New exploits, which use newly-found "0-day vulnerabilities" (and thus stay undetectable for antiviruses and firewalls for a while), create so much chaos that critics claim antivirus software is becoming obsolete. But Steven Coty – Chief Security Evangelist of cloud security firm Alert Logic thinks otherwise. Here's a part of his interview on the YouTube channel SingleHop:
Antivirus is key. Regardless of what some people say – it's not dead. And antivirus software still has a place in the security in-depth strategy. We deployed a honeypot late last year and it's been running for well over a year now. We've been collecting a lot of malware samples from different actors around the world. And we've run this through an open-source tool called VirusTotal, where you can basically upload a piece of malware and it will run that malware across fifty of the top antivirus vendors in the world. And we found that 14% of the malware that we've run through there came undetectable, which means 0 of the 55 antivirus vendors picked it up. But they did catch 86%, so antivirus software still has a place in your security in-depth strategy.
However, using antivirus software is not a sure-fire cure for malware epidemic. Researchers say that there are a number of other things that users have to do to stay safe online.
First of all, you have to follow the news and know the scams. The recent WannaCry ransomware epidemic could have been stopped much quicker if thousands of Windows users protected themselves by reading security advisory and patching their systems on time.
Thirdly, think carefully before clicking on links, especially those in emails from unfamiliar senders. Phishing scams are becoming increasingly popular and bad guys do a lot of research to tailor individual messages to their victims.
Besides that, there are dozens of other tips that will keep you safe, like installing security updates on time, using a firewall and improving your online shopping habits.
And, of course, all of that applies not only to your laptop and desktop computers but also to handheld devices, such as tablets or smartphones.
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