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The Last Rites of Traditional IT Security

Anti-Virus (AV) software, along with its Firewall side-kick, has been the standard weapon against Internet-borne threat for the past two decades. But in a changing threat landscape, AV is fast beginning to look past its sell-by date.

AV has a role to play in protecting businesses against the generic threat; the Internet vandal or hacker intent on causing maximum damage and gaining global attention. But such threats are now being pushed down the list of things that keep the IT professional awake at night, principally by the targeted attack; the stealth approach that can take months, even years, to slowly gain access to the most critical area of the business and remove data, leaving virtually no trace. Factor in polymorphous and mutating malware, delivered via phishing or social engineered vectors and AV is, quite frankly, useless against the contemporary Advanced Persistent Threat (APT).

NNT CTO, Mark Kedgley, insists AV is not just fallible – it is fighting the wrong battle; it is time to wake up to new reality and implement a truly effective line of defense.

 

Conclusion

The temptation to rely on AV is understandable: in an over–worked IT department any set-up-and-go system has appeal. But in an era that is increasingly dominated by the APT, relying on AV is not just complacent it is ill-judged. Organizations need to safeguard data – from customer records to intellectual property – against organizations with phenomenal reach and expertise, as well as a willingness to play the waiting game. The risks have changed. The threat is stealthy and targeted. It is time not just to pick the right battle – but to arm the business with the right defenses.

 

 

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