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Death of antivirus software greatly exaggerated

John P. Mello Jr. | Dec. 16, 2014
An executive at a company whose name is synonymous with antivirus software raised eyebrows earlier this year when he pronounced the death of that form of system protection. Nevertheless, while the effectiveness of that software may have waned over the years, security experts say the pronouncement by Symantec's senior vice president for information security Brian Dye was premature.

"It is an arms race," Schultz said. "As new avenues for exploitation arise, new counter-functionality is being built into AV software."

"Certainly it is a bit hyperbolic to claim AV software is dead," he added. "Many people still depend on anti-virus as an integral part of their multi-layered defense."

While it's unlikely that dire assessments of antivirus software will go away, it's also unlikely that those assessments will be fulfilled any time soon. As Chris Doggett, managing director of Kaspersky Lab North America, observed, "Cyber attacks will continue to grow in number and complexity, and AV software will always be a part of the bigger security solution that is fighting against them for both users and organizations."

"Without AV software as part of future securities," he continued, "we'd be giving up the idea of protecting endpoints and mobile devices, leaving millions of people at the mercy of cyber criminals."

 

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