Imagine a virus that locks up the files on your pc and then demands a ransom for unlocking them. You're better off just imagining-many users in the West actually woke up one fine day with their PCs flashing ransom notes of a few hundred dollars. Players like Symantec, McAfee, AVG and Sophos, who make up the global $8 billion (Rs 36,800 crore) anti-virus market, have been pulling out all stops to deal with such attacks. But success has been limited. That's because "the anti-virus software available today is reactive rather than proactive,'' says N.S. Basker, Managing Director, Rudra Technologies, a Chennai-based maker of anti-virus software. This means there is always a lag between the time a virus is identified and before an anti-virus software patch can be designed; in between millions of PCs are disabled.
Arun Natarajan is the Founder of Venture Intelligence, which tracks private equity and venture capital in India and Indian-founded companies worldwide. View sample issues of Venture Intelligence India newsletters and reports.