Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trend Micro Acquires Encryption Vendor Mobile Armor

On Monday, Trend Micro announced their plans to acquire Mobile Armor, a provider of data encryption software for hardware and operating systems. http://www.mobilearmor.com/ . Mobil Armor’s product portfolio includes products that provide full-disk, file/folder, and removable media encryption for endpoints. This acquisition helps augment Trend Micro’s portfolio of endpoint security products for their business customers.

According to IDC, Trend Micro is the world's third-largest content and threat management vendor. They controlled 9.3% of the market in 2009. That puts them behind Symantec (25.8%) and McAfee (12.2%) but ahead of Check Point Software Technologies (6.9%), Microsoft (4.6%), Kaspersky Lab (3.6%), Websense (2.9%), and Sophos (2.4%). http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/management/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=228400197&subSection=News

Mobile Armor appears in Gartner’s 2010 Magic Quadrant for Mobile Data Protection. They are regarded by Gartner as one of the Niche players and scored low for their ability to execute. Symantec, McAfee, Sophos, and Check Point Technologies appear in the Leaders portion of the quadrant.

Symantec, as part of their acquisition strategy to broaden their security portfolio, purchased PGP and Guardian Edge in April, 2010. McAfee had owned PGP but divested them in 2002. McAfee has been on an acquisition mission since David Dewalt became president several years ago.

This acquisition may present a challenge to some of the other internet security providers to develop, license, or purchase an encryption vendor. AVG Technologies, does not seem to currently have an endpoint encryption solution in their product portfolio. However, their business security solutions are more focused on the SMB market, where endpoint encryption may not be as critical a need. Kaspersky doesn’t appear to have an endpoint encryption solution with the exception of within their Kaspersky Mobile Security product.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Who Won the Internet Security Cyber Monday Price Battle?

The winners in the internet security Cyber Monday price battle were……………………… Trend Micro and Kaspersky,free after mail-in rebates, with Norton in 3rd, when purchased at (some) retail stores in the US.

In an admittedly quick online audit, below were the discounts found on consumer internet security vendors’ web sites on Cyber Monday.

• Avast - 33% off Internet Security on their website (2 years)
• Avira - - Nothing off their suite! Free copy of Tune-Up Utilities, however.
• AVG Technologies – 10% off the suite on website (50% if using the Facebook Fan Page special)
• Kaspersky – 50% off the suite on their web site
• McAfee – 50% off Identity Protection, $55, normally $109.95 (from their Fan Page). However, this 16 hour sale expired shortly after 5PM Pacific Time. 30% and up for consumer internet security suites.
• Panda Security – 30% (up to)
• Symantec - 50% off Norton 360
• Trend Micro – 50% off storewide

Undoubtedly there were other deals on the web.

Nonetheless, due to the wonders of discounting and rebates (within a set time limit) consumers in the United States could obtain Kaspersky’s and Trend Micro’s home internet security suites for free after rebates and Norton 360 for less than $10. Staples was one of the US retail outlets where this was available. AVG Technologies, Avast, and Avira often offer deals to home users during the download process of their free anti-virus product.

How this works in the retail outlet: it’s a combination of the store, the channel, rebates, and renewals. Stores want customers to come in. A number of customers miss the rebate deadline, fill out forms incorrect, etc. and end up paying full price.

Online: it’s to a large extent about auto-renewal. Vendors will often have the “yes” box checked off for auto-renewal when customers provide their credit card number. Slightly less than a year from purchase, they’ll then receive a notice that their credit card will be charged for auto renewal unless they opt out (there are variations of this).

