Home >> Sci & Tech

Anti-virus is dead, says Symantec security expert

The anti-virus way of dealing with malicious software, viruses and hacking attempts is outdated now. If a Symantec executive is to be believed, the long-time maker of Norton Antivirus, is finally changing its strategy and doing something new.

For consumers, it may be the time to say goodbye to the boring process of installing an anti-virus, running it in the background, and downloading updates to keep their systems safe from malicious threats. According to an estimate, an anti-virus such as Norton is capable of catching only 45 per cent of cyber-attacks today.

According to a report, Symantec's senior vice-president for information security, Brian Dye is leading Symantec towards a new approach in cyber security that focuses on spotting hackers within a system and minimising damage from them instead of trying to keep them out.

This breakthrough marks the broader shift in the cyber security industry towards thinking of vulnerabilities and the hackers who exploit them as inevitable. The idea is to assume that there are malicious threats compromising a system all the time, rather than you were assuming that the system is intact.

While the old method of anti-virus involved continuously updating a list of viruses and vulnerabilities and downloading updates to fix or defend them, the new approach, will not need to keep a customised exhaustive list on every individual's computer.

Norton is reportedly planning to move in the next few months toward briefings for clients about the latest attacks, and scanning services that look for suspicious code on network servers or other networked devices.

The move comes in the wake of falling revenues for the company in each of the last two quarters and a prediction of another decline over last year for the quarter earnings set to be released on Thursday. The changing approach can be crucial for Symantec to stay relevant in today?s competitive markets.