Missing Security Option

One thing that all security software ought to have but where I have never found any software that actually has it, is a revert button.

A revert button is an essential part of any security program and it is difficult to see why none of them have it. The problem is that security programs are updated far more frequently than any other program on your computer. The programs themselves do not necessarily change any more frequently than other programs but there are files belonging to the security programs that get updated very frequently. As an example, consider the signature file for your antivirus that possibly gets updated with new signatures every few hours.

It is these frequently updated files that require a revert button in order to be able to undo the very last change that was applied and to quickly and easily revert back to the immediate prior version. The button wouldn't be needed very often but in the situations where it is needed the fact that your security software doesn't have it will create a security hole in your system.

The problem is that no one is perfect and just occasionally one of these updates is going to create problems for your system eg. mistakenly identifying that every email that you receive contains a virus or that every web page on the web is a security threat. These sorts of mistakes can and do happen.

If the security program had a revert button then you'd be able to use it to revert your security program back to the prior version of the files - the ones you know work. That bad update could then be specifically ignored by the program and another attempt to update only be made once a new version after the one you discarded is released (which you could again revert back to the last working version if it turned out that they hadn't fixed the problem properly). The revert button would ensure that you could keep the security program running with the latest updates that actually work.

As these security programs don't have a revert button, your options when they make one of these mistakes is greatly reduced. As these programs insist on updating to the latest version of these files, you can't reinstall the program with an earlier version of the file because it will just update itself back to the broken version. About the only option that you have is to turn off the particular security feature that has the problem. Unfortunately that not only bypasses the rogue file given to you by the software provider who is supposed to be protecting you from rogue files, it also disables all of the other functionality of that option that was working before the security program got corrupted. You then have to both manually check for any threats that the security software was intended to detect (assuming that you have any idea as to how to do that) and also to monitor for subsequent releases of files for the security software so that you can turn the security back on once the provider fixes their system.

These sorts of problems don't happen very often but they do happen and when they do they create issues just as bad as some of the software that they are designed to block. All because they lack a simple revert button.


This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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