In June, 2009, Symantec and McAfee settled with the New York State Attorney General’s office regarding not providing adequate disclosure over how customers were being auto-renewed. They were penalized and changed their procedures. http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/2009/june/june10a_09.html

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

AV-Comparatives Whole Product Dynamic Test – August through October 2010

AV-Comparatives (www.av-comparatives.org) released their Whole Product Dynamic Test report for August through October 2010 on November 22. 14 AV/Internet Security products are in the report, comprising three months of tests. The products were a mix of 2010 and 2011 releases (and for some of the products changed in September or October) For some products, this may have effected the results. For Kingsoft, the results improved slightly. For AVG, the results were worse. For AVG Technologies, the rate was above 95% for August and September before falling to below 90% for October. Kingsoft and Norman were the only products below 90% for October. A variety of malware was used in the test, with out of the box settings for the products being utilized.

The table below should only be looked at in conjunction with the whole report! Updates to this report will be released regularly. It will be great to see any trends that develop or changes in rankings. The report is available at www.av-comparatives.org.

Key to the below – U signifies the percentage was up (improved) between August and October, S signifies the percentage was the same; D signifies that the percentage was down.

Percent Compromised Ranking for October

----Below 100%----

1U - Symantec
2S - F-Secure
3U - Avast
5S - Kaspersky
6D - Panda
6D - Avira
8D - PC Tools

----Below 95%----

10D - Trend Micro
11U - BitDefender
12D - AVG (above 95% in August)

-----Below 90%-----

13U - Norman
14U - Kingsoft

Six products went up between August and October, two were the same, and six went down.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

AVG Technologies Acquires DroidSecurity, Teams with Google on Internet Security, (LinkScanner, AVG Security Toolbar)

AVG Technologies has yet to go through with their Initial Public Offering ( IPO) (it’s still business as usual on both the London Stock Exchange and Warsaw Stock Exchange, despite this!) http://kensek.blogspot.com/2010/07/avg-technologies-prepares-to-go-public.html for more information), Nonetheless, while the AVG Technologies IPO has been on hold, they have been busy.

On November 10, AVG Technologies announced the acquisition of DroidSecurity, a provider of tools and services to protect Android devices. On November 19, AVG Technologies announced that they were they were going to partner with Google broaden the search functionality of AVG’s Security Toolbar and AVG LinkScanner. http://www.avg.com/us-en/press-releases-news.ndi-284377 http://www.avg.com/us-en/press-releases-news.ndi-197

A December 30 AVG Technologies blog discussed, in part, how companies like AVG are working to make sure that additional security is available to protect smart phone users. http://jrsmith.blog.avg.com/2009/12/how-will-smart-phones-and-social-networking-affect-cybercrime.html This acquisition jumpstarts AVG’s role in protecting users on the Android™ operating system.

Prior to the DroidSecurity acquisition, mobile protection was a gap in AVG Technologies' product portfolio. Competitors have been offering protection for awhile (not for Droid obviously). For example, as paid products - Trend Micro offers Trend Micro Mobile Security (Symbian), Symantec offers Norton Smartphone Security for Symbian and Windows Mobile, Avast Mobile Edition (Palm, Windows CE, and Windows Mobile 5), Kaspersky Mobile Security (Windows Mobile, Symbian (on Nokia).

Protecting Android devices presents a nice opportunity for monetization (cutting to the chase, revenue!. According to Digitimes Research - Smartphones, tablet PCs and notebooks will all become the mainstream terminal devices in the mobile Internet market in the future with smartphone shipments having a chance to reach 800 million units in 2013. This is more than double from 2010, with tablet PCs at 100 million units and notebooks at 300 million units. http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20101118VL201.html

DroidSecurity has both free (over 4.5 million downloads) and paid ($9.99 US) version of their product. The pitch to upgrade:

• Complete protection from SMS spam, scams and phishing attempts
• VIP support
• No disruptions or advertising

DroidSecurity is a provider of mobile security solutions, for all Android™ devices (smartphones, e-readers, tablets and appliances). For more information on DroidSecurity http://www.droidsecurity.com/

AVG Facebook Fans, Pleased With the Switch to Google, Not As Pleased With Toolbar

There were a number of people clicking “like” on AVG’s fan page regarding the announcement (the flip side of this is that there are people who will click like on anything. There is no dislike option). For those taking the time to comment, there were a number of people pleased that Yahoo will no longer be the search engine installed with the security toolbar. There was also a significant number of people (around 25%), who had less than positive comments regarding toolbars, in general.

