The anti-virus industry is in a constant struggle to stop computer viruses because the creators of malware and other viruses move too quickly, U.S. experts say.
"The bad guys are always trying to be a step ahead," Matthew D. Howard, a venture capitalist at Norwest Venture Partners, told The New York Times.
"And it doesn't take a lot to be a step ahead," said Howard, who previously created the security strategy at Cisco Systems.
Despite billions of dollars being spent every year on anti-virus software by consumers and businesses, .
The problem has exploded with the discovery by organized criminal gangs of the profit potential of malware and viruses, experts say.
By the time anti-virus products are updated to block new viruses it is often too late, experts said, with the criminals having successfully stolen data or emptied a consumer's bank accounts.
By 2010, there were 49 million new strains of viruses attacking computers worldwide, AV-Test, a German research institute, reported.
Researchers testing more than 40 anti-virus products from major vendors against 82 new computer viruses said they found the initial detection rate was less than 5 percent.
"Existing methodologies we've been protecting ourselves with have lost their efficacy," Ted Schlein, a security-focused investment partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, told the Times.
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