Thursday, December 30, 2010

Business Solutions Magazine Announces Business Solutions Best Channel Vendors 2011

Business Solutions Magazine (BSM) has published the results of their second annual “Best Channel Vendors 2011” survey. The winners were rated exceptional (top 5%) in categories pertaining to their overall channel program.

Categories VARs were surveyed in: Data Collection & Mobility, Managed Services, Point Of Sale Hardware, Data Collection Media , Mobile Computing , Point Of Sale Software, ECM Hardware , Network Security , Power Protection, ECM Software, Networking, Storage, General Computing, Payment Processing, Wireless Networking, Labeling Software, Physical Security, and VoIP

BSM Best Channel Vendors 2011 – Network Security

These vendors made the cut in network security. They are not listed by their overall score.

Barracuda Networks
Top 2 Categories: (1) Channel Friendly, (2) Product Innovation

Kaspersky Lab
Top 2 Categories: (1) Product Innovation, (2) Channel Friendly

Top 2 Categories: (1) Product Reliability, (2) Product Features

Juniper Networks
Top 2 Categories: (1) Product Features, (2) Product Reliability

Top 2 Categories: (1) Product Features, (2) Channel Friendly

Both Kaspersky and Symantec had internet security solutions that scored highly in PC World's “Battle of the Security Superpowers” and PC Magazine's "Best Security Suites for 2011”

Survey Methodology

Business Solutions Magazine collaborated with Penn State University and surveyed Business Solutions Magazine (BSM) subscribers. Respondents were asked to rate their vendor partners on a scale of 0 to 5 in these categories: Service/Support, Channel Friendly , Channel Program, Product Features, Product Reliability, Product Innovation, and Adequate VAR Margins.

Ultimately, over 11,504 votes from 2,437 unique reseller subscribers were collected. Ballots that couldn’t be verified as BSM subscribers were eliminated. Penn State University performed the hard number crunching. BSM tightened the grading criteria and chose the top 5% of channel vendors in each category for 2011. Last year, 15% was the cutoff.

Go to the link below for complete results and additional details on the selected vendors:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PC World Battle of the Security Superpowers and PC Magazine Best Security Suites for 2011 Combined

The table below consolidates the summary scores of PC World’s “Battle of the Security Superpowers” and a portion of PC Magazine’s "Best Security Suites for 2011” round-ups into a single table.

This table should be looked at in conjunction with the round-ups by the two publications. The PC Magazine "Best Security Suites for 2011" reviews also contain links to comprehensive malware blocking, malware removal, antispam, antiphishing, and performance (boot time, browsing, file move/copy Windows Installer, zip/unzip) charts. One of the below links for PC World shows a comprehensive table summarizing the scores for all the tests in their round-up.

The first column is the ranking that PC World gave the internet security products. In almost all cases, PC World was more generous in their scoring than PC Magazine. The largest differential was 1.50 with PC Tools Internet Security Suite 2011. This may be because the reviewer found that PC Tools missed a number of phishing sites, the suite's firewall, its antispam capabilities, and that malware interfered with the installation on one system. PCW = PC World, PCM = PC Magazine.

Both publications gave Norton Internet Security Suite 2011 their top ranking at the time the products were tested. PC Magazine's review of Norton Internet Security 2011 was one of the publication's top 10 reviews for 2010, according to their readers. The link below takes you to the article, the slide show and links to each of the 10 reviews:,2817,2374759,00.asp

Additional internet security suites tested by PC Magazine during the latter half of 2010 not in the table above include, in no particular order: TrustPort Total Protection 2011, BullGuard Internet Security Suite 10, eScan Internet Security Suite 11, AVG Internet Security 2011, Webroot Internet Security Complete 2011, and Ad-Aware Total Security 1.0. More than one of these suites received 2.5 stars, or less. Internet security suites tested and reviewed by PC Magazine during the first half of 2010 but aren't included in the list above. None of these companies went through an initial public offering (IPO) during 2010.

