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The value of independent anti-virus testing
Unlike many other tests in the IT industry, independent anti-virus (AV) testing is really just that: Independent. Their results provide truly useful comparisons between vendors across a range of security software products. This is both for consumers, and for security vendors looking to integrate an OEMs’ anti-malware technology. But there is a caveat. When we say ‘truly useful’, we mean it within the limitations of a test environment. AV software is only one component of a complete framework that delivers security, a framework that will differ between consumer, enterprise and OEM integrator. The real-world implementation of AV software will have a major impact on the software’s ability to protect the system. Is the OS up-to-date, are there vulnerabilities within other software on the system? Is the virus database and engine up-to-date, is there a connected cloud security service? For consumers and business, do the users practice good (security) hygiene?! Given these caveats, what makes these tests useful? As regular as clockwork. Organisations such as AV-Test and AV-Comparatives, test as often as every month. Consequently, it is very easy to see which vendors consistently have good results.
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