One Facebook fan commented, "Having "search" functions in tool bars are redundant. All browsers have selectable search bars built in now. All most ‘toolbars’ do is eat up memory and take up space.” Toolbar users will be able to use Yahoo on the AVG Security toolbar for another six months. Based on fan comments, though, it looks as if people will switch sooner rather than later.

Note that when people install AVG products, the box to install the toolbar is pre-checked. So people must actively opt out in order to not have it installed on their laptop/PC. It is an optional install and there are support pages on the AVG site and the web explaining how to uninstall it, for those who don’t wish to use it.

Possible Reasons for the Switch from Yahoo to Google

• From a business perspective, the Google search engine is a superior engine.
• The Google search engine has 2/3 of market share in the US. Yahoo has only about 1/6 of the market. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/11/comScore_Releases_October_2010_U.S._Search_Engine_Rankings

• This may increase AVG user’s installing/retaining/using the toolbar for searches and other purposes on the bar.
• AVG’s monetization opportunities, after product revenue, including OEM revenue, are on the toolbar, to a large extent.

It would be interesting to be able to compare the Yahoo contract to the Google contract to see whether AVG Technologies will accrue less revenue from Google on a “per something” basis, but will make up for it in volume. Customer satisfaction with the toolbar should increase. In negotiations, Google probably was the 800 pound gorilla.

For more information on the AVG Security Toolbar, go to http://www.avg.com/us-en/special-toolbar-first-run-tlbrc-v2-mcr7

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Oct 2011 Add. , Best Antivirus Software for 2011 - PC Magazine Antivirus Review (Round-up) - Avira softwareload.de Addendum at End

Oct. 2011 Addendum. - For Beat Antivirus Software for 2012 - go to http://kensek.blogspot.com/2011/08/best-antivirus-software-2012-pc.html

Original Post

PC Magazine's Neil Rubenking has been busy putting 20 consumer antivirus 2011 editions through his tests and summarized the results in his November 10 round-up, “The Best Antivirus Software for 2011”. These are a mix of free and paid antivirus products. Webroot’s product and Panda Cloud Antivirus were PC World Editor’s Choice recipients for paid and free antivirus in the "Best Antivirus Software for 2011" round-up. The complete antivirus review can be viewed at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372364,00.asp

For his antivirus review, Rubenking defined an antivirus product as a “utility that protects against all kinds of malicious software, not just viruses…. Trojans, spyware, rootkits, keyloggers, adware, scareware”. In the security world, these each have a unique definition.

Also see, Best Internet Security Suites 2011 at http://kensek.blogspot.com/2011/04/best-internet-security-suites-2011-pc.html

Many of the products have their own unique twists, according to Rubenking. Panda’s product operates in the cloud. Others include a firewall; others include some intrusion prevention protection. Others help protect against phishing attacks. For this reason, it’s important to go to the antivirus review itself when taking a detailed look at the products.

Summary Scores - Best Antivirus Software for 2011

In the table below, products are listed numerically, highest to lowest, and reverse alphabetical order (important)!


4.5 - Webroot AV With Spysweeper
4.0 - PC Tools Antivirus
4.0 - Panda Cloud Antivirus*
4.0 - Double Anti-Spy Professional
4.0 - Ad-Aware
3.5 - Panda AV Pro
3.5 - Norton AV
3.5 - McAfee AV Plus
3.5 - Malware Bytes*
3.5 - Kaspersky AV
3.5 - Comodo*
3.5 - BitDefender AV
3.5 - AVG Anti-Virus *
3.0 - F-Secure AV
3.0 - eScan AV
2.5 - Outpost AV
2.5 - Immunet*
2.5 - Bullguard AV
2.0 - Trend Micro Titanium AV
2.0 - Digital Defender*

* = free

Avast! and Avira did not have their free antivirus 2011 edition products released as of the time this round-up was published.

