Kaspersky CEO rubbishes Symantec claim that “antivirus is dead”

Eugene Kaspersky has hit back at claims that “antivirus is dead” by its main competitor Symantec and believes there is life in the old dog yet.

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The Kaspersky Lab CEO told The Inquirer that the security standard is very much “alive and kicking” and Symantec’s senior VP for information security Brian Dye is simply following a path that is well trodden in the cyber security industry.

"I've heard antiviruses being declared dead and buried quite a few times over the years, but they're still here with us - alive and kicking. I fully agree that single-layer signature-based virus scanning is nowhere near a sufficient degree of protection - not for individuals, not for organizations large or small; however, that's been the case for many years,” he said in an emailed statement.

He then added that a cyber security firm should fight off threats using a combination of different technologies including heuristics, sandboxing, cloud protection and various others. All of these form what Kaspersky called a “superior quality IT security approach,” however, they still function well alongside “good old time-tested signature-based virus detection”.

Kaspersky’s sentiments came after a statement from Dye earlier this week that indicated Symantec doesn’t see antivirus as a moneymaker going forwards and it came as the company set out a roadmap for its future in the cyber security sector.

Dye added that antivirus software only manages to corner some 45 per cent of threats and even though it has declared it “dead”, the company still relies on the software and products that run on individual devices for upwards of 40 per cent of its revenue.

Related: Kaspersky warning: Huge surge in mobile malware could cripple Android

It’s the second time in a matter of days that Kaspersky has come out publicly after commenting that a large scale cyberterrorism incident is imminent and that he is “afraid” of how close an attack could be.