Brian Dye, senior vice president for information security at Symantec, has said that antivirus software is dead and that the company no longer view it as a "moneymaker in any way”. It’s thought that the firm will now be focusing on helping businesses that have been hacked.
This reflects what’s happening in the security sector in general, which is worth around $70 billion per year, as many companies look at different approaches to keeping data safe. For example, Juniper Networks are asking customers to plant fake data on their networks in order to make it more difficult for hackers to decipher what’s valuable and what’s not.
Symantec plans to create its own response team to help affected businesses and it’s thought that the company will also sell intelligence on specific threats to help customers to learn how and why they have been targeted by hackers. Symantec will also be developing a new security product which scans the business network for more advanced malicious software that mimics genuine software.
Symantec are the developers of Norton software security suites and was one of the early pioneers of antivirus software in the late 1980s. The company has seen falling revenue in the last two financial quarters, down around 5% from the previous year. Earlier this year in March, the company fired CEO Steve Bennett.
According to Dye, malicious software has now become so advanced that he estimates traditional antivirus solutions catch around just 45% of cyber-attacks. Antivirus solutions for individual devices currently accounts for 40% of Symantec’s revenue and whilst the company doesn’t plan to abandon the products, it needs to look at other ways to generate revenue in the sector.
. "If customers are shifting from protect to detect and respond, the growth is going to come from detect and respond," Mr. Dye said .
Other security firms such as McAfee and Kaspersky have already shifted their focus to encompass the detect and respond model so Symantec are somewhat lagging behind in the race to become a security as a service firm. Detect and respond tracks data leaks, hacks and other computer and network intrusions and looks to prevent any repercussions from stolen data taking place.