Fast response could kill mass-mail viruses

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A three-hour response time could spell the end of mass-mailing viruses, new research has revealed.

A three-hour response time could spell the end of mass-mailing viruses, new research presented at the Virus Bulletin Conference in Chicago has revealed.

Research presented at the conference indicated that it takes a few hours for a virus to gain enough momentum to cause an outbreak. If anti-virus developers could reduce the signature delay time to three hours or less, mass-mailing viruses would have little, if any impact.

In the past year the average signature delay time has only been reduced from 12 to 10 hours.

"While malicious code has developed at a rapid rate, traditional anti-virus software relies on the same model as it did 20 years ago," said
Alex Shipp, senior anti-virus technologist with managed email security services provider, MessageLabs.

In a report issued in August this year, IDC analysts said they expected the uptake of proactive virus detection techniques to increase as organisations looked to combat complex and fast spreading viruses.

"Companies are realising that they cannot rely solely on the old methods and are looking for a more proactive approach, such as internet-level managed services that can stop known and unknown virus threats immediately," said Shipp.

The combination of proactive detection and traditional signature based technology will allow for a greater degree of accuracy in detecting both known and unknown threats.

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