NSS Labs expose inadequate AV products

NSS Labs testing showed that 9 of 13 popular consumer anti-virus products tested failed to provide adequate protection against exploits targeting two recent critical Microsoft vulnerabilities.

Only 4 vendors – Avast, Kaspersky, McAfee and Trend Micro – successfully blocked all attacks delivered over both HTTP and HTTPS.

“This particular exploit test was a small part of a much more comprehensive endpoint security test underway at NSS Labs that will be published next month,” said Randy Abrams, Research Director at NSS Labs. “These results clearly demonstrate protection deficiencies for many vendors when their products are configured with default ‘out-of-the-box’ settings, which are what’s most commonly employed in the consumer market.”

“This test revealed that numerous vendors that protected against an exploit over HTTP failed to protect against the same exploit delivered via HTTPS,” said Bob Walder, Chief Research Officer at NSS Labs. “Vendors who did not perform well might want to reconsider their default settings in this age of attacks against SSL and other protocols.”

“There are additional concerns for the enterprise,” Abrams adds. “Enterprises embracing the “bring your own device’ (BYOD) approach to workplace technology need to be aware of the ramifications the product selection choices their users make, as they impact the organization’s security posture and attack profile.”

NSS Labs is currently running in-depth consumer end point protection (EPP) group testing that will further test all 13 vendors in several key areas – exploits, evasions, performance and protection against live malware, drive-by attacks and phishing.

Reports featuring the results for each test area will be released as testing is completed – reports for exploits, evasions and performance are targeted for release in September 2012.

Tested products:

  • Avast Internet Security 7
  • AVG Internet Security 2012
  • Avira Internet Security 2012
  • CA Total Defense Internet Security Suite
  • ESET Smart Security 5
  • F-Secure Internet Security 2012
  • Kaspersky Internet Security
  • McAfee Internet Security 2012
  • Microsoft Security Essentials
  • Norman Security Suite Pro
  • Norton Internet Security 2012
  • Panda Internet Security 2012
  • Trend Micro Titanium + Internet Security.

The full “Can Consumer AV Products Protect Against Critical Microsoft Vulnerabilities?” report is available here (account registration required).

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