Adapt or Perish
In the worlds of business and the natural sciences, there is only one true mantra: adapt or perish. It’s no wonder that antivirus makers have had to learn this hard lesson as well.
It’s not that they’re not trying or are incompetent; it’s just that the bad guys have adapted faster and more readily to adapting. According to Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times, “the virus creators move too quickly” and are forcing the good guys “to get creative about new approaches to computer security.”
Kaspersky Lab’s discovery of the malware Flame is a cautionary tale of where the bad guys are heading.
It’s a classic game of cat and mouse seen in many of today’s technology sectors. Cybercriminals and hackers are always trying to stay in the lead; whereas, the antivirus industry and security experts play catch-up.
For small businesses and home users of computer technology, this dance can be a real nuisance or a drain on extremely tight resources. The bigger players have the deep pockets to deal with this constant back-and-forth struggle, so view this dysfunctional dynamic as an expense of doing business.
Use The Force
In most cases, by the time a new computer, security threat surfaces, the bad guys have at least a month’s lead. During this gap, cyber crooks can strip you of all your important data or employ keylogging malmare to capture your vital user names and passwords. Most of the time, the malmare stays below your typical antivirus radar.
A new study by security firm Imperva and The Technion—Israeli Institute of Technology suggests that conjuring the Jedi Knights’ Force to protect your PC from the darkside offers as much protection as most currently available anti-virus products. Read the study.
With the old structures no longer working, your antivirus glass could be half full or half empty. New start-ups are in a strong position to work towards a new approach to detecting and dealing with computer security threats based on emerging concepts of “behaviour-based blocking.”
If you’re like me, this peek behind the industry curtain feels extremely unsettling. Change is always upsetting, but we have some possible partners in our corner argues Perlroth, “two of the products with the best detection rates—Avast and Emsisoft” have free products and more robust features for purchase.
Now just to figure out how to catch up with the bad guys attacking mobile devices. Experts predict by the time the industry figures out how to make our PCs impenetrable, the bad guys will have moved on to mobile devices.—a topic for the next time.
Marc Arellano teaches communication at Okanagan College in British Columbia, Canada. He has worked as a technical writer, editor and copy writer.His current academic interests focus on computer-mediated communication and the effects of new media on culture.
Marc Arellano enseigne les communications au Collège de l'Okanagan en Colombie-Britannique. Il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur, éditeur et concepteur-rédacteur. Ses intérêts académiques actuels mettent l'emphase sur la communication au moyen d'un ordinateur et sur l'effet des nouveaux médias sur la culture.