How much validity to claims that antivirus software is “dead?”


Symantec's Senior VP Brian Dye said during an interview with The Wall Street Journal that antivirus software “is dead” and the company no longer considers it a money maker. Of much more concern to me than Symantecs balance sheet, Dye also said that their antivirus software only catches about 40% of all cyber-attacks. Does he have a point? Is the antivirus software most of us run more valuable for a placebo effect to make us feel better than it is for actual protection?

Topic: Security
Answer this Question


3 total
Vote Up (5)

Yes, but what does he mean by “cyberattacks?” Spear-phishing? Classic hacking? DoS? In any case, I agree with KerryBlake that there is still a role for antivirus software in a multilayer system. After all, even if it only stops 40% of “cyberattacks” (although I suspect the number is much higher for malware), that is still 4 out of 10 attacks that don’t do damage. Combined with other layers of defense (cloud providers, server based, firewalls, etc.), AV software gives you another piece of the puzzle to work with, even if it is not a perfect solution.

Vote Up (5)

Hey Travis,


if you take that most people use Internet and Cloud computing these days which automaticly make your computer "safe" from conventional viruses that shared mostly from CD's or USB's you could agree with Dye. So, maybe you could say that antivirus software for personal use is "dead", on the other hand, web sites and cloud service providers should and will scan everything that goes on their servers. So, in that department I would say that antivirus software will go on living.


Hope this helps.

Vote Up (3)

I don't know, I've been running Linux and OS X for so long that I haven't used antivirus in years and years. Maybe an OS switch would be a good idea if viruses are a concern for you.

Ask a question

Join Now or Sign In to ask a question.
Google is turning on data encryption by default in the next version of Android, a step that mirrors broad moves in the technology industry to ensure better data security.
CloudFlare said it has engineered a novel way to handle sensitive encryption keys that allows organizations such as financial institutions to still use its caching service to fend off cyberattacks.
Samsung on Thursday announced price reductions and updates for its Knox security and management software for IT shops and a free My Knox service that is directly available to professionals using ActiveSync.
The breach of Home Depot's payment systems may have compromised 56 million payment cards as a result of malware that has since been eliminated, the company said Thursday.
Apple outlined its new privacy policy and set up a site to explain what information it collects from users and how it handles it, as the company enters new areas like health tracking and mobile payments that have potential privacy implications.
Yelp has agreed to pay US$450,000 to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that the company accepted registrations to its services from children under 13 through its apps.
The Chinese government says accusations that it was involved in cyberattacks against U.S. transportation contractors are "totally groundless and untenable."
Where you are and what you're doing in your car could suddenly become very public.
An electronic case-handling dashboard and a network of specialists will be created to help EU data protection authorities deal with complaints filed by people whose requests to delete search results based on a recent "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling is denied.
Nine months after revealing plans to develop a decentralized and encrypted chat application, BitTorrent has opened public testing for Windows, Mac and Android versions of the program Wednesday.
Join us: