You may want to secure your computer just by installing some antivirus software and forgetting about security otherwise. However, concerns may bother you from time to time. Is your protection strong enough? Maybe you should have bought Internet Security and not just antivirus, or “product B” instead of “product A”? How can you ensure that your protection is adequate? At first, it may seem complicated, but, in reality, the job is simple, as the information has already been gathered for you.
When buying cars, almost no one performs a safety test his/herself. It is complicated and expensive. This duty is, instead, held by companies tasked with ensuring car safety and ratings, like NCAP, that are industry standard, helping customers realize the pros and cons of each car model. More stars equals more safety. If you want to dive deeper into the details, there are videos of crash tests and technical details, like the most probable injuries or pedestrian safety measures.
Exactly the same scenario applies to Internet threat protection. You can check the score of your software in independent tests, and there are many tests, but we’ll focus on the most authoritative and applicable to end user needs. If you’d like to see those tests now, you can find them here.
Fighting scary “undetected” malware
As malware enables cybercriminals to earn millions, they end up producing new malware samples at the incredible rate of a few hundred -thousand per day. That’s why it is important for a security suite to deal with malware still unknown to AV developers. To achieve this, developers use a combination of methods, but the fundamental function is proactive security. The recipe is simple: if a new app behaves like a malicious one, it is probably malware. So it should be terminated and any system changes introduced by the app must be rolled back. While it is easy to talk about, the real world implementation is incredibly complicated. A security software must not interfere with legitimate apps while blocking all malicious ones. The complexity of this task is well illustrated by the Proactive Security Challenge, conducted by independent lab, Matousec. Company experts purposely write specially crafted apps that try to do something suspicious without causing any antivirus warnings. There are 11 levels of complexity, and only a few products can reach the highest level. Luckily, Kaspersky Internet Security is amongst the few. This has been achieved through many years of investment and research, which is unaffordable to most competitors. This is clearly visible when we check products that are distributed for free – most of them fail at level 2 or even 1.
To put it simply, free antiviruses typically aren’t well suited to deal with new, unknown malware. And these new samples emerge by 300 thousand per day.
Free AV is not well suited to deal with unknown malware, which emerges at rate of 315000 samples per day! #fact #securityTweet
A day in the ordinary user’s life
A very useful insight is available in the report of another lab, AV-Comparatives. Their real world test does not involve any specially built apps. On the contrary, the test setup is very realistic. The company has a database of real malicious apps, links and mail attachments, which are current and widespread at the time of testing, so any user may be infected by them. The test scenario is straightforward – experts install Windows fresh and update it, install and update AV and start visiting malicious links, open attachments and check how many threats were blocked.
Here is the result of a recent run: Kaspersky Internet Security blocked 99.8% of threats. This was the best result, achieved only by a couple of vendors. Even paid versions of AVG, for example, reliably blocked only 93.4% threats, while bundled Microsoft security could save only 88.4%.
“To fly” or “To crawl”
Most users are concerned with the negative performance impact caused by a security solution. Those that are especially concerned include gamers, who can be distraught over the slightest FPS decrease.
To measure this performance impact, there is a dedicated measurement conducted by AV-TEST. This research lab routinely checks which slowed down daily operations (computer startup, app launch, file copy, etc.) are caused by which security software, in comparison to “fresh” Windows. Results are available in the form of comprehensive tables, but it’s easier just to “count stars,” as with NCAP. Again- Kaspersky Internet Security has the least impacted performance (5.8 out of 6 for speed). Free products, which are typically considered “lightweight”, turn out to be not that light – all the usual suspects like Avast, Avira or AVG earn only 4.5-4.8 points in the speed test.
Do I need Antivirus or Internet Security?
Tests rarely compare Antivirus and Internet Security from the same vendor, however, you can expect these products to demonstrate similar results when dealing with basic threats. The trick is ― Antivirus is not intended to fight some really important threats and won’t protect your from hacker attacks, attempts to steal your money from your online bank, spam or phishing. If you actively use a wide variety of web services, conduct online payments or engage in various social platforms, your right choice is definitely Internet Security.
If you use Kaspersky Internet Security, then you have extremely robust and reliable protection from all types of consumer-oriented threats ― this is proven by a multitude of different independent tests: “real-life”, “proactive”, etc. At the same time, the performance impact is minimal, especially when compared to other security products. However, if you use protection by a different vendor, you might be facing bad news (see the table), as many popular products don’t exactly shine in those independent tests. Check your computer for free and consider switching to a trustworthy protection suite.
||Protection from unknown threats (Matousec)||Real-life test
|Kaspersky Internet Security||11 of 11||99.8%||5.8 of 6|
|Avast||2 of 11||97.4%||4.5 of 6|
|AVG||1 of 11||93.4%||4.8 of 6|
|Microsoft||Not tested||88.4%||4.3 of 6|