ANTIVIRUS USELESS NORTONShort Bytes: Is your antivirus software protecting you from all kinds of malware and security threats? The answer to this questions is a big NO. While one shouldn’t completely get rid of his/her antivirus solution, one shouldn’t be too carefree having them installed. We also advise our readers to follow the basic security practices to stay safe on the internet.

If you are your family’s on-call techie, you might have faced multiple occasions where your PC-fixing jobs involved some serious virus killing. Making your job harder, according to a report, more than 200,000 new malware are discovered every day. This new breed of malware spreads in no time using evolved practices.

To protect our computer systems from attacks, back in the day, everybody tried to get their hands on some reputed antivirus solution. But, things are changing and people are questioning the usefulness of antivirus solutions due to the multiple reasons.

I remember the days when we used to create a signature for a new malware. Using that, the antivirus solution would block the infection. These days, hackers have learned the art of encryption, making it almost impossible to detect many infections.

Every day, new types of malware are reported in the wild and each of them come with different signatures. So, the signature-based antivirus solutions are struggling to maintain their existence.

If we take a look at the typical reviews of different antivirus solutions, we come across tests based on small samples that don’t prove anything.

According to a report published by Brian Krebs, antivirus solutions just detect 25% of the popular malware being spread via different modes like email. The median detection rate as low as 19%, bringing down the chances of security to just one in five instances.

Every other day, we write about the news of new malware samples that go undetected by all virus scanners listed on VirusTotal.antiviruschart lastline

I believe, the main problem is that security software suites take a long time to detect new malware and update their security mechanisms. To be precise, according to Lastline, antivirus scanners take up to two weeks to detect a new malware. If you take a look at this graph, 1% of malware constantly escapes the antivirus detection engines.

Another major challenge faced by the antivirus industry is the attacks launched on the antivirus solutions itself. Any vulnerability in such software suites makes them more dangerous as they run with the highest privileges.

If we talk about the major source of malware, our web browsers are the biggest gateways. The modern web browsers like Chrome and Firefox use advanced security features. These browsers will warn you about the suspicious websites that one must avoid visiting. So, one should make use of these measures to prevent the malware from entering your system. Also, there are many new security startups that are working to develop innovative security solutions to bring some change to the market soon.

In the nutshell, the traditional antivirus solutions are not dead. They need to implement newer approaches like network anomaly detection and dynamic analysis of samples.

Here, I won’t be recommending you to ditch your antivirus software. However, the recent instances should also warn you against having a false sense of security. Therefore, I advise you to follow basic security practices while browsing the web, taking precautionary measures on your own, and avoid visiting shady websites.

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