“Antivirus, as customers know it, incorporates firewalls, intrusion detection, heuristics, virtualization, sandboxes, and many other layers of protection and not just antivirus. It is far from dead.” ~Vince Steckler, CEO
A weekend article in the Wall Street Journal in which traditional antivirus vendor, Symantec, described its new business strategy and declared that antivirus software is dead, prompted AVAST’s CEO, Vincent Steckler, to respond about the effectiveness of current antivirus:
Symantec’s statement seems to relate to the enterprise, and not the consumer and small business. Enterprises have traditionally relied on many layers of defense and antivirus is one of those layers. Antivirus though is a broad-spectrum defense and as such is often complemented by other products, such as those protecting against targeted attacks that enterprises worry about.
In the consumer and SMB space, the situation is quite different: customers typically do not have multiple layers of protection. They have one, their AV product.
These products though are not the simple AV products of past years. The true statement in the story is that consumer security is so much broader than AV. AV is used as a generic name as it is what customers know. They instead incorporate firewalls, intrusion detection, heuristics, virtualization, sandboxes, and many other layers of protection and not just antivirus. Therefore, we believe AV is not dead in the consumer space. It is far from dead there.
AVAST has had this broad offering under the umbrella name of antivirus for quite some time now. Adding to its tool set of anti-spam, anti-phishing, and a silent firewall is a new set of tools to keep consumers safe from clever attacks.
avast! Mobile Security leads the fight against the exponentially increasing malware written for Android. Just as AV software is not exclusively a malware combatant, the Mobile Security app includes password protection, back up, VPN, etc. – all features that increase your security. avast! Anti-Theft for mobile devices addresses the more prevalent problem for the time-being; lost or stolen devices. Also on offer is software not traditionally in the “antivirus” universe: A password management system, a browser cleanup tool to remove potentially unwanted programs such as browser toolbars; military-grade backup storage services, and VPN services to protect unsecured WiFi.
So yes, the statement that antivirus is dead has been greatly exaggerated. Antivirus and the additional services are a necessity in today’s insecure environment, for consumers and enterprise.
And for those Symantec/Norton customers who feel abandoned by their security provider, we welcome you to switch to Avast for free. Antivirus is alive and well and continues to protect more than 200 million Avast customers daily from online threats.
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In 2009, Symantec ran a full-page advertisement in PC Magazine explaining to readers that because Norton has the most virus definition updates (222 per day) they also have the best detection score of 97.9% compared to all others. We at AVAST liked the ad for a better reason: we had only 1 update per day and were second best after Norton in detection. Look at the advert snap shot.
However, driven by curiosity I looked up the actual test from AV-Comparatives.org and to my surprise learned that Norton has used a decent dose of creative-results interpretation by ignoring Avira and G-Data, both of which scored even better than Norton in detection!
I thought this level of creativity would be difficult to beat but I was wrong! Read more…
AV-Comparatives is one of the most respected antivirus comparison tests in the world and is performed twice a year. The latest test results were published over the weekend and we did very, very well. Although they never name an overall winner, I think if they did do so, we would have been the overall winner. At a minimum we handily beat virtually all of the premium products. This time around 16 products were tested including Symantec/Norton, McAfee, AVG, Avira, and Kaspersky. Read more…
Welcome to the start of my “CEO’s Corner” Blog. I am Vince Steckler and have just joined as the CEO (http://www.avast.com/eng/vince-steckler-to-lead-global-expansion-of-alwil-software.html). I wanted to first chat a little bit about what we do here, why we are different, and why I joined. We also have a few other blogs going now so check them out also. Read more…