The false security of anti-virus software

The false security of anti-virus software

WASHINGTON, November 10, 2014 – Soon, most insurance companies will offer cyber breach coverage. When breaches occur, and the insurance company doesn’t pay a claim (and we know insurers don’t want to pay claims and they will fight to avoid doing so), the insurance company attorneys are going to have their hands full defending claims.

The main question in this certain future litigation is going to be defining “reasonableness” in the context of mitigating damages. Specifically, did the owner of the computer do everything reasonable to reduce the possibility of being breached? For those computer owners who did not act reasonably to protect their computers, their claims may likely be denied.

The smart insurance companies will avoid litigation in 99% of the cases. There will not be breaches, thus no claims, thus no claims denied, and thus no litigation. They will require that these potential new customers first install AppGuard® on their computers before they will agree to insure them and sell them the policy.

You cannot listen to the news today without hearing of another virus or malware infecting our computers. Research by Panda Security indicates that malware creation has broken new levels – they estimate there are 160,000 new attacks being spotted every single day. “Trojans” are now responsible for eighty percent of all infections around the world. McAfee reports that every minute 77 new malware programs are released into the cyber world.

There is a tool you can use to protect you Windows PC or laptop. It is a product called AppGuard®, developed by Blue Ridge Networks, headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia.

Some background is needed. Anti-virus (AV) software has been the top weapon for computer security for well over twenty years. Anti-virus programs such as McAfee and Norton protect against specific viruses that have been discovered; these programs create a “cure.” These programs do not, and they cannot, protect against “all” viruses. They protect against known, identifiable problems. They are reactionary, and unfortunately not anticipatory.

AV software offers no protection against Advanced Targeted Attacks. While these attacks are the single largest source of attacks on business computer systems, the traditional AV protections are “too little, too late.” AV solutions rely on identifying the “signature” of the attack, leaving the computer unprotected until the signature can be identified and a defense can be created. Call the new attack xyz864n287 (just a made up name for now), as an example. Until a solution for xyz864n287 is created and installed onto your computer, your computer is vulnerable to xyz864n287.

There is a period of time where there is no protection: the “protection gap.” It begins when the bad guys release a malware/virus and it continues until the date of the installation of the anti-virus cure. This period of undetected operation can be anywhere from a few days to years. All PCs, laptops or POS systems are continually exposed and unprotected to every new virus which surfaces until a cure is created and installed. The software that fills this “gap” is called Zero-Day.

Zero day malware protection “sits next-to” AV software. It is independent of the “cure” software, and as such, it does not replace anti-virus applications. Zero day solutions enhance and extend AV protection. AppGuard® is a zero day malware/virus protection that provides a permanent, constant, and uninterrupted shield against Advance Targeted Attacks. AppGuard® prevents malware and viruses from executing an attack – in effect, it “freezes” the virus. It accomplishes this comprehensive protection through the use of a unique, patented isolation and containment method. AV software next comes into play. Once the virus has been identified by a company like McAfee or Norton, they solve the problem, write the code (or cure), and make it available to the public — the infected computer user then installs the new code, and the virus is then removed from the infected computer.

An analogy to the reality of cyber-breaches is that of a battle scene from medieval times with castles, moats, and gatehouses. Software programs like Windows have firewalls that act as the outer wall of the castle. There are then “add-on” anti-virus programs available that can be additional protections; these might be the soldiers who sit on the castle wall and throw rocks and spears at the intruders they see rushing the castle. The soldiers are used to enhance the built in protections against now known intruders. The problem is, the defense has to be perfect, but it is not. The kingdom’s raiders have all the time they want to penetrate the front line, and they can conduct raids where they are disguised and unseen. Viruses and malware are often unseen and can go undetected for long periods of time. The intruders will be successful in penetrating the kingdom nine times out of 10. AppGuard® is the equivalent of an impenetrable wall behind the castle’s walls. It will freeze and stop the unseen intruders that the soldiers did not initially see rushing the gates until the intruders are known, and then the AV software can eliminate them.

Enhanced and smarter firewalls, and more robust anti-virus software are the equivalent to the castle and moat defense that worked in medieval times. More is needed, because breaches can be devastating and expensive — ask Target and Home Depot. Breaches can cause loss of data and loss of customers. Breaches can also be very expensive to remedy.

An example of “devastating” is a malware that made national news. Called CryptoLocker, it locked you out of your computer. A message was then sent requiring a payment (a ransom), in return for the “key” to unlock your files. The television program The Good Wife, about a law firm, depicted this problem recently. The experience reveals that once the ransom is paid, the key is rarely delivered and the computer user remains locked out. Many banks have been infected with malware, and many have paid ransoms.

AppGuard® protection methods have been proven through several years of use by government, businesses, and consumers without any reported failures. An analysis firm, Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) (regarded in the IT industry as the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company), named AppGuard® to its Best Practice Containment category for protection against malware. Among many, Kiplinger’s magazine recommends AppGuard®.

AppGuard® (if you are a member of AOL it is called Tech Fortress) does not need to be updated – it is installed once and it is there forever. It does not bog down your PC nor interfere with the speed or operation of your computer or any of the programs on your computer.

AppGuard® is normally $24.95. It is available, installed and ready to go as a courtesy of one of the sellers, Migrate2, by mentioning this article, for only $19.95. This is a one-time payment; you do not pay for this product ever again, nor is there an annual renewal fee. It works on Windows system XP, Vista, 7, 8, or 8.1.

A zero day, or defense in depth protection significantly decreases the likelihood of being breached. A single layer of defense with a good anti-virus program might only subject you to a one in 1,000 chance of being breached. With a defense in depth (layered approach) protection such as AppGuard® you create a defense protecting you to one in 1,000,000.

Neither you nor your customers ever need be exposed. You can be protected from targeted attacks, blended malware and the full host of today’s cyber worms, Trojans and viruses. For more information on cyber security please contact Migrate2. Call John Dwyier at 703.967.2663 or email him at

The information in this article is provided solely as a continuing effort to provide legal, safety, and protection information and advice.

Paul A. Samakow is an attorney licensed in Maryland and Virginia, and has been practicing since 1980.  He represents injury victims and routinely battles insurance companies and big businesses that will not accept full responsibility for the harms and losses they cause. He can be reached at any time by calling 1-866-SAMAKOW (1-866-726-2569), via email, or through his website

His new book “Who Will Pay My Auto Accident Bills?, The Most Comprehensive Nationwide Auto Accident Resolution Book, Ever” can be reviewed on and can be ordered there, or obtained directly on Amazon: Click here to order


Mr. Samakow’s “Don’t Text and Drive” campaign, El Textarudo, has become nationally recognized. Please visit the website and “like” the concept on the Facebook page

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