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How anti-virus suggestions are formed

15/05/14

How anti-virus suggestions are formed

Permalink 03:44:00 pm by Eugene Gardner, Categories: Security, Anti-Virus

Each year I review the comparative group tests of the major labs to glean the consensus of the ?best? security product. That is the one I buy many licenses of at wholesale prices and recommend to anyone who?ll listen.

The labs I generally look at are

No one lab will give the definitive best product as they

  • test different products - there are scores of anti-virus products available so each lab can only test a sub-set
  • use different test environments - some test with viruses captured ?in the wild? while others roll their own bespoke test suites; some test on multiple platforms others just one version of Windows
  • report results differently - some score 1-5 stars, others use 3 or more groups of words, others just award a pass/fail; so comparing one set of results with another is not straight forward
  • record different capabilities - examples of capabilities that are measured are detection, prevention, cleanup, usability, cost, false positives, extra features, and performance
  • test different catagories of malware - all will test trojans and worms but not all test keyloggers, screengrabbers, zero-day exploits?

So I look at all and form my own opinion based on the consensus. Although all the labs are independent, some are commissioned to conduct tests by one of the anti-virus companies and those companies usually get a good score. This is not because of anything underhand but shows that the issues found have been corrected. As long as the reader is aware of this it is not a problem as the other products are tested on a level playing field.

I read through many reports and assess the value of the most recent evaluations. I then form an almost subjective opinion based on objective criteria.

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