The PC Magazine reviews also discuss functionality such as firewalls, network management, privacy, parental controls, online back-up, data theft protection, full disk encryption, sandbox, and other features that vary by suite.

PC World Battle of the Security Superpowers and PC Magazine Best Security Suites of 2011

These links take you to the full articles.


Addendum - Information Security Magazine - Best Antimalware Security Products, September 2010

Information Security Magazine surveyed readers in a number of different security categories for their Readers' Choice Awards.,296894,sid14_gci1519600_mem1,00.html

In the Antimalware category, Kaspersky Open Space Security, Cisco Security Agent, and Symantec Endpoint Protection were awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze, respectively.,296894,sid14_gci1519605_mem1,00.html

2010 – A Year of Security Acquisitions - Addendum: Link to PC World Battle of the Security Superpowers

Any time a company wants to expand their product line, go into new areas, or add new functionality to a product, they go through a make, buy, or license decision. Often, the quickest way to acquire the new technology is through an acquisition. On a somewhat different level, companies find themselves caught in a perpetual buying mode, because they need the acquisition to help justify their current stock price. They may require the revenue/cash flow generated to help make up for the fact that the revenue/cash growth in their current core technologies is slowing down (which could affect the stock price). They may need this extension to plug a hole in their current product portfolio for competitive reasons and/or to make themselves look more attractive to investors in case they are planning an initial public offering (IPO). A firm may need a cash infusion through an equity investor to help fund and accelerate future growth.

Major Security Acquisitions – 2010

• Intel may have changed the security playing field with its August $7.6 billion (US) acquisition of McAfee. Security will be placed in Intel’s chips and ultimately into a variety of devices. Intel stated that McAfee will be operated as a wholly owned subsidiary. McAfee had been trading near a one and two year low at the time of the acquisition (which has recently been approved).

• Hewlett Packard - purchased security assurance company Fortify Software in August, and ArcSight, security compliance and management, in September. Over the years, Hewlett Packard has been mentioned as a possible acquirer of Trend Micro.

• McAfee acquired Trust Digital in May. This strengthens their presence in mobile security.

• Avast - Growth equity investor Summit Partner purchased a minority interest $100mm (US) in Avast in August. Avast has been growing rapidly and surpassed 130mm users in September.

• AVG Technologies – In June, AVG Technologies acquired one of their major US distributors, Walling Data (education, government, non-profits, and resellers). This acquisition also strengthens their US based support. AVG Technologies acquired DroidSecurity in November. This gives them a strong presence in the Android space. They currently have no solution for Symbian, however.

• Kaspersky – Kaspersky, while not making any acquisitions in 2010, has been growing rapidly. According to IDC's annual report, the company grew by 44.5 % in 2009 and has acquired a 5.8% overall market share. Kaspersky Lab is at fourth place in the IDC rating of Worldwide Endpoint Security Revenue by Vendor for 2009. The rating was published in IDC's Worldwide Endpoint Security Market 2010-2014 Forecast and 2009 Vendor Shares report. . They will probably announce a Droid security solution in Q1 2011.

• Sophos - In May, Sophos stated that it planned to sell the majority of its business to private equity investment firm APAX Partners for $830 million US.

• Symantec purchased PGP /Guardian Edge in the encryption space in April. McAfee had divested itself of PGP in the early 90’s. In May, Symantec purchased VeriSign’s Identity and Authentication business.

• Trend Micro purchased Mobile Armor in November to strengthen their data protection and encryption portfolio. Gartner saw the acquisition is a positive development for Trend Micro and its customers. Rumors about Trend Micro being “in play” surfaced during the summer. In the past, they have been mentioned as an acquisition candidate for both Cisco (who has made a number of acquisitions in 2010) and Hewlett Packard. In September, CRN suggested that Trend Micro should be on Oracle’s hit list for acquisition.

• Webroot acquired Prevx, a provider of cloud-based anti-malware solutions, in November. . In July, Webroot had acquired BrightCloud, a Web content classification and security services provider.

