Antivirus software are so ineffective in detecting new malware threats now that most companies are probably wasting your money buying this type of product. At least that is what concludes a study by security firm Imperva. Reports questioning the protection offered by the antivirus became a recurring theme among researchers in recent times. Therefore, the study “Assessing the Effectiveness of Anti-Virus Solutions” conducted by Imperva in partnership with the University of Tel Aviv, is just another reason to add to the collection of complaints.
The team ran a collection of 82 new types of malware at VirusTotal, a system that scans files in about 40 different antivirus products – and the initial rate of detection was a surprising zero.The company then performed the same scanning interval of one week to see if the improved detection over time and found that even products with the best performance have led at least three weeks for adding a sample previously undetected in their databases.
In all products, 12 files that were barely detected, while new threats go unnoticed for half the software scans performed when analyzed at later dates. In some probes, the files were simply marked as “not rated malware,” a definition that undermines the effectiveness of removal.It’s hard to tell which products were best individual from this study (readers can judge for themselves the site of Imperva), but did not appear any connection between popularity and effectiveness.
Most notably, researchers at Imperva end up recommending two products free antivirus: Avast and Emisoft as the “most ideal” among those analyzed. McAfee was also considered acceptable.
What about businesses?
According to Imperva, organizations continue to purchase licenses for antivirus software, because it is what the legislation of several countries send. This requirement should allow companies to acquire free products, so that they could invest in other forms of security, suggested Imperva.
“To be clear, we do not recommend eliminating the use of antivirus software. What we recommend, however, is to rebalance and modernize security by investing in solutions that prevent today’s threats,” the report said.
Using data from Gartner, Imperva said that antivirus software consumed about a third of total spending on security, unjustified by an investment return that is. “We can not continue to invest billions of dollars on antivirus solutions that provide the illusion of safety, especially when free solutions outperform paid subscriptions,” said the CTO of Imperva , Amichai Shulman.
Administrators may also be noted that antivirus programs are free for consumers and rarely offer the kind of capacity management and development of that business need.
In August, NSS Labs found that many antivirus products are not able to block malware attacks that exploited two vulnerabilities in Microsoft patched weeks before. Throughout the years, a variety of new technologies have been employed to improve security antivirus. At least ZeroVulnerabilityLabs startup launched a beta version of a plug-in that completely neglects to detect malware in favor of simply blocking software flaws exploited by malware to gain control of computers.