The Age of the AntiVirusaurus is coming to an End


Next generation endpoint protection solutions represent a significant change opportunity for the IT channel

It wasn’t that long ago when traditional firewalls became surpassed by next-generation technology.  Now it’s legacy endpoint antivirus (AV) products that are soon to be swept away by a vastly superior alternative.  Why?  A more aggressive threat landscape and the enterprise shift toward digitalisation has made them out-of-date and ready for the museum.

We all know that threats are getting tougher and more frequent, but the inconvenient truth is that there’s next to nothing that traditional, static, signature-driven endpoint antivirus can do to stop them.  It’s amazing to think that with the enterprise AV market set to be worth €5.5bn by 2019, this revenue has – until now – relied almost exclusively on the same unchanged 1980s technology principles.  These principles mean traditional antivirus solutions miss 25-50% of endpoint threats, and precious budgets are burned up on ineffective solutions and the extra manpower needed to make up for their flaws.  More than just a waste of money – traditional AV continues to give organisations a false sense of security, putting them at increased risk.

It’s not just me saying this. Brian Dye, senior VP at Symantec told the Wall Street Journal back in May 2014 that “antivirus is dead” and that it leaves 55% of cyberattacks to pass unnoticed.  That flash of honesty is more than just a PR problem from old-school AV – it’s ground zero for a technology whose days are numbered.

Next generation endpoint protection solutions on the other hand represent a significant change opportunity for the IT channel.  Converting them is no more complicated than leading the slow, tiny-brained dinosaurs of AV to their evitable extinction and replacing them with an approach that’s finally fit for purpose in the ongoing battle against advanced threats and zero day attacks.

Enterprise endpoint security has been starved of innovation for so long, it will be interesting to see the effect this will have on the market.  Those of us who remember the impact on the firewall market of Palo Alto Networks and its revolutionary application awareness capabilities have been quick to draw parallels.  There was a feeling back then that the old guard of firewall vendors had become irrelevant, and it took a disruptive intervention from a new pureplay market entrant to change the market.  Look at today’s AV market and tell me there aren’t similarities!

The big AV players would claim they have innovated, of course.  They’ll point to the disk encryption, USB detection and other add-ons that now form part of large, multi-faceted endpoint protection ‘suites’.  But the fact is that these non-core extras add size and CPU-drain to an already cumbersome solution.  This makes them even more insecure when users choose to skip the next big signature update or resource-intensive system scan, as they try to let their devices help them get more work done. 

An all-in-one next generation endpoint security solution deployed as a single lightweight, autonomous agent is the easy way to say goodbye to these security blackholes and system slowdowns forever. 

It all goes to prove once again that the cybersecurity market can be an unforgiving place for outdated technology, and a fantastic revenue opportunity for innovative solutions that address new challenges faster, cheaper and more effectively.  Evolve or prepare for extinction.  Disrupt or prepare to be disrupted!