Enterprise anti-virus software test puts Kaspersky software out front, Microsoft at bottom

Even the top-ranked Kaspersky was compromised once

Dennis Technology Labs, the London-based organisation which runs tests to evaluate anti-virus software, yesterday released its latest test results on products for three distinct product segments--enterprise, home and small-to-mid-sized business (SMB). Its tests are not sponsored by vendors, the lab says.

In terms of enterprise anti-virus protection, Dennis Technology Labs said the most accurate product was Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Windows, followed by Symantec Endpoint Protection. Other products tested in this enterprise group included McAfee VirusScan, HIPS and SiteAdvisor; Microsoft System Center Endpoint Protection; and Trend Micro OfficeScan and Intrusion Defense Firewall. The labs called the Microsoft product the least effective on computers which were "compromised by 18% of the threats."

According to the report from Dennis Technology Labs, in its test environment, tested enterprise products "were exposed to Internet threats that were live during the test period. The exposure was carried out in a realistic way, closely reflecting a customer's experience. These results would have happened if a user was using one of the products and visited an infected website." The lab also noted most of threats originated from websites considered legitimate, not operated by  criminal organizations.

Even the top-ranked Kaspersky was compromised once. The testing method also looked at how well products identified legitimate software.

The lab pointed out none of the products had a 100% protection rate and in its test report conclusions pointed out that  "anti-virus is important" but "is not a panacea" for security problems related to malware. "The tests showed that even with a relatively small sample set of 100 threats, there is a significant difference in performance between the anti-virus programs."

Dennis Technology Labs also tested anti-virus products expected to be used in home environments and in SMB offices separately.

The Small Business Anti-Virus Protection round of tests included Kaspersky Small Office Security; McAfee Security-as-a-Service; Sophos Anti-Virus Business; Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013; and Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services.

"The effectiveness of small-business anti-malware software and services is generally good," said Dennis Technology Labs in its report. "Although every product was compromised at least once, most protected the system in over 90% of the cases."Symantec was ranked best at 99%, and Sophos Anti-Virus Business, compromised by17% of the threats, was deemed the least effective.

Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 was deemed the "most  ccurate program" overall, and the only product to get the test lab's top rating in thisround of tests. Kaspersky Small Office Security and Trend Micro Worry-Free Business Security Services were close behind.

In the category of home anti-virus protection, Dennis Technology Labs looked at a wide field of software products, including some free products, including AVG Anti-Virus Free 2013, Avast! Free Antivirus 7 and Microsoft Security Essentials.

The paid subscription products in this test included BitDefender Internet Security 2013, ESET Smart Security 6, Kaspersky Internet Security 2013, McAfee Internet Security 2013, Norton Internet Security 2013, and Trend Micro Internet Security 2013.

"The effectiveness of free and paid-for anti-malware security suites varies widely," the Dennis Technology Labs report states. "McAfee's paid-for and Microsoft's free product were the least effective." The report said McAfee Internet Security was "compromised by18% of the threats."

The Avast! Free Antivirus 7 was deemed the most effective of the free anti-malware software in the group tests. But in this test round, the top three products were all paid-for: Kaspersky, BitDefender and Symantec's Norton software.

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