Security firm advises new focus on ‘detect and respond’ instead of ‘protect’

‘Anti-virus is dead,’ says Symantec, as it revises partner programme

The senior VP of information security at security firm Symantec has said that anti-virus software is “dead”.

“We don’t think of anti-virus as a money maker in any way," Brian Dye told the Wall Street Journal.

He explained that as cyber threats become more difficult to prevent entirely, software and services would instead begin to focus more heavily on limiting damage after a security breach.

"If customers are shifting from protect to detect and respond, the growth is going to come from detect and respond,” he added.

Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of security firm Kaspersky Lab, responded to Dye’s comments: “I’ve heard anti-viruses being declared dead and buried quite a few times over the years, but they’re still here with us – alive and kicking.

"I fully agree that single-layer signature-based virus scanning is nowhere near a sufficient degree of protection – not for individuals, not for organisations large or small; however, that’s been the case for many years.

"Today, security is about a combination of various technologies – heuristics, sandboxing, cloud protection and many others – which form essential elements of any superior-quality IT security solution, in addition to good old time-tested signature-based virus detection."

Dye also commented on Symantec’s recent struggles, including falling revenue predictions and the firing of CEO Steve Bennett in March – the second CEO to be dropped by the company in less than two years.

"It’s one thing to sit there and get frustrated," said Dye on the success of the firm’s competitors, including Kaspersky and Intel security arm McAfee.

"It’s another thing to act on it, go get your act together and go play the game you should have been playing in the first place."

As part of the re-focus, the firm has announced a redesigned partner programme.

The new programme includes the addition of 12 new ‘Symantec Solution Competencies’, which aim to give partners the choice to specialise in a particular solution area or expand their offerings across multiple solutions.

Partners also have the chance to earn a ‘Symantec Competency’ designation, representing a demonstration of “insight, experience and solutions expertise”.

The revised benefits of the programme include:

  • Symantec’s Opportunity Registration Programme, a benefit available to partners who achieve ‘Principal’ or ‘Expert’ level competency, and which will offer partners the chance to earn up to 20 per cent more.
  • The Growth Accelerator Rebate for ‘Expert’ competency partners, which will offer partners the chance to earn up to an eight per cent rebate.
  • A new Renewals Performance Incentive, which offers partners who have earned one or more ‘Expert’ competencies, and who meet or exceed defined renewal opportunity targets, up to a two per cent rebate on applicable total renewal business.
  • The chance for partners who possess one or more ‘Expert’ competencies to apply to receive development funds of up to five per cent for qualified ‘Platinum’ tier programme members.

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