Two great charts to look at in the round-up are the 2011 Antivirus Malware Removal Chart, and the 2011 Antivirus Malware Blocking Chart. These show the details for each of the products tested. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2372369,00.asp

Third party sites to go to for additional test results include Virus Bulletin (www.virusbtn.org ) AV-Comparatives (www.av-comparatives.org ) and AV-Test (www.av-test.org ). Note that some of these sites may still have 2010 version products tested. Others may have tested the business edition of a company’s antivirus solution. Rubenking’s tests are for 2011 products, consumer version.

What does the above show? There are a number of solutions to choose from for the home user. The “best” product isn’t necessarily the most expensive product, though in a couple of instances, you do seem to get what you pay for. Look at the products, also, on the basis of additional features you may want. For any of the above solutions, it’s possible to add an additional layer of safe surfing protection by downloading McAfee’s SiteAdvisor or AVG Technologies LinkScanner products. These work with most home security solutions. To look at the results for internet security 2011 solutions from October, go to http://kensek.blogspot.com/2010/10/avg-internet-security-2011-review-rush.html As always, to learn more about testing standards, go to Anti-malware Testing Standard Organization's (AMTSO) webs site, www.amtso.org

Table of PC World Top Internet Security Suites of 2011 Combined With PC Magazine Information

Go to http://kensek.blogspot.com/2010/12/pc-world-battle-of-security-superpowers.html to view a summary table combining information on PC World's and PC Magazine's takes on top internet security suites for 2011.

Avira Premium Security Suite Named "Software of the Year 2010" in softwareload.de Online Poll

From the Avira website - Tettnang, October 22, 2010 – Over 800,000 Internet users took part in the Softwareload.de online poll, which ran between September 1 - 30, 2010, to select the "Software of the Year 2010." Voters picked their favorites from 18 software categories. Avira Premium Security Suite won first place in the "Security" category leaving nine competitors in its wake.

Given where Avira is located, there may have been a little “hometown influence”. Avira is also currently doing a promotion where individuals who purchase the premium Premium Security Suite receive TuneUp Utilities free (usually €39.95).


Saturday, November 06, 2010

SC Magazine Awards 2011 Finalists Announced

February addendum - go to the following url to view the winners http://kensek.blogspot.com/2011/02/sc-awards-2011-us-announced.html

SC Magazine has announced their SC Awards 2011 finalists (US). There are 20 categories for Reader Trust Awards, 5 for Excellence Awards and 5 for Professional Awards. Winners in the latter two categories are chosen by a panel selected by SC Magazine. The Reader Trust Awards are voted on by a panel of SC Magazine readers.

McAfee, Symantec, and Sophos all have multiple products up for Reader Trust awards. Some of the categories security products are finalists for are interesting. For example, in the below, companies up for awards in Best Anti-Malware Management and Best Endpoint Security could be interchangeable. Sophos’ Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection is in both categories.

Best Anti-Malware Management (client-based, typically software only)

• ESET for ESET NOD32 Anti-virus 4
• Kaspersky Lab Americas for Kaspersky Open Space Security
• McAfee for McAfee Endpoint Protection Suite
• Microsoft for Forefront Client Security
• Sophos for Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection

Best Endpoint/UTM Security

• Check Point Software Technologies for Check Point UTM-1
• McAfee for McAfee Total Protection for Endpoint, Enterprise Edition
• SonicWALL for SonicWALL E-Class Network Security Appliance (NSA) E8500
• Sophos for Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection
• Symantec for Symantec Endpoint Protection 11.0

McAfee was recognized for products in 12 areas within the “Readers Trust” competition, which honors best-in-class security products and services. McAfee was also selected as a finalist for three “Excellence Awards." http://www.mcafee.com/us/about/news/2010/q4/20101111-01.aspx

None of the three companies best known for their free internet security software, AVG Technologies, Avast, and Avira are represented this year. AVG Technologies business AVG Internet Security product was a finalist last year in the Anti-Malware category (US Edition).

