You've Been Hacked

None other than Symantec Veep Brian Dye says that anti-virus software is dead:

Rather than fighting to keep the bad guys out, new technologies from an array of companies assume hackers get in so aim to spot them and minimize the damage.

Network-equipment maker Juniper Networks Inc. JNPR -0.16% wants customers to place fake data inside their firewalls to distract hackers. Shape Security Inc., a Silicon Valley startup, assumes that hackers will steal passwords and credit-card numbers so seeks to make it difficult to use the pilfered information. FireEye Inc. FEYE +0.20% created technology that scans networks for malicious-looking computer code that made it past the first line of defense. FireEye recently paid $1 billion for Mandiant, a small firm led by former Air Force investigators who act like cyber-Ghostbusters after a data breach.

Symantec seeks to join the fray this week. It is creating its own response team to help hacked businesses. Within six months, the Mountain View, Calif., company plans to sell intelligence briefings on specific threats so clients can learn not just that they are getting hacked, but why as well.

That’s great for big corporate clients, but what about small businesses where the owner is also likely the entire IT “department,” or for home users?

To be fair, Dye also said that, “We don’t think of antivirus as a moneymaker in any way.” I’m guessing that means his company will keep selling antivirus protection to consumers, but that their big money will come from corporate clients.

There might still be money to be made if two conditions were met:

• Symantec’s own “protection” would stop something significantly more than “just 45% of cyberattacks,” as the WSJ story claims.

• Symantec’s software weren’t such an in-your-face, pain-in-the-rear to use.

It’s been years since I had to deal with Norton’s security suite on an every day basis, and I don’t miss it one bit.