• Google – Google has entered the security fray. On December 17, Google announced that they were adding a hacked site alarm for search results. When Google believes a site has been hacked, a sentence will appear under the search result stating, "This site may be compromised." Google provides a similar warning to steer users away from sites found to be infected with malware.

See the link below for a slide show on CRN’s list on their take of the 10 most important security acquisitions of the year.

December 28 Addendum - PC World Battle of the Security Superpowers

PC World tested 13 consumer internet security packages to "see which ones can protect your data without overburdening your PC". Below are links to the complete article and to the table illustrating the ranking the products. To view a table that consolidates the overall scores from PC World "Battle of the Security Superpowers" and PC Magazine "Best Security Suites for 2011", go to:

Hint - for the top internet security suite - Think the color yellow. Complete reviews and tables for PC World are at:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

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

AV-Comparatives released their latest Whole Product Dynamic Test results on December 17. Nineteen products are in the report. Four vendors’ consumer internet security solutions received the Advanced, 3 stars rating in the Whole Product Dynamic Test. These were F-Secure, Symantec, Avira, and Kaspersky (Symantec and Kaspersky were the only products to receive 3 stars in the December 2009 report). F-Secure and Symantec showed the least variability of monthly results. These four vendors, and solutions from G DATA and Avast, were the only ones to score above 95% during all test months. A variety of malware was used in the test. Out of the box settings for the products were used.

The only one of these four companies failing to receive 3 stars in AV-Comparative’s Proactive/Retrospective Test (last revised on December 6) was Kaspersky. Twelve products received 3 stars in this test. Consistency can be a good thing. The most notable vendor missing from both of these tests was McAfee.

Eight products received a two star rating in Whole Product Dynamic Test. Their average results were all above 95%.

For the complete report and to look at interactive charts, go to the AV-Comparatives web site.

AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization, which provides independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public.

Note that there are other testing organizations as well. Individuals and companies evaluating AV and Internet Security SW should also look at the others, at reviews, round-ups, and group tests performed by reputable testing organizations, and technology publications. For information on testing best practices, people can go to the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization website,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Free vs. Fee: Free and Paid Antivirus Programs Compared – PC World Antivirus Review

PC World has published their Top 5 lists of free and paid antivirus products for 2011. The article is available both online and in the January issue of PC World.

Among the criteria used to rate the products were: antivirus detection, infection cleanup, scan speed, and design. For more extensive details, comprehensive test results, and links to reviews of the products tested, people should go to:

Ratings of Free Antivirus Tested

4.5 – Avast Free Antivirus 5
4.0 - Avira AntiVir Personal Free AntiVirus 10
4.0 - Microsoft Security Essentials
3.5 – Panda Cloud Antivirus 1.0 (version 1.3 is now available)
3.5 – Comodo Internet Security Premium 5.0

Ratings of Paid Antivirus Tested

4.5 – Norton Antivirus 2011
4.5 – BitDefender Antivirus Pro 2011
4.0 – Avast Pro Antivirus 5
4.0 – G Data AntiVirus 2011
4.0 – Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus 2011

For the testing, PC World teamed up with is a member of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization

The article didn't make clear how the products were selected for testing. For example, not included in the above - AVG Technologies, McAfee, Trend Micro, and Webroot, to name just a few.

Individuals evaluating products should look at the reviews of the individual products in conjunction with reviews published from other publications, as well.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December Virus Bulletin RAP Averages Quadrant, June through December 2010 – VB100 on Windows 7, December 2010

Virus Bulletin RAP Averages Quadrant, June through December

Virus Bulletin has published their latest Reactive and Proactive (RAP) Averages Quadrant for June through December 2010.

Those achieving greater than 90% for Reactive Detection and greater than 70% for Proactive Detection on the RAP Averages Quadrant were Kaspersky, Avast!, Ikarus, eScan, AVG Technologies, Avira Pro, Bkis BKAV Home Plus, G DATA, MicroSafe, Avira Free, ZeoBit, Coranti, and TrustPort. TrustPort had the highest Reactive Detection rate and ZeoBit the highest Proactive Detection rate.