SC Magazine SC Awards 2011 - Reader Trust Categories

• Best Anti-Malware Solution Gateway
• Best Anti-Malware Management (client-based, typically software only)
• Best Endpoint Security Solution
• Best Computer Forensics Solution
• Best Encryption Solution
• Best Enterprise Firewall
• Best Identity Management Solution
• Best Integrated Security Solution
• Best Intrusion Detection/Prevention Solution
• Best IPsec/SSL VPN
• Best Managed Security Service
• Best Messaging Security Solution
• Best Mobile Device Security Solution
• Best Multi- and Second-factor Solution
• Best Policy Management Solution
• Best Security Information/Event Management (SIM/SEM) Solution
• Best Security Software Development Solution
• Best Vulnerability Management Solution
• Best Web Application Security Solution
• Best Web Filtering Solution

Winners will be announced on February 15 in San Francisco. This will coincide with when the RSA Conference takes place. For a complete listing of finalists in all categories, go to http://www.scmagazineus.com/2011-sc-awards-us-finalists/section/1908/

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Antivirus and Internet Security 2011, Sophos Introduces Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition

Sophos entered the home Mac antivirus marketplace on November 1 with the introduction of Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition. It’s a free product targeted for the home user. Their positioning on the product is that it provides full protection from viruses, Trojans and worms and that it stops all threats, including those designed for Windows. http://www.sophos.com/products/free-tools/free-mac-anti-virus/

Among the three internet security vendors more well known for their free antivirus products, AVG Technologies (AVG LinkScanner for Mac), and Avast! (Avast! Mac Edition) offer Mac antivirus solutions. Avira doesn’t seem to have one. AVG Technologies LinkScanner for Mac has probably contributed to their 100k plus Facebook fans. However, AVG Technologies currently has no consumer paid antivirus Mac product to migrate to. PC Tools (owned by Symantec) has a frequently downloaded IAntiVirus product with 250k downloads from the CNET download site as of November 1.

As with the other vendors with a free antivirus product, support for Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac product is via a user forum, help documents, and videos. There is no phone or email support for Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac.

Other Vendors Providing Antivirus Protection for the Mac

There are a number of vendors providing antivirus protection for the Mac. Panda (Panda Antivirus for Mac) Symantec (Norton Antivirus for Mac, Norton Internet Security for Mac), ESET (ESET Cybersecurity for Mac) (Trend Micro (Smart Surfing for Mac), McAfee (McAfee Internet Security for Mac, McAfee Family Protection for Mac, and McAfee Family Protection for iPhone), and Kaspersky (Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Mac) offer paid internet security/antivirus solutions for the Macintosh. Offering multiple Macintosh solutions has probably contributed to their 300k Facebook fans.

There is “sort of” a migration path to a paid product. Home users can purchase Sophos Anti-Virus. However, the minimum purchase is 3 licenses, for a total cost of about $145 US. Migration and monetization will probably be limited. Sophos’ website implies that the functionality is the same.

“The main motivation is to create lasting fans of our brand,” says Sophos marketing vice president Chris Kraft. “If we [give away] tools that we’re not intending to commercialize, things that people will like and that will let them experience the quality of our security, more customers will emerge over time.”

Sophos may have also felt compelled to offer something for home users since many of the major security vendors offer a Macintosh solution. They may be planning on offering some kind of paid solution for the Macintosh that is more clearly positioned for home users, Kraft’s comments notwithstanding (or other Apple products, iPhone, iPad in the future?). Depending on how the product's functionality compares to other Mac solutions, Users wanting a more robust solution may need to migrate to one of the other vendors mentioned above. However, Sophos states that this is a business strength product. Reviews will probably begin appearing in the near future.