Monday, March 25, 2013

AV-Comparatives IT Security Survey 2013

AV-Comparatives released their IT Security Survey 2013.  It’s an interesting read for those following consumer antivirus and internet security providers.  Consumer AV and Internet Security providers may want to use some of the results to help them work on their next release instead of feature creep.  I’m going to mention some of the highlights but people really need to download the report

Market Share  

First – congratulations to the market share leaders in each portion of the world.
  • Europe – Avast
  • North America – Microsoft 
  • Asia - Kaspersky
  • South/Central America – Avast
In the global battle of the three A’s, the order was the same in every section of the world – (1) Avast (2) Avira (3) AVG Technologies.  Avast finished no lower than third in any section of the world, and Avira no lower than fifth.  AVG Technologies finished eight, eight, eight,  and seventh.  Therefore, Avast wins the Czech crown as well.

With the exception of Symantec finishing in second in North America, neither they nor McAfee fared very well in the market share report portion of the survey. People may want to look at this portion of the report with the market share reports from OPSWAT.

Kaspersky, who has their eyes on overtaking Trend Micro in the overall revenue race, topped Trend Micro in all regions of the world, including finishing first in Trend’s home turf in Asia.  That has to be a major ouch for Trend Micro.  You don’t lose in your own house. 


The top tests respondents were interested  in were  Malware Detection (83%) followed by “Real World” protection (64%).  Respondents got to pick four.  Engine developers - you now know your priorities.

Confidence in Test Labs

On a scale of 1 to 5, only three labs scored over four with the respondents, AV-Comparatives, Virus Bulleting, and AV-Test.  TopTenReviews was the only lab to score under 2.  Folks, you can remove that link as one of your favorites if you have it there.  People were only to rate labs that they were aware of. 

Confidence in Magazine Reviews

No publication scored over 3.5 on this.  The top 4.  CNET, PC World, Computerworld, and PC Magazine all scored over  3.3, a narrow band. 

What’s Important to You in a Security Product?

The top three, with none over 65% - Good detection rate (without having to be online), good malware removal, low impact on system performance (the gamers speak).  These results may not speak well for pure cloud solutions.  The bottom two – many customizable features (15%), and well –known product/software vendor (5.6%).  Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro – take a look at your branding budget.  Those billboards on 101 in Silicon Valley may not be doing much for you ;).  People were to pick five out of fifteen.

What Does this Mean for the Vendors? 

Vendors - Detection rate!  Malware removal/cleaning!  Performance!  Nowhere in the survey did users ask for more features.  Customizability scored low.   You may want to rethink adding additional features to your antivirus or internet security product. I’d curtail  the development of the second, third, or fourth internet security suite.

Reduce/remove unnecessary gimmicks from the products (toolbars, registry cleaners, etc) which do not strictly belong on a security product scored six out of fifteen.  Hey, vendors with toolbar (?) checked yes, and/or make removable difficult.  A chance to earn some customer points.  Wait, a second, you revenue share with other vendors such as Google or Yahoo on the toolbar.  Never mind.

So how does   the above correlate to how well a product catches malware?

Another good read is AV-Comparatives Summary Report 2012, issued in December.  The top product – Bitdefender.  Gang, check it out.  The top rated products in alphabetical order were from Avast, Avira, BitDefender, BullGuard, ESET, F-Secure, G Data, and Kaspersky.  Some names for you folks to check out when your subscription is up for renewal or take advantage of a store’s “Free with competitive upgrade!” offer.  You may want to listen to your Facebook friends when it comes down to where to eat.  Unlike when it comes to what antivirus or internet security software to buy.  Trust no one owning a brass monkey. 

Download both reports.  They’re great reading.

About AV-Comparatives  
AV-Comparatives is an Austrian Non-Profit-Organization.  They provide independent Anti-Virus software tests free to the public.  Go to the AV-comparatives website for complete details about the organization, the many tests they perform, and to download copies of test reports. 

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