Feeds

Calls to regulate ‘failing’ AV industry

Be careful of what you wish for

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

RSA The perceived mounting cost of computer virus attacks has prompted calls for tighter regulation of the "failing" anti-virus industry.

Sections of the AV industry love quoting gargantuaan headline figures from studies of damage caused by viruses. So it is little surprise that other vendors are picking up on this trick.

At last week's RSA Conference in San Francisco, Jonathan Schwartz, EVP of Sun's software group, put up a slide suggesting Windows security problems had cost the world $100bn. He failed to say where this colossal figure came from, but said that Sun's estimate (of monetary damages) was probably even higher.

Former cybersecurity czar Richard Clark picked up the theme by arguing that the virus problem had got so bad that tighter regulation needs to be considered.
He was "philosophically opposed to regulation" unless a market was failing but argued that the anti-virus market had reached this point.

"The dollar value of damage due to worms and viral attacks is doubling every year. If that isn’t a definition of failure I don’t know what is. I'm not calling for a Federal Internet Regulation Commission but existing regimes need to improve."

In office Clark earned the nickname "Mr Cyber Pearl Harbour" for his predictions of a near-term devastating cyber attack which would debilitate the US’s critical infrastructure. He is now out of office so his comments are significant mainly in showing how policy makers could respond to the unprecedented attention focused on the virus problem.

Regulation is the last thing that anti-virus vendors want. But they could bring it on themselves. After all, who could fail to be alarmed by their alarmist prognostications. Some, surely, must be done. ®

Related Stories

White House cybersecurity czar resigns. Again
Bye, cyberczar Clarke - thanks for everything
Q: What's the AV industry's definition of happy?
'The clueless users who refuse to upgrade'
The trouble with anti-virus
Lies, damned lies and anti-virus statistics

The Register RSA coverage in full

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
Think crypto hides you from spooks on Facebook? THINK AGAIN
Traffic fingerprints reveal all, say boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.