I read an article on the Newsweek Blog today http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/techtonicshifts/archive/2009/12/22/antivirus-under-attack-from-polymorphic-threats-and-you.aspx
In the blog the author states “Individuals and corporate users are storing less data on their hard drives and more in the cloud — remote servers, operated by giants like Google and Amazon. With less valuable data on individual PCs, the need for virus protection could wane over time.”
As long as the PC is the portal to the data, the PC will need to be protected. That the data is not on the hard drive is truly irrelevant. It really isn’t about infecting files any more. Most of the threats don’t do that. Most of what we see are not viruses, but rather Trojan horse programs. If the PC is infected, a remote attacker can get to any data the user can get to.
While the blog was a bit interesting, that one point was clearly not thought out.
Director of Technical Education
Author ESET Research, ESET