Anti-virus products have become useless at checking the threat of modern malware.

That's according to Mohammad Mannan, an assistant professor at the Concordia Institute for Information Systems Engineering in Montreal, who has said that anyone who relies on AV products is vulnerable to malware to some extent.

AV software depends on identifying malevolent files and infected sites. However, because of the sheer volume of malware online nowadays, the job has become impossible.

Stu Sjouwerman, founder and CEO of US-based computer security consultancy KnowBe4.com told CBC that rather than blacklisting bad sites IT Pros should be "whitelisting" the good ones.

Malware threat growing

While in the past malware was the work of malicious individuals or pranksters looking for recognition of their coding prowess, these days computer attacks nowadays are perpetrated almost entirely by organised crime.

Cybercrime is a $3 billion industry in the US, and its perpetrators are largely based in eastern European countries such as Romania, Russia and Ukraine. The software now operates in the background and you are unaware you have it.

Anti-virus software cannot deal with the fact that malware can be easily adapted and the number of malware variations that makes it impossible for anti-virus software to effectively combat the problem.