How Does Your Security Suite Stack up?

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News Posted: Fri, Sep 5 2008 12:03 AM

If you use a computer on a regular basis, chances are you are running some sort of anti-malware application. If you aren't then you really should be, as recent studies show that malware is becoming more pervasive and more sophisticated. No operating system (OS) is immune from malware attacks, but Microsoft Windows is the most frequently targeted OS. In an effort to help guide Windows users as to what are the better anti-malware options available, AV-Test GmbH just released performance results from 34 of the most recently-available versions of security suites--including a number of 2009 and beta versions as well.

One of the primary expectations of a software security suite is that it will effectively detect malware on demand. The AV-Test folks tested the applications against 1,164,662 malware samples, and the five best performers were:

      Malware Detection Rates:
  • Avira Premium Security Suite 2008: 99.8%
  • G Data Internet Security 2009 (Beta): 99.8%
  • WebWasher Gateway 6.6.2.2924L 99.7%
  • Ikarus AntiVirus Solution 1.0.89: 99.5%
  • TrustPort WorkStation 2.8.0.1850: 99.5%

For the purpose of performance evaluations, AV-Test broke adware and spyware out into a category separate from malware. Using 94,291 samples of adware and spyware, AV-Test found these five applications to have the highest detection success:

      Adware and Spyware Detection Rates:
  • G Data Internet Security 2009 (Beta): 99.8%
  • F-Secure Internet Security 2009: 99.6%
  • WebWasher Gateway 6.6.2.2924: 99.2%
  • G Data Internet Security 2008: 99.1%
  • Avira Premium Security Suite 2008: 99.0%

AV-Test also measured how effective the applications were at proactively detecting unknown malware. Instead of providing the actual detection rates for this test, AV-Test broke the test results up into ratings. The best rating a suite could garner is a "very good," which indicated that the software had a 98% or greater success rate at proactive detection. While we would prefer to list only the top five applications here, we don't have the specific data to do so--so instead we are listing all the applications that earned Av-Test's top honors for this test:

      Proactive Detection (listed in alphabetical order):
  • BitDefender Internet Security 2008
  • BitDefender Internet Security 2009 (Beta)
  • Eset Smart Security 3.0
  • F-Secure Internet Security 2008
  • F-Secure Internet Security 2009
  • Fortinet-Gateway 2.81
  • G Data Internet Security 2009 (Beta)
  • Panda Internet Security 2008
  • Panda Internet Security 2009
  • Sophos Security 2.5
  • TrustPort WorkStation 2.8.0.1850
  • WebWasher Gateway 6.6.2.2924

The security suites were also tested to see if they would produce any false positives. Only six applications successfully completed the test without generating any false positives:

      No False Positives (listed in alphabetical order):

  • CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2008
  • Eset Smart Security 3.0
  • McAfee Internet Security 2008
  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2008
  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 (Beta)
  • Windows Live OneCare 2.5.2900.03

Another test run was scan speed. Five applications performed malware scans speedily enough to earn a rating of "very good":

      Fast malware scans (listed in alphabetical order):
  • Avira Premium Security Suite 2008
  • Symantec Norton Internet Security 2009 (Beta)
  • Eset Smart Security 3.0
  • K7 Total Security 9.0
  • WebWasher Gateway 6.6.2.2924

Of all the applications tested, the one that had the highest consistent scores across the most categories was WebWasher Gateway 6.6.2.2924. WebWasher was not perfect, however, as it detected between three and four false positives. Other applications that impressed us based on how they did on the malware on demand, adware/spyware on demand, and proactive detection tests are F-Secure Internet Security 2008, F-Secure Internet Security 2009, G Data Internet Security 2009 (Beta), and TrustPort WorkStation 2.8.0.1850.

Only two applications managed to managed to score "very poor" on both the malware on demand and adware/spyware on demand tests: CA Internet Security Suite Plus 2008 and Rising Internet Security 2008.



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warlord replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 12:35 AM

I think i may have cracked a rib after seeing that pic. Fallin down but can still reach keyboard.....

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mazuki replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 1:21 AM

false positives are a big thing, but some of the 'suites' that don't detect false positives, also mist a lot of the real threats.

spectrum of security: usability <> protection

choose your side ;)

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mazuki:

 

spectrum of security: usability <> protection

choose your side ;)

 

Whats sad about that is people like my mom need to be very protected, but can't find the control panel if asked. If a virus scanner was to delete something that she used she would not know what to do.

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Iria replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 10:21 AM

Webwasher is a gateway product and thus means nothing to consumers. It's interesting, however, that the biggies (McAfee, Symantec) aren't among the top scorers.

I'm also interested in system degradation stats. Wish they did some tests around that. Norton is famous for bringing PCs to their knees, though 09 is supposed to address that.

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Iria:

It's interesting, however, that the biggies (McAfee, Symantec) aren't among the top scorers.

 

 

I'm not suprised at all.

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warlord replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 10:56 AM

bob_on_the_cob:

Iria:

It's interesting, however, that the biggies (McAfee, Symantec) aren't among the top scorers.

 

 

I'm not suprised at all.

I too am not suprised. When you work in a computer repair shop and most of the load these days is virus/spyware removal you become all too familiar with the day to day shortcomings of the Biggies so to speek.

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LaMpiR replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 12:50 PM

Hm. Interesting to see that there is no kaspersky in this test...

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Grahf replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 1:48 PM

mazuki:

usability <> protection

Non-C-style programmer, I cast thee out! Ick! usability != protection

j/k

I beat the Internet... the end guy was hard

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Actually, Kaspersky was part of the test... It just didn't rate high enough in any of the above-mentioned categories. We only highlighted certain findings and were not trying to be comprehensive in our coverage of the story. You can see the full results of all 34 security apps here: http://www.virusbtn.com/news/2008/09_02. Kaspersky got "very good" ratings on the malware and adware/spyware on demand scans, a "good" on proactive detection, and middle ratings (not sure what they called the mid-level ratings) on false positives and scan speeds.

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Iria replied on Fri, Sep 5 2008 9:48 PM

To be quite honest, i'm not surprised either; just wanted to point to it.

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3vi1 replied on Thu, Sep 11 2008 10:13 PM

>> "If you use a [Microsoft Windows based OS} computer on a regular basis, chances are you are running some sort of anti-malware application." <<

There. Fixed that for you.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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3vi1:

>> "If you use a [Microsoft Windows based OS} computer on a regular basis, chances are you are running some sort of anti-malware application." <<

There. Fixed that for you.

 

Your silly.

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