Is antivirus dead?

Is good old-fashioned antivirus software going the way of CD-ROMs and Windows XP? Recent news reports suggest this. An executive at one major security vendor called antivirus “dead,” adding his company no longer sees it “as a moneymaker in any way.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Alan Solomon, creator of one of the first antivirus suites, wrote a blog post earlier this month saying he hasn’t used any antivirus software in at least a decade. Instead he uses Linux because Linux doesn’t seem to generate much in the way of malware.

Dr. Solomon writes:

I stopped using an antivirus a long time ago, because I couldn’t see how it could work in a world where you would need daily updates, which means that each update is tested for … how long? Not very long, obviously. Because these days, we’re looking at around 100,000 new malware samples PER DAY. Or 200,000, depending on who you talk to.

The Trouble With Antivirus Software

For the most part traditional antivirus software uses signatures and heuristics to suss out malware in a network. It’s a great way to keep well-known viruses from infecting or reinfecting that network, but it’s obviously less successful at protecting that network from the 100,000+ new pieces of malware each and every day.

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