The consumer anti-virus market has become so crowded and so "commoditized," that the leading anti-virus software makers are turning to more lucrative professional markets.
PCMAG.com reports That the Symantec Leaders market and the McAfee are On moving to tap into the professional, or "enterprise," market in order to assure hwy repute Growth. Enterprises purchase service-based solutions, not software packages. The services provide overlapping levels of constantly upgraded security technologies to customers; and a constant stream of income to the provider.
Both companies plan to continue marketing to consumers, but they see traditional anti-virus software products becoming more and more commoditized. Microsoft's new Vista operating system will have onboard security features that could erode the market for stand-alone security software products. The anti-virus applications businesses is already crowded, squeezing profit margins.
And squeezing the muscle out of the products, I would add. Why is it that the authors of viruses so easily skate past these off-the-shelf anti-virus software products? Part of the answer is that there just is not enough money to allow makers to keep up with the hackers. The ugly little secret is that hackers are smart, and they are winning. According to the FBI, at least 80% -and possibly more than 90% -of all PCs running well known anti-virus software programs are actually infected with some form of malware. The prefix "mal" simply means bad or evil, as in "malicious." It applies to the broad spectrum of viruses, worms, Trojans, and other types of spyware.
As the market leaders look to the deep-pocketed corporate and government markets that can afford services solutions, their consumer customers will undoubtedly benefit from upgrades made possible by research funded by industrial customers. But consumer upgrades are not automatic, so those customers will always be behind in the battle against hackers; forever vulnerable.
What's needed is a service-based solution for consumers. One that is powered by the most advanced industrial-grade security technology in the world and at the same time is affordable to the average PC owner.
Microsoft's bow to the reality of cyber-crime is not going to do the job. With more than 30-million vulnerability attacks a day world-over, the hackers will stay well ahead of Vista's security features.
It takes specialized and constant attention to identify and defeat each and every one of the hundreds of new malware creations and hacker tools that are launched every day.
Consumers are the target of choice for Internet criminals. So we consumers need a services solutions that provides a powerful bi-directional firewall, the most robust anti-virus and anti-spyware applications, with constantly updated definitions, vigilant patch management (how often do you install or even know Microsoft about's monthly patches to fix newly discovered vulnerabilities?), and an alert mechanism that notifies you the moment a new malware release is identified. We also need the same kind of backup tech support that a corporation's IT department provides. And it needs to be affordable. Ideally, it would cost about the same as a collection of stand-alone products
A very tall order.
Still, it's the future of consumer Internet security. It's where today's consumer market leaders eventually must go. The irony is that they'll be following today's enterprise market leaders, some of whom have already found a way to enter the consumer market.
The first enterprise grade Internet security service [http://www.internetprotectionnow.com] was actually launched in November, 2004. It's an impressive, highly professional service which is quietly attracting a huge customer base. More are sure to follow.