The anti-virus, internet security market share leaders (Symantec and McAfee) will not be bragging about their results on this particular test. Kingsoft was the major laggard, however.

This test measures products' detection rates across four distinct sets of malware samples. The first three test sets comprise malware first seen in each of the three weeks prior to product submission. These measure how quickly product developers and labs react to the steady flood of new malware emerging every day across the world. A fourth test set consists of malware samples first seen in the week after product submission.

This test set is used to gauge products' ability to detect new and unknown samples proactively, using heuristic and generic techniques. A detailed description can be viewed at:

The relative performance of vendors can best be viewed by looking at the RAP Averages Quadrant (June through December 2010) chart at Subscribers to Virus Bulletin's publications have access to more details on the results.

Virus Bulletin 100 Award (VB100) on Windows 7, December 2010

Sixty-four products were tested in this latest test. Twenty one products failed! People can go to the following site to see the complete list, and to see which major vendor failed, albeit with only one miss:

The VB100 (virus) award is granted to any product that passes the test criteria under test conditions in the VB lab as part of the formal VB comparative review process.

The basic requirements are that a product detects, both on demand and on access, in its default settings, all malware known to be 'In the Wild' at the time of the review. Also, it can generate no false positives when scanning a set of clean files.

UK based Virus Bulletin started in 1989. The organization provides PC users with a regular source of intelligence about computer viruses, their prevention, detection and removal, and how to recover programs and data following an attack. VB’s website is at . The site is a great source of information on malware and spam. They are a member of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization,

Monday, December 13, 2010

Info Security Products Guide Global Product Excellence Awards Finalists - SC Magazine Best of 2010 – CRN Innovative Products of 2010

The Info Security Products Guide announced their finalists for their 2011 Global Product Excellence Awards on Monday, December 13. Also, SC Magazine has published a "Best of 2010" compilation. SC Magazine Technology Editor Peter Stephenson and his SC Lab team selected these from the products that were in group tests run during 2010.

Info Security Global Product Excellence Awards

There are approximately 30 categories for Info Security 2011 Global Product Excellence Awards. Some of the product categories were modified this year. Last year there were categories for “Security Solution for Consumers” and “Security Solution for Enterprise (Small) and SOHO”. AVG Technologies won both of these for 2010 with their AVG Internet Security version 9.0 offerings (introduced in fall 2009).

These two categories have been merged into "Security Solution for Small Businesses, SOHO, and Consumers” for recognition. The finalists in this new category are DigitalPersona, Inc. for DigitalPersona Pro; Faronics for Deep Freeze, GFI Software for GFI VIPRE® Enterprise, and Faronics for Faronics Anti-Executable.

WatchGuard Technologies, who partners with AVG Technologies to provide gateway anti-virus protection, is a finalist in the Integrated Security category.

Companies that are finalists in multiple categories for 2011 include Novell, Sonicwall, McAfee, Digitalpersona, Actividentity, and Faronics.

Below is a listing for the categories for 2011 Global Product Excellence Awards.

Global Product Excellence Awards Categories

• Access
• Anti-Malware, Anti-Spam or Anti-Virus
• Application Security Auditing
• Authentication Solution (Multi, Single or Two-Factor)
• Best Security Hardware Product (New or Updated version)
• Best Security Software Product (New or Updated version)
• Best Security Service (New or Updated version)
• Compliance
• Content Security
• Data Leakage-Protection/ Extrusion Prevention
• Disaster Recovery
• Encryption
• Endpoint Security
• Identity Management
• Integrated Security/ Unified Threat Management (UTM)
• Intrusion Detection/Prevention
• Network Management
• Network Security
• Managed Security Service
• Policy Management
• Risk Management
• SaaS/Cloud
• Secured Archiving or Storage
• Security Information/ Event Management
• Security Software Development
• Security Solution for Enterprise (Large)
• Security Solution for Enterprise (Medium)
• Security Solution for Small Businesses, SOHO, Consumers
• Social Media or Web/URL Filtering
• Vulnerability Assessment/Remediation/Management
• Web Application Security
• Wireless/Mobile Security

The list, including all finalists, is at:

Info Security Global Product Excellence winners will be announced February 16, 2011 at an awards dinner banquet in San Francisco, California.

