February 7, 2017

Count the awards: Choosing an antivirus solution

Products

We don’t usually spend a lot of time choosing a hot dog: a quick look, a quick sniff, a look around the vendor’s stand. Some might check the seller’s permits, but only the most cautious.

Count the awards: Choosing an antivirus solution

If you are choosing something bigger — a car, say, or an insurance provider — you go further. You might read user feedback and professional reviews online. (Of course, some ratings may be biased, but it’s unlikely that all of them will be. The truth will come out sooner or later, even if a vendor seeds user reviews with flattery.)

When it comes to an antivirus purchase, you should look to the second scenario — and further. Antivirus software is complex, and even experienced users can’t judge its mechanisms. Here, independent reviews and professional ratings are crucial.

You can find user feedback on anything, everywhere. But there are not so many professional reviewers in the cybersecurity world, and only a few independent laboratories test antivirus solutions. In this post we’d like to tell you how they evaluate our products.

These laboratories are independent, which means that they report hard results, reporting test results without bias. Kaspersky Lab and its rivals compete on a level playing field in their tests. In fact, in looking at independent test results and reviews, you’ll often find security solutions that score similarly. In those cases, pay attention to how often the solution ranked well and how many laboratories ranked it high in a certain category. Also consider your priorities: iron protection versus ease of use, for example.

In this post we will tell about our awards and achievements, with links to labs’ sites in case you want to read more and compare our results with those of our competitors.

As of year-end 2016 Kaspersky Lab clinched more than a half of all awards by Germany's AV-Test laboratory.

AV-Test

Here is one of our latest reasons to be proud: As of year-end 2016 we clinched more than a half of all awards by Germany’s AV-Test laboratory. Our products won 8 awards out of 15! It’s also noteworthy that about 30 companies took part in the tests. We’re especially pleased that very different products by Kaspersky Lab took top honors: a consumer solution, two business products, and our free virus-removal utility.

Kaspersky Internet Security, our product for home users, took first place in the Performance and Best Usability categories. By the way, this is our third year in a row winning the performance award, which measures an application’s effect on system speed and the speed of common tasks. There’s a myth about Kaspersky products being slow, but even if that was once true, it’s no longer so.

Our solutions for big and small businesses, Kaspersky Endpoint Security and Kaspersky Small Office Security, were also recognized for providing the best protection and zero false positives. Kaspersky Small Office Security also won the Performance award. To round out the picture, our free Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool topped the Repair rating for the third year in a row.

AV-Test has been giving awards annually for six years, and we have received 18 — more than any other vendor has. Apart from the most complicated tests, run annually, AV-Test also runs tests every two months. In the more frequent tests, Kaspersky Lab has more than a hundred awards (once again, more than any rival).

To sum up: If you see an icon with an AV-Test award, pay attention to its color. Red awards are given for yearly tests — give those more weight — blue ones for the two-month runs.

AV-Comparatives

Austrian AV-Comparatives laboratory shares with AV-Test a reputation for being the most serious and qualitative independent testers in the cybersecurity world. Its testing history spans more than ten years.

Our solutions have topped the lab’s ratings and received the highest award for six years running, from 2011 to 2016. No other company has achieved that.

And here is detailed explanation for readers who want to understand the lab’s rating scheme better. Have you noticed that Kaspersky Internet Security’s awards have different names? In 2011, 2013, and 2015 it received the Product of the Year award. In 2012 and 2014, Top Rated award. In 2016, Outstanding Security Product.

What’s the difference? Well, AV-Comparatives’ policy dictates that a product cannot be Product of the Year two years in a row — even if it is tied for the best. In such cases, the other product that has the same rating receives the award, and last year’s winner gets Top Rated status.

However, some lesser-performing products also received Top Rated awards. That left some readers understandably confused.

That’s why AV-Comparatives changed their rules in 2016. Now the Top Rated award goes to B products only, and A-ranked solutions receive either Product of the Year or Outstanding Security Product awards. The competition is high here: from two dozen participants only two or three solutions get the highest score.

MRG Effitas

Whereas AV-Test and AV-Comparatives evaluate quality of protection in general, British laboratory MRG Effitas focuses on a narrower segment: online payment security.

Since its founding, the lab has given its main awards Online Banking/Browser Security only twice, following evaluations in 2014/2015 and 2015/2016. Both awards went to Kaspersky Internet Security. Experts gave big points to our multilayered protection system for keeping out banking Trojans and ransomware. They also singled out our Safe Money technology for praise. This component protects users when they shop online or make other Internet transactions. You can read more about Safe Money here.

MRG Effitas has a complex testing system, and few solutions pass it with high scores. In 2015/2016 there were four winners out of 19 participants.

PC Magazine

Properly speaking, this famous American IT magazine is not a laboratory, but its awards are also rated highly in the cybersecurity industry.

In 2016, PCMag gave the Editors’ Choice award to Kaspersky Internet Security, Kaspersky Total Security, and Kaspersky Anti-Virus, as well as Kaspersky Safe Kids iOS app (our parental control solution). A year earlier, the same award was given to Kaspersky Internet Security and Kaspersky Anti-Virus.

Tests at PCMag.com are conducted by Neil J. Rubenking. This journalist has a reputation of an impartial and scrupulous specialist. PCMag is well known in America and around the world.

SE Labs / Dennis Technology Labs

The British SE Labs was founded by Simon Edwards, ex-technical director of another famous security testing organization, Dennis Technology Labs. Simon has been testing security products since 1995. He was one of the first to run so-called real-world antimalware testing, which mimics real-life Internet usage scenarios. The main tester in both laboratories is the same, and they use the same methods, so we combine their results.

In 2015 the Dennis Technology lab gave Kaspersky Internet Security two annual awards: Protection AAA and Performance AAA. SE Labs is relatively new and has not given annual awards yet. However, in quarterly tests in 2016, Kaspersky Internet Security, Kaspersky Endpoint Security, and Kaspersky Small Office Security received the highest scores (AAA).

ICSA Labs

ICSA Labs works a bit differently than other labs and does not give out awards to security solutions. Rather, it certifies their proficiency. At the end of 2016, ICSA certified Kaspersky Anti-Targeted Attack Platform, our top business product for protecting companies from targeted attacks (distinct from mass threats, these are custom-made attacks that target certain industries or even specific companies).