Trend Micro: Don’t buy antivirus software

Internet suites offer infinite more protection than standalone AV.

Trend Micro’s consumer security product manager has recommend people not to buy antivirus products, including his own. But there is a method to his madness, he assures.

David Peterson, consumer segment director for Trend Micro’s ANZ business, said only a handful of the top 10 security threats these days are viruses, with downloaders, Trojans, keyloggers and phishing scams filling up the list.

As such, he believes standalone AV software is best suited for infrequent users of the internet such as dial up users, or those who want protection from nasties on USB keys.

“There is a niche for it but there are also people outside that niche who are buying it.”

He said standalone AV products are there because the market demands it. “I wish they wouldn’t. I don’t recommend buying antivirus products,” he said, referring to Trend Micro’s and its competitor’s products.

What is important is complete protection. “You are better off get Internet security suites,” he said.

Peterson has support.

“Trend is correct,” said Neil MacDonald, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

“Standalone AV is no longer sufficient for protecting endpoints; however, this does not mean that signature-based mechanisms don’t provide value. They just don’t provide the value they used to and the vendors haven’t adjusted pricing models to reflect the diminished effectiveness of standalone AV,” he said.

“The ideal endpoint security product is an endpoint security platform that provides organizations with a variety of styles of protection for endpoints – firewalls, AV, anti-spyware, application control, device control, behavioral monitoring and so on. This enables organizations to pick and choose the styles of protection appropriate to the endpoint – which will likely be different combination for desktops, laptops and servers. Even among severs this will vary by role.

“AV is just component of the endpoint security platform.”

Trend Micro joins a swag of security companies to release security suites this month. It’s claims Trend Micro PC-cillin Internet Security Pro 2009 is significantly faster than last year’s effort. Others released in September include BitDefender Total Security 2009 and BullGuard Internet Security 8.5.

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