It is perhaps understandable how one might believe this given all the marketing and the sheer difficulty in empirically discerning otherwise (but not really for an analyst). Much of the testing shows scores between 98 and 99%. And other long-standing organizations have essentially declared as much through their certifications. Dozens of products have achieved the Virus Bulletin VB100%(tm) award, and still others tout the Westcoast Labs Checkmark(tm) certification as a moniker of distinction. And ICSA Labs has certified 52 antivirus products to be up to snuff. So they must all be great, right?
Wrong. This is where real-world independent testing comes in that actually measures meaningful differences, like proactive protection (keeping malware off the machine), time to add protection, and protection over an extended period of time. In our recent Group Test of corporate and consumer endpoint protection products using our Live Testing methodology, we found a dramatic stratification of products' abilities to stop socially engineered malware (the kind that tricks users into clicking 'download and run'), currently the largest infection vector. Here are some key findings from the consumer report:
- Proactive 0-hour protection ranged from 26% to 70%
- Overall protection varied between 67% and 96% (over the course of 17 days of 24x7 testing)
Since we performed these tests on our own, without any vendor funding, we are selling the group test of corporate endpoint protection products. See all the anti-malware product reports.
Which products we tested:
- AVG Internet Security, version 8.5.364
- Eset Smart Security 4, version 4.0.437
- F-Secure Client Security version 8.01
- Kaspersky Internet Security 2010, version 184.108.40.2069
- McAfee VirusScan Enterprise:8.7.0 + McAfee Site Advisor Enterprise:2.0.0
- Norman Endpoint protection for Small Business and Enterprise
- Sophos Endpoint Protection for Enterprise - Anti-Virus version 7.6.8
- Symantec Endpoint Protection (for Enterprise), version 11
- Panda Internet Security 2009, version 14.00.00
- Trend Micro Office Scan Enterprise, version 10