X for so long that I haven't used antivirus in years and years. Maybe an OS switch would be a good idea if viruses are a concern for you.

Yes, but what does he mean by “cyberattacks?” Spear-phishing? Classic hacking? DoS? In any case, I agree with KerryBlake that there is still a role for antivirus software in a multilayer system. After all, even if it only stops 40% of “cyberattacks” (although I suspect the number is much higher for malware), that is still 4 out of 10 attacks that don’t do damage. Combined with other layers of defense (cloud providers, server based, firewalls, etc.), AV software gives you another piece of the puzzle to work with, even if it is not a perfect solution.


Hey Travis,


if you take that most people use Internet and Cloud computing these days which automaticly make your computer "safe" from conventional viruses that shared mostly from CD's or USB's you could agree with Dye. So, maybe you could say that antivirus software for personal use is "dead", on the other hand, web sites and cloud service providers should and will scan everything that goes on their servers. So, in that department I would say that antivirus software will go on living.


Hope this helps.

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