August 24, 2010, 9:23 AM — As predictive analytics emerge as a sought-after business tool, Symantec continues to gather data that it uses to both analyze and predict trends in Internet security. Just like predictive analytics provides valuable information allowing businesses to make smart decisions, Symantec's predictions are based on analysis and give businesses and individuals important information on the changing threat landscape that helps them make smart decisions. In order to offer the best information possible, Symantec reevaluates its yearly predictions halfway through the year. Here's a look at each prediction for 2010 and an evaluation of where it stands at the midyear mark.
What We Said: Antivirus Won't Cut ItThe multiplication of both malicious code and of polymorphic threats was so great in 2009 that the amount of malicious software actually surpassed the amount of good software. While users should still maintain antivirus protection, they are going to need something more to be secure. Other approaches, such as Reputation-Based Security, will emerge as key alternatives to the footrace of writing signature codes for malware.
Where it StandsThe increase of malicious code has not let up since making that prediction. While Symantec created 2,895,802 new malicious code signatures in 2009 (71% more than 2008), it has already created 1.8 million new malicious code signatures in the first half of 2010. It has also identified 124 million distinct new malicious programs.
The number of sources for new malicious code is huge and keeps growing. The security industry is simply not going to be able to keep up with the speedy spawning of malware. That doesn't, however, mean cybercriminals have won. Reputation-Based security is catching on as a smart, innovative solution that promises security to those who are interested. Heuristic, behavioral and intrusion prevention technologies are also means of future protection as malware continues to spread.
What We Said: Rogue Security Software Vendors Step it UpSellers of rogue security software have not yet reached their peak. They will become more active and more innovative. They have already begun to sell rebranded copies of free third-party AV software and will likely begin to use tactics such as rendering computers useless and holding them for ransom until they are paid.