Bloor on the failure of antivirus products

Robin Bloor has another pop at the antivirus industry in this Businessweek comment.

I agree with him. The failure of PC security is easy to prove. Most users have it, yet infections remain common. I am not saying that AV software is completely useless. No doubt it prevents some infections. However I am not convinced that it is worth its cost, which is threefold. First, there is the cost of the subscription. Second, there is the performance impact. Third, it’s not unusual for AV software to interfere with the normal running of your system, through false positives, conflicts, or disabling useful features. At worst, bugs in AV software have been known to make a computer less secure than it would be without it.

A further concern is that users may think they are fully protected by some supposed “security suite”, and therefore make bad decisions about what they download and execute from the web or from emails.

I am not suggesting that everyone removes their AV software. I do suggest that it is considered a last resort. If the malware gets so far that only the AV software catches it, something else is probably wrong.


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One thought on “Bloor on the failure of antivirus products”

  1. Not sure what you are recommending here. But I agree that AV software is generally a pain in the a**.

    I just run the free version of AVG – and that keeps it’s head down most of the time – but when it’s running a scan it’s eating 20% to 35% of CPU – which we all know has a lot more impact that you’d expect. (I never understand why responsiveness slows down so much when one app is running at 25% – surely I have 75% of the CPU left… but mouse responsiveness seems cut in half in opening an application takes 5x as long…)

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