It seems like not a day goes by without you hearing someone declare that “AV is dead.” Most recently we’ve even seen people in our industry in the news making this claim.
But while some people are busy claiming “AV is dead,” Microsoft has been showing that systems without AV face higher rates of malware infection. If AV is dead, why is it still working and protecting users?
Simple: because the statement is just wrong.
Back in 2008, our Eva Chen, our CEO famously said “the AV industry sucks.” What she meant was that the industry’s reliance on signatures was flawed. And what was true in 2008 is even truer in 2014. Security based solely on signatures is just not effective.
It’s because of this that Trend Micro and others in the industry have invested more in other technologies like reputation services, sandboxing, heuristics, behavior analysis, network-based detection, among others.
This is also why the most credible industry tests, like AV-test, take a comprehensive approach to their testing and look at the overall protection not just detection using signatures.
This is why our industry shouldn’t talk about “AV” or antivirus any more but instead comprehensive, multi-layered security solutions. Talking about security this way helps educate everyone on the true nature of threats these days. Attackers are refined and sophisticated and people need equally refined and sophisticated technologies to protect themselves. And part of that is that we need to offer appropriate security solutions for the various segments of the market, including mobile and the new Internet of Everything (IoE).
Most importantly, as an industry we should remember that our true competition isn’t each other but the cybercriminals.
And for those in our industry who are only now waking up and saying “AV is dead,” I have to say: brave, but late.