Wednesday, January 30, 2013

PC World Internet Security 2013 Showdown – Mashup with AV-Test and AV-Comparatives

PC World has published their test of  Internet Security 2013 products.  Kudos to F-Secure finishing on top with 4.5 stars in the review!!! Symantec/Norton, Trend Micro, and Bit Defender finished second through fourth, also with 4.5 stars in the PC World showdown.Other factors weighed in to determine the placings. Individual reviews are available.   AVG Technologies Internet Security 2013  and Avira Internet Security 2013  had their products finish in eighth and ninth respectively with 3.5 stars.  Companies with products in the PC World Test Norton, F-Secure, Trend Micro, BitDefender, Kaspersky, Avira, G Data,  and AVG Technologies.

In a mash­-up with January test results and results from their “September File Detection Test 2012”, F-Secure Internet Security, Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security, and BitDefender Internet Security were the top  products.  Symantec was ineligible since they were not tested by AV-Comparatives last year.  Symantec wanted to choose which test s to participate in.  Companies had to agree to participate in all so…. Perhaps they will man up this year under their new CEO!  Products tested by were Internet Security solutions and by AV-Comparatives, Antivirus solutions. The last column is the average of the rankings in the previous tests.

Table of Results

In the test, several times, products had the same score. Since Symantec didn't participate in the test, they were removed from the above table.

It’s kind of disappointing that the Internet Security products from freemium vendors finished eighth and ninth.  

From the PC World Individual Test Reports 

 PC stated about F-Secure, “With excellent protection and a user-friendly interface, F-Secure is definitely worth a look.  This security package adds a little extra weight to your system, but if you can get past those performance issues, it’s a great program.”

“AVG Internet Security 2013 is a perfectly respectable antivirus program with a great new top-level user interface.  But that’s the problem—in these malware tests, “perfectly respectable” doesn’t quite cut it and we saw several programs that outdid AVG at nearly every turn.”  The AVG Technology solution also had the lowest detection rate of the products tested.

“At the end of the day, Avira Internet Security 2013 is a competent antivirus program.  But being merely competent isn’t a great thing, especially when it’s combined with an interface that's for advanced users only.”

The following link takes you to the article, “Security software showdown!  9 antivirus suites empirically tested.”  From here, you can also reach links for detailed reports about all nine products tested.

Read the individual test reports, as well as Neil Rubenking and his test reports in PC Magazine. Beware the thumbs of   Facebook friends. Not the best way to select your security solution. Save James Surowiecki's    "wisdom of crowds" for something else.

AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization.  They provide independent Antivirus software tests free to the public.  Go to their website to view all the great comparative reports and surveys they publish.  A great number of their reports are free.

The AV-TEST Institute is a leading international and independent service provider in the fields of IT security and anti-virus research.  The aim of the research work carried out by AV-TEST is to directly detect the latest malware, to analyze it using state-of-the-art methods and to inform their customers of the top-quality results obtained.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Security - 2012

Addendum - Information about the 2013 report is at

Gartner has released their 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Security, ID:G00239869.  Five performers are in the leaders quadrant.  Their approximate order in the 2012 report:  Symantec, McAfee, Sophos, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro.  Microsoft, who has built up a large endpoint market share in the last couple of years with their free consumer endpoint product, was the only company in the Challenger portion of the grid for the 2012 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection.  Congrats to these five companies.  Analysts for the report - Peter Firstbrook, John Girard, and Neil MacDonald.

Always interesting goings on with firms in the world of security, even those in the leaders portion of the magic quadrant. Symantec replaced CEO Enrique Salem with Tom Bennett in July.

Companies in  the 2011 leaders portion of the quadrant were  Symantec, McAfee, Sophos, Trend Micro, and Kaspersky.

Always interesting goings on with firms in the world of security.  Palo Alto Networks "finally" went public  in 2012 and had a nice first few days pop in their stock price. More traditional firewall companies started releasing Next Generation Firewalls (NGFW's).  Trend Micro was named a leader in the email content security arena by Forrester. Symantec replaced CEO Enrique Salem with Tom Bennett in July. Kaspersky and Trend switched spots as Kaspersky continues their mission to surpass Trend Micro in everything end point.   Symantec, you may want to appear in those security tests, now ;). Once Kaspersky passes Trend Micro.....

