When respected anti-virus testing body AV-Test.org released the results of tests it had conducted against business security products running on Windows 7 earlier this month, it caused quite a kerfuffle in the comments section...
Mostly from home users who hadn't read properly that it was a test of *business* anti-virus products, and that might be why their preferred home user anti-virus wasn't included in the test.
So, I'm pleased to share AV-Test.org's latest test results, where they looked at the protection, performance and usability of business *and* home user anti-virus products, running on Windows 8.1.
Products tested include solutions from AhnLab, Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender, Bullguard, Comodo, ESET, F-Secure, G Data, K7 Computing, Kaspersky Lab, Intel/McAfee, Microworld, Norman, Quick Heal, Microsoft, Panda Security, SentinelOne, Seqrite, Sophos, Symantec/Norton, ThreatTrack, and Trend Micro.
Here is the executive summary for home user anti-virus products, where Avira, Bitdefender and Kaspersky appear to have run off with top honours:
And here is the chart for business user anti-virus products, with Bitdefender and Kaspersky getting gold:
Most products appear to have performed reasonably well in the tests, with the only truly horrendous performer being Microsoft. One interesting inclusion in the business tests was SentinelOne, a so-called "next generation" security product. To its credit, SentinelOne appears to have performed well, keeping up with other better known anti-virus products:
With only one exception, the participants did not have major issues regarding false positives or scan speed/performance degration. For the first time ever a "Next Generation" security product has been included: The Endpoint Protection suite of SentinelOne. The results prove that it is able to keep up with the traditional Anti-Virus products.
AV-Test.org reported that most of the products' detected the vast majority of the unknown, zero-day malware threats thrown at them:
"The malware protection of most tools was at an acceptable to good level, on average around 98-99% of all "zero day" malware attacks were blocked."
Of course, even if a product scores 100% in AV-Test.org's tests it's worth bearing in mind that no anti-virus software is perfect - and only part of the answer to keeping your Windows computer safe and secure.
You can reduce your chances of having your computer attacked by malware by adopting a layered defence - which would incorporate elements such as training your users, installing security updates, configuring advanced features of your anti-virus software, and reducing the attack surface by disabling commonly-attacked platforms such as Adobe Flash.
Furthermore, just because an anti-virus performed well in these tests doesn't mean it is necessarily the best choice for you. If possible, evaluate products to see if they are the right fit for your business network or home computer.
How did your anti-virus perform? Which products do you trust to keep your computer safe from malware? Leave a comment below.