Bug Watch: Each week vnunet.com asks a different expert from the antivirus world to give their views on recent virus and security issues, with advice, warnings and information on the latest threats. This week's expert is Jack Clark, European antivirus product manager at Network Associates.
Every week I speak with customers whose main concern seems to be virus detection rates. What alarms me is how few are actually concerned about virus removal.
By now most people know that it is imperative that you not only use antivirus software but that you keep it updated. Much of this awareness is thanks to the massive amount of media attention generated by often gargantuan outbreaks.
As a result, one message that every vendor has in common is that your antivirus software is only as good as your last update. But is just updating your antivirus software enough?
If you look at any vendor's virus alerts page you'll not only see links to the latest driver files but quite often to a 'patch' released by a software company to close yet another hole in one of their applications.
We have to get the message across to end users and system administrators that solely updating your antivirus software is not enough. It may stop you becoming infected but it won't necessarily stop you from being affected.
Companies need to begin taking a more holistic approach to corporate virus protection and begin to focus on the three key areas of a bug-free network: virus prevention, detection and removal.
A virus programme that tells you that you have a problem is useful. An antivirus programme that informs you of a detected virus and has cleared the threat is priceless. When a plumber comes to your house, he or she is there to fix the problem, not just tell you where it is and walk away. Why do customers accept this behaviour from their antivirus software?
If you're reassessing your antivirus solution make sure that you consider not only finding the virus but also clearing it from your system - unless of course you enjoy restoring the illusive backups or working the re-installation treadmill.Next edition: 4 August
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