Symantec SVP Dye: AV is DEAD to me

Peter Norton (AV is dead)

Peter Norton mourns the passing of AV (probably).

Symantec (NASDAQ:SYMC) Senior VP Brian Dye is often good for a quotable quote. And this week is no exception. He's running around, telling anyone who'll listen, that antivirus is "dead." Cool story, bro.

(Yep: Yesterday, a picture of John McAfee; today, one of Peter Norton. So fire me.) [You're fired -Ed.]

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers get all misty-eyed and nostalgic.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Danny Yadron and Spencer Ante say Symantec is fed up of being left in the dust:

Symantec Corp. invented commercial antivirus software...a quarter-century ago. [But] now...antivirus "is dead," says Brian Dye, Symantec [SVP]. "We don't think of antivirus as a moneymaker."

The company needs a turnaround. Revenue fell in each of the past two quarters [and the] forecast...for the quarter through March [is] down at least 5%. ... The company in March fired [a CEO for] the second time in two years.

Dye, who has spent more than a decade with Symantec, says it was galling to watch other security companies surge ahead. [He] estimates antivirus now catches just 45% of cyberattacks. That puts Symantec in a pickle.  MORE


And John E Dunn implies Symantec ain't done with AV:

Symantec has finally conceded a point that has seemed obvious to the rest of the industry for some time. ... Other firms have been saying similar things about antivirus for a while. ... But is antivirus dead or is it simply a case that Symantec can’t make enough money from it?

The company confirmed its move into alternative forms of protection with...products and services [such as its] Dynamic Malware Analysis Service cloud-based sandboxing system...Managed Security Services Advanced Threat Protection [and] threat visibility and incident response services through a research portal.

Not everyone is convinced that the announcement is anything other than clever window dressing.  MORE


This is true: Brian Krebs rants thuswise:

This hardly comes as news for anyone in the security industry who’s been paying attention.

About 15 years ago...antivirus firms...had a couple of guys in the lab whose job it was to dissect, poke and prod at the new crimeware [shipping] “detection signatures” that would ostensibly protect customers. ... This seemed to work for while...but the bad guys didn’t exactly take this...laying down.

In short, as I’ve noted time and again, if you are counting on your may be in for a rude awakening down the road. ... [It] remains a useful — if somewhat antiquated and ineffective – approach to security. Security is all about layers. ... The most important layer in that security defense? You!  MORE


"Quelle surprise," jests Zack Whittaker, exaggerating wildly:

Antivirus products are "doomed to failure." ... Norton antivirus products have barely made any new years — despite it being bundled with almost every new Windows computer as premium bloatware.

[Symnantec is] between a rock and a hard place. ... It's clear that the traditional desktop-running antivirus market isn't floating anybody's boat anymore.  MORE


Meanwhile, Brad Chacos brings good news for the folded-arm figurehead:

Don't let the stark claim fool you: Norton isn't being retired...despite the bold words of Symantec's VP.  MORE

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