Beyond Trust was the overall lowest in the quadrant with respect to ability to execute.  They purchased eEye in the first half of 2012.  One of the cautions raised by Gartner about Check Point (in the visionary portion of the quadrant) was Check Point's dependence on Kaspersky Lab's engine and signature updates continues to challenge enterprise buyers to differentiate it from Kaspersky Lab (note, ck – not a technological weakness, just a differentiator weakness).

There is a combination of seventeen companies in this report.  The minimum functionality   to appear:
  • Detection and cleaning of malware (for example, viruses, spyware, rootkits, Trojans, worms), a personal firewall, and HIPS for servers and PCs
  • Centralized management, configuration and reporting capabilities for all products evaluated in this research, sufficient to support companies of at least 5,000 geographically dispersed endpoints
  • Global service and support organizations to support products

A good read for people is “Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes: How Gartner Evaluates Vendors Within a Market”   Sometimes a  leader isn’t the best solution for a particular customer.  Despite that, there are many presentations where the vendor uses being in the leaders portion   as a reason to buy from that particular vendor. 

The   Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Security 2012 is available from Gartner.  Some of the vendors license rights to provide it to customers, as well.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

AV-Comparatives Anti-virus Comparative Summary Report 2012, BitDefender Named Product of the Year

Test group AV-Comparatives has released their Anti-virus Comparative Summary Report 2012.  This quite thorough 180 page  report contains a summary of the winning products for the test they performed in 2012, and  also contains an extensive 150 plus page user interface review section.A great report to download.

On an overall basis, AV-Comparatives, gave eight company's products their Top Rated designation.  In alphabetical order, these were  Avast, Avira,  Bitdefender,  BullGuard, ESET, F-Secure, G DATA, and  Kaspersky. Congratulations to these companies! 

For the individual   tests, the 2012 report lists the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medal recipients.   To view the Silver and Bronze recipients, you’ll have to download the free report. Below are the Gold Medal Recipients.

Gold Medal Recipients - Summary Report 2012

  • Product of the Year – Bitdefender (G Data and Kaspersky, were awarded Bronze and Silver)
  • File Detection – Avira
  • Whole-Product “Real-World” Dynamic Protection - BitDefender (a nice interactive report)
  • Proactive (Heuristic) Detection/Protection - A tie.  BitDefender and Kaspersky
  • False Positive – Microsoft
  • Overall Performance (Low System Impact) – Webroot
  • Anti-Phishing Protection – BitDefender
  • Malware Removal – A tie, BitDefender and Kaspersky

Congratulations to the Gold Medal recipients listed above and to the Silver and Bronze Medal Recipients listed in the 2012  report!

AC-comparatives encourages people trying to select a product to go to the vendor’s websites, download a trial version, and try products for themselves.  Many vendors have multiple flavors of internet security suites, each with their own spin on additional features.  Many offer multi-user and multi-year licenses.  One thing not to do.  Don’t chose based on how many Facebook Fans like the product.   

Symantec doesn’t appear in this report.  In order to be tested and reported on by AV-Comparatives, vendors have to agree to participate in all the tests.  Symantec chose not to do this.  Hence, they’re not listed in any of the tests. Steve Bennett.This could be the year.

The report also has a great  link that lets you select a year and view a one page report listing all vendors and how many stars they received for each test they were in. The most stars a vendor could receive on a single test was  three.  They could also receive two, one, and tested.  A perfect score for the year – twenty seven.  BitDefender received twenty six  in 2012.  

Freemium Vendors

The freemium vendors in the report were Avast, AVG Technologies, Avira, Panda, and PC Tools.  As mentioned above,  nine different tests with a potential total of twenty seven stars. 
  • Avast – 22 stars
  • Avira – 22 stars (yes, a tie)
  • Panda - 19 stars
  • AVG Technologies – 14 stars
  • PC Tools – 13 stars
Avast and Avira received the same number of stars in seven of the nine tests and were both among the AV-Comparatives eight top products for 2012.   Avast wins the Czech crown for the year.  

About AV-comparatives

AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization.  They provide independent Antivirus software tests free to the public.  Go to their website to view all the great comparative reports and surveys they publish.  A great number of their reports are free.