John Prisco Takes Anti-Virus Vendors to Task

Triumfant’s outspoken CEO John Prisco recently authored a controversial blog post appearing on the popular site, The Next Web.  In The Cybersecurity Industry’s Billion Dollar Scam, Prisco calls in to question how the security industry operates.  As companies spend billions of dollars on cybersecurity technology to protect themselves against security incidents, which are rising rapidly, security vendors continue to produce insufficient technologies.  When a breach happens, and antivirus technologies fail, the same vendors then bring in a forensics team to investigate the breach – at an additional cost.


Prisco’s post has sparked an industry-wide dialogue, with the opinions and concerns shared striking a cord with vendors, organizations and pundits. NetworkWorld contributor, Patrick Nelson in his blog post, Cybersecurity is a ‘Con,’ Malware Entrepreneur Says summarizes much of Prisco’s TNW article and adds recent remarks from Bob Violino’s post in April titled, Antivirus Doesn’t Work. So Why Are You Still Using It? In this article, Violino writes: “One reason that antivirus is still being deployed is because it’s required for legal and compliance reasons. Plus, although it doesn’t catch everything, it still provides some level of protection.”  The same article goes on to quote Gartner’s Neil MacDonald, who says: “It is clear that traditional signature-based anti-malware solutions are increasingly ineffective.”

While some have accused Prisco of oversimplifying the complex topic of cybersecurity, making claims that are preposterous or attempting (albeit successfully) to garner attention through sensationalism, one thing is clear: In order to prevent major attacks like Sony, OPM, Home Depot, etc., we need to take a hard look at what’s going on.  As Prisco points out in his Dec. 19, 2014 blog post, Sony Hack – Who’s to Blame? AV vendors aren’t the only ones to blame – companies and hackers play an important role.

  • Companies don’t bother to properly fund IT security or properly secure their critical assets making it really easy to be hacked.  Companies need to rethink their approach to security and recognize that attacks happen.  They need security solutions that quickly detect and investigate anomalous activity and minimize the damage.
  • Security vendorsfail to innovate.  They push the same old products that don’t work and provide little more than a false sense of security.
  • Hackers seeking profit, protest, challenge or just enjoyment will continue to find and exploit weaknesses in computer systems and networks. Stop making it so easy for them.

It’s time for organizations to wake-up and activate change.  Make security a top priority every day. Invest in next-generation security products that discover and remediate attacks that escape detection by sandbox tools.


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