AUSTIN, Texas – February 27, 2014 – NSS Labs today released the first Comparative Analysis Report™ from its 2014 Group Test for Consumer Endpoint Protection (EPP), which evaluated 7 leading EPP solutions and their ability to block socially engineered malware. For several years, the use of social engineering has accounted for the bulk of the attacks used by cyber criminals against consumers, who increasingly rely upon browsers and endpoint protection products (EPP) to shield them from harm.

Key findings include:

  • The average time to block separates the top three products from rest of the field: The top three performing EPP solutions all averaged between 15 and 30 minutes to add detection for new threats. The next closest competitor beat the average of the products in this metric, but still took more than 20 times longer to add protection than the top three.
  • Consumers have an increasing number of effective EPP products from which to choose: The ability to block socially engineered malware is one of greatest concerns to most consumers and 4 of the 7 products tested had a combined block rate of 100%. While there is a significant spread in performance at the end of the first day of testing, by the end of the testing period, five of the seven products tested are virtually tied with a spread of three percentage points.
  • Robust content agnostic malware protection (CAMP) implementations significantly improve protection and level the playing field: Despite the persistent myth that “antivirus” products use only static signatures, the reality is that in NSS testing, 98% or more of the SEM attacks are blocked on download thanks to increased use of reputational systems such as CAMP.

Commentary: NSS Labs Research Director Randy Abrams

“Social engineering works as well today as it did when the Greeks deceived the Trojans. Socially engineered malware can be devastating to the victim. Once tricked into downloading and running dangerous programs the result is often identity theft, loss of data, or email and social network account take over,” said Randy Abrams, Research Director at NSS Labs. “NSS testing reveals that the top vendors perform exceptionally well and consumers have an increasing selection of highly effective products to choose from. Combined with NSS testing for phishing protection and exploit protection, consumers can make a well informed decision in choosing the security product that provides the best possible protection against the major threats on the Internet.”

The 7 vendors tested in this report and in the current group tests include:

  • AVG
  • F-Secure
  • Kaspersky
  • McAfee
  • Microsoft
  • Symantec
  • Trend Micro

NSS Labs did not receive any compensation in return for vendor participation; All testing and research was conducted free of charge.