SC Magazine Best of 2010

SC Magazine Best of 2010 is a compilation of the products and services selected by Technology Editor Peter Stephenson and his SC Lab team in 2010 as Best Buy, Recommended and SC Lab Approved. The group tests were performed throughout 2010.

In the category of Anti-malware Management - F-Secure Client Security 9.0 received the Best Buy designation. AVG Technologies Internet Security Business Edition version 9.0 received Recommended. The original article appeared in the April 2010 issue of SC Magazine. 6 products were in the group test.

In the category of Endpoint UTM - Trend Micro Enterprise Security for Endpoints v10 received the Best Buy Designation. Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection v9 received the Recommended Designation. The original article appeared in the July 2010 issue of SC Magazine. 6 products were in the group test.

SC Magazine Best of 2010 Categories

• IP Security (IPsec) VPN
• Encryption at rest
• Encryption in motion
• Access management: NAC
• Access management: Identity management
• Forensics
• Gateway UTM
• Endpoint UTM
• Policy management
• Risk management
• Network data leakage prevention
• Endpoint data leakage prevention
• Anti-malware gateways
• Anti-malware management
• Security Innovators Throwdown
• Email security
• Vulnerability assessment
• Patch management
• Biometrics
• Multifactor authentication

Both of these organization provide independent recognition of security products. Descriptions of how the products are evaluated are on each organization's respective web sites. These awards also provide marketing opportunities for the respective companies, products and version recognized, for the year in which they receive the award (web site, logos, packaging, campaigns, etc).

CRN Most Innovative Products of 2010

CRN published it’s most innovative products of 2010 compilation. Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection v 9.5 was cited in the Security category (pgno=13)

SC Magazine Readers Trust Awards 2011 (US)

For SC Magazine's Readers Trust Awards being announced on February 15 in San Francisco, CA, McAfee is a finalist in twelve areas. They are also a a finalist for three “Excellence Awards".

Sophos was named a finalist across nine SC Magazine's 2011 Reader Trust Choice categories.

For a complete list of finalists, go to the link below.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

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

In December, 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 a number of tests they perform throughout the year. The report constitutes the second part of the August 2010 test.

For the proactive detection of new malware, the top 6 performers overall (combination of proactive detection of new malware and false positives) were:

1. G DATA – 62%
2. Panda – 61%
3. Avira - 59%
3. Kaspersky – 59%
5. TrustPort – 58%
5. Sophos - 58%

G DATA, Panda, Kaspersky, and TrustPort were all in the top 5 in the previous report. Sophos jumped up 10 spots.

Companies receiving “Advanced+ Certification” (3 stars) for their products in the Retrospect/Proactive Test were – G DATA, Avira, Sophos, ESET, F-Secure, BitDefender, eScan, Microsoft, and Symantec.

There are many reasons a firm may select not to participate. These could include:

1. Don’t feel the test reflects real world
2. Methodology (in the retrospective test, there were no live internet connections, for example)
3. Results in previous test
4. New release coming out before test report is issued (though some products weren’t “2011” releases such as TrustPort)

Companies in the August report that do not appear in the latest report, for whatever reason (revision December 6), in alphabetical order are – AVG Technologies, Kingsoft, McAfee, Norman and Trend Micro.

People should go to the AV Comparatives website and download the complete report for comprehensive test results and test details. For each test, it’s important to note what is and isn’t included. Many of the products tested utilize additional protection features (such as behavior blockers) to protect against new/unknown malware. AV Comparatives’ test evaluated the offline heuristic/generic detection capabilities of the products against unknown /new malware, without executing it or submitting anything online.

Note that there are other testing organizations as well. Individuals and companies evaluating AV and Internet Security SW should also look at the others, at reviews, round-ups, and group tests performed by reputable testing organizations, and technology publications. For information on testing best practices, people can go to the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization website,