Are antivirus solutions dead?

Statement by Symantec is unsettling private users and companies.

05/09/2014 | Bochum 

The provocative statement by Symantec vice president Brian Dye claiming that antivirus software is "dead" has unsettled Internet users and companies worldwide for a good reason. But how is the technology that was declared dead faring? Every day, G DATA SecurityLabs discover more than 8,000 new strands of computer malware. The speed in responding to new threats and the performance of the technologies involved are crucial factors when it comes to fighting malware. Antivirus software that relies purely on signature-based processes for detecting malware has long since had its day. That is why modern security solutions rely on a combination of reactive and proactive technologies, so they can offer protection against even previously unknown malware. It is for this reason that Ralf Benzmüller, head of G DATA SecurityLabs, thinks that it is still essential to use virus protection solutions.

Leading providers such as G DATA have been developing and integrating multi-layered processes into their solutions for years, so they can fend off even unknown malware and prevent the exploitation of security holes in software. This has given rise to systems that combine signature-based and proactive defence technologies, include application and device control systems and use patch management systems to promptly close security holes in software.


Company security as a holistic concept

It is a fact that effective protection of the IT infrastructure requires additional technologies and security concepts, such as encryption tools for valuable data, firewalls and systems that enable the technological implementation of company-wide policy and device management.


"Securing complex company networks is a challenging task. Effective AV solutions, which naturally have to be part of a multi-faceted defence strategy, will remain the first choice when it comes to effective protection against malware," is the clear message from Ralf Benzmüller.


How about private users?

According to the expert, antivirus solutions for private users are the most important protection component to avoid falling victim to online criminals. "The starting point for end users is different. There is no need to protect large, decentralised networks with heterogeneous structures against internal and external attacks," states Benzmüller. "For private users, virus protection is the most important component when it comes to protecting their PCs against current attacks."



Experts at G DATA SecurityLabs have put together more information on the "Antivirus is dead" debate in their blog