The robustness and effectiveness of the protection offered by antivirus products is not exclusively determined by the qualitSy of the antivirus product, but also by the target audience.
Nowadays, everybody is a target for malware authors. However, it is unlikely that the owner of your neighborhood supermarket is going to be the victim of an attack perpetrated by an actor using zero-day exploits. On the other hand, a government or a big corporation is going to be targeted by any and all possible malware writers around the world, ranging from the not-so-knowledgeable authors of rogue antivirus software and other malware to state-level actors. Almost weekly, you can read in the news about how the National Security Agency (NSA), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), or some other agency has launched campaigns—or cyber-attacks, as they are usually called—against telecommunication companies, ISPs, and other big companies. Such corporations, local or foreign, are interesting targets in helping to spy on foreign countries, specific individuals (political personnel, activists, and whistle-blowers), armed groups, and so on.
The target audience of consumers for antivirus software can be divided into four major groups: home users, small to medium-sized companies, governments and big companies, and the targets of governments.
This chapter discusses the current trends and the protection levels offered by the antivirus industry to its ...