Monday, June 18, 2007

100% virus-free... again...

well, the marketroids are at it again and this time they work for panda software:
SLA (Service Level of Agreement): 100% virus-free guarantee.
and
Together with quarantine management, this enables absolute protection against viruses, worms and Trojans. We are committed to offering a 100% virus-free service.
and once more for the trifecta
With respect to the antivirus filtering service, TrustLayer offers a 100% virus-free contractual guarantee.


y'know, if it wasn't for that 'absolute protection' bit (that sounds familiar), i might have believed they had the best of intentions at heart and simply meant that they'd give you your money back if they failed to keep the viruses out (not that that will necessarily compensate a business for the cost they'll incur when malware slips through and their guard was down due to a false sense of security)... not unlike the marketing message i knocked messagelabs for years ago (in fact, the service being offered doesn't sound fundamentally different either)...

even if i were inclined to believe they had the best intentions, the road to hell is paved with such intentions... consider how the message has evolved as it's traveled, first to yahoo finance
Panda Software guarantees that email filtered through TrustLayer will be 100% free of virus.
and then from there to the daily incite
What's old is new again. Panda guarantees 100% virus-free email. Join the club, the other email security services have been doing this for years. And how do you prove it anyway?
mike rothman at least knows to take this with a grain of salt but not everyone is as savvy - who knows what other paths it's taken and what false impressions it's given...

100% virus-free (aka 100% protection) are the magic words you do not say, it's the promise you do not make... this is why i distrust marketing: not only do they generally not really know they technology they're selling but, as this example indicates, they often don't know the business/industry either.... i've said it before, i'll say it again; 100% protection / 100% virus-free is the archetype for anti-virus snake oil and there really is no excuse for it anymore... somebody failed anti-virus marketing 101...

as always, vote with your wallet... if you want intellectually honest av vendors, market pressure is the tool you need to use...

3 comments:

Rob Lewis said...

That seems quite incredible, especially in light of the generally declining performanceof a number of AV vendors, according to this article:

Most Antivirus Products Don't Stop New Attacks

http://www.darkreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=127359&WT.svl=wire_1

LonerVamp said...

These remind me of diet pills and books and schemes... "Lose weight, guaranteed!!........


.....


.....

(small type) when properly combined with good eating and regular exercise"

Well no kidding! "Stay virus free, guaranteed!.....

.....

.....

(small type) only when paired with no internet connection and not running any software not pre-installed by the manufacturer."

kurt wismer said...

@rob lewis:
i think the key to their claim lies in the fact that they're actually doing manual analysis of emails...

but of course that falls down unless they are legion and have relatively few clients - otherwise the volume of traffic will demand heavy reliance on automation (which must necessarily have all the problems other automated virus detection systems have)...

@lonervamp:
it'll be pretty hard to combine an email filtering service with no internet connection, but i guess some of those other outrageous claims are no less absurd...