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Kaspersky top as Bitdefender fails in latest security tests

James Temperton
4 Nov 2014
Eugene Kaspersky
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Bitdefender, AVG and Microsoft Security Essentials the three worst security products in latest round of anti-malware testing

Kaspersky Internet Security remains the top-ranked security program, with Norton Security and ESET Smart Security 7 completing the top three. The biggest loser in the latest round of expert testing was Bitdefender Internet Security, which slipped from fourth best to third from last.

Avast Free Antivirus remains the best free product, with rival AVG Antivirus Free 2014 coming in second last. The results come from the latest anti-malware tests by Dennis Technology Labs, a security testing company affiliated with the publisher of Expert Reviews.

Microsoft Security Essentials was once again dead last, only protecting computers against 59 per cent of all web threats. That means that it happily waved through an astonishing 41 per cent of all the threats it was exposed to.

The tests looked at the ability of ten top security programs to protect against a variety of web threats. Software was tested for how well it detected and blocked threats but also at how well it allowed legitimate software to run. Accuracy, protection ratings and the ability to neutralise and remove threats were all taken into account.

Both paid-for and free products were tested, with the results varying wildly. Kaspersky (company founder Eugene Kaspersky pictured above) protected against 99 per cent of all threats, with a 100 per cent legitimate software accuracy and a total accuracy of 99 per cent. Norton Security, which came second in the tests, scored 99, 98 and 98 per cent respectively. In third place ESET Smart Security 7 scored 100, 98 and 97 per cent.

Avast Free Antivirus scored a 95 per cent total accuracy with Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security on 92 per cent and McAfee Internet Security on 90 per cent. Bitdefender scored 80 per cent, AVG Antivirus Free 2014 78 per cent and Microsoft Security Essentials 68 per cent.

Dennis Technology Labs noted that software that prevented users from visiting malicious websites in the first place performed better: "If the malware can’t download onto the victim’s computer then the anti-malware software faces less of an ongoing challenge," the report noted.

The demise of Bitdefender, from one of the best applications in previous rounds of testing to one of the worst this time, was down to it repeatedly being compromised by ransom-ware attacks such as Cryptowall.

Qihoo 360Safe Internet Security, one of the most popular anti-malware products in its native China, was also included in the tests for the first time. It scored a respectable 90 per cent total accuracy, placing it sixth out of the ten programs tested.

"In terms of protection, the top five products were from ESET, Qihoo 360, Symantec (Norton), Kaspersky Lab and Avast! Most of these products require a license that costs money," said Simon Edwards from Dennis Technology Labs.

"The most accurate programs were Kaspersky Internet Security 2015, Norton Security, ESET Smart Security 7 and Avast! Free Antivirus."

The continued poor performance of Microsoft Security Essentials comes as little surprise. Microsoft has previously admitted that its bundled security software is only intended to offer "baseline protection". All Windows users are advised to install additional security software to replace Microsoft Security Essentials or risk their PC being infected.

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