Brian Dye, senior vice president for information security of computer security giant Symantec, the company behind Norton Antivirus software, has said that Antivirus "is dead," and that Symantec "don't think of antivirus as a money maker in any way," according to the Wall Street Journal.
Symantec invented its commercial antivirus software 25 years ago, but the company now believes that the software only blocks 45 per cent of attacks and does not see it as a money maker despite it contributing approximately 40 per cent of the company's revenue.
In the WSJ interview, Dye stated that he is leading a reinvention effort at Symantec as the company moves into alternative forms of protection. The firm is now assuming that devices are going to be infected and is looking to spot and minimise damage from breaches rather than concentrating on keeping the hackers out of one's system.
With the company announcing new products and services which focus on damage control, the main service among these is the firm's new advanced threat protection (ATP) system. The system is said to hook Symantec' Dynamic Malware Analysis Service system into mail scanning and endpoint security. A suite of managed security services called Symantec Managed Security Services Advanced Threat Protection will also be available from next month. The suite will aim to protect endpoints from threats such as zero-day attacks and targeted malware.
Symantec is also offering a response team to provide hacked businesses with better information as to why they are getting hacked. The new range of products and services concentrates on tracking data leaks and hacks and preventing further repercussions from stolen data.
With the company holding 8 per cent of global antivirus market share, and a turnover of around $1.6bn (£590m), it is a big move for Symantec to diversify and move its products into the 'detect and respond' sector in addition to just protecting one's device.
However, other antivirus makers such as Kaspersky and Intel/McAfee appear to have already moved in the same direction. McAfee's chief technology officer Michael Fey stated that Symantec is typically 2-3 years behind on developing the technology the company seeks to create, and is no longer a security leader but merely an eager follower. "They haven't been part of the thought-leader group for some time," Mr. Fey opined.