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April 2011

Antivirus vendors go beyond signature-based antivirus

Security experts and executives at security vendors are in agreement that signature-based antivirus isn't able to keep up with the explosion of malware. For example, in 2009, Symantec says it wrote about 15,000 antivirus signatures a day; that number has increased to 25,000 antivirus signatures every day. "Signatures have been dying for quite a while," says Mikko H. Hypponen, chief research officer of Finnish-based antivirus vendor, F-Secure. "The sheer number of malware samples we see every day completely overwhelms our ability to keep up with them." Security vendors have responded by updating their products with additional capabilities, such as file reputation and heuristics-based engines. They're also making upgrades to keep up with the latest technology trends, such as virtualization and cloud computing. New and constantly changing malware variants have forced antivirus vendors to respond, says Chris Christiansen, an industry analyst and program vice president for security products and services at IDC. He says reputation ...

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