Thursday, June 10, 2010

AV Comparatives’ Latest Test Results For Anti-Virus Software (Proactive/Retrospective Test)

In May, testing organization AV Comparatives published their latest Proactive/Retrospective test report. This was for the on-demand detection of viruses/malware. This is one of several different tests they perform throughout the year.

Companies receiving “Advanced+ Certification” for their products – Trustport, G DATA, Kaspersky, Microsoft, AVIRA, ESET NOD32, F-Secure, BitDefender,and eScan.

For the proactive detection of new malware, the top ratings were achieved by

1. Trustport, Panda – 63%
2. G Data – 61%
3. Kaspersky, Microsoft – 59%
4. AVIRA – 53%
5. ESET, F-Secure- 52%

The order of the rest of the vendors in the above test – BitDefender, K7, ESET, Symantec (Norton), McAfee, AVG Technologies, Sophos, Avast, Norman, Trend Micro, PC Tools, and Kingsoft

All of the twenty anti-virus products tested were “paid” products with the exception of Avast! Free Anti-Virus 5.0. There was a mix of AV products for the home and business markets (some would say that having a mix like this doesn’t constitute “best practices, and that home should be compared against home, biz to biz, and free to free). Internet Security suites were not tested. The approximately 28k samples in the test were a mix of worms, backdoors, Trojans, and other malware and viruses.

The May (and November) retrospective tests evaluate products against new and unknown malware to measure the proactive detection capabilities (e.g. through heuristics, generic signatures, etc.). False positive rates are also factored into the evaluation. Products also use additional protection features like behavior blockers to protect against completely new/unknown malware.

AV Comparative’s test evaluates only the heuristic/generic detection of the products against unknown/new malware without the need to execute it.

People should go to the AV Comparatives website and download the complete report. http://www.av-comparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report26.pdf .

AV Comparatives recommends that “you visit the vendor’s site and evaluate their software by downloading a trial version, as there are also many other features (e.g. firewall, HIPS, behavior blockers, etc.) and important things (e.g. price, graphical user interface, compatibility, etc.) for an Anti-Virus that you should evaluate by yourself. Even if quite important, the data provided in the test reports on this site are just some aspects that you should consider when buying Anti-Virus software.”

Note that there are other testing organizations as well. Individuals and companies evaluating AV and Internet Security SW should also look the others, at reviews, round-ups, and group tests performed by reputable testing organizations, and technology publications. Note carefully exactly what AV Comparatives tested.

Undoubtedly, companies will put their own spin on the test results.

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