Future of computer security is in central databases, not PCs

Friday, 29 August 2003, 8:06 AM EST

Computer viruses are becoming so aggressive and sophisticated that they may soon be able to elude antivirus programs installed on individual computers, according to many in the security industry.

The task of protecting information stored on computers, they say, will increasingly be turned over to software installed on servers that have the power and speed to trap and disable malevolent code.

"Users may not realize that just having antivirus software and a firewall isn't enough to protect them anymore," said Brian King, an Internet security analyst with the government-funded CERT Coordination Center at Carnegie Mellon University.

The security industry says the speed with which viruses and worms propagate require technologies that predict outbreaks. Such systems require intensive computing power beyond the capacity of desktop machines.

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