AV-TEST GmbH, an independent IT security and antivirus research house, has grown in stature among security professionals in the past several years. That high regard adds special emphasis to the recent announcement by the company.

About the 2014 AV-TEST Award

“AV-TEST recognizes security products for consumers and corporate users that achieved the highest performance in our laboratory tests during 2014,” announces Andreas Marx, co-CEO with Guido Habicht. “Ten awards are given in the areas of Windows desktop, Windows clients, Android security, and Windows system repair.”

Marx explains that AV-TEST Institute created the awards to spur manufacturers to greater innovation in protecting computing equipment from internet threats. “With the presentation of an award, AV-TEST honors effective security products that represent successful antimalware functionality,” adds Marx. “The awards also help the public gain greater familiarity with the manufacturers and their products.”

The AV-TEST Awards are presented annually (an Android award was added in 2014) following a full year of testing. The testing falls into four categories: Protection, Usability, Performance Testing, and Repair.

Protection: This is considered the most important category by AV-TEST. The researchers subject each antimalware program to known online threats, zero-day malware attacks from the internet, as well as accessing known malicious websites or emails to test whether protection products ward off malware.

Usability: AV-TEST personnel note any adverse effects the antimalware under observation places on the test computer or user. For example:

  • computers slowing down when the antimalware program is operational;
  • false positives while scanning more than 400,000 benign applications; or
  • blocking the installation of software.

Performance Testing: Researchers at AV-TEST subject each antimalware product to 13 user actions and measure how the antimalware application affects the operating system’s performance. Some examples include:

  • downloading various files from the internet;
  • copying files locally and through the network; and
  • using programs such as Word or Excel.

Repair: Marx mentions there is no such thing as a perfect antimalware program, nor an error-free user, meaning infections will occur. AV-TEST researchers infect test systems with “in the wild” malware, grading how well the antimalware product being tested removes the offending malware and repairs the system.

And the winners are…

The 2014 AV-TEST Awards for consumer security solutions:

The 2014 AV-TEST Awards for corporate security solutions:

The 2014 AV-TEST Awards for repair:

The 2014 AV-TEST Award for Android security (two companies tied for top honors):

More about AV-TEST

AV-TEST is located in Magdeburg, Germany, employs 30 people, and has been in operation since 2004. What makes AV-TEST unique is the onsite inventory of 150,000,000 pieces of test data and 330,000,000 examples of malicious test data (1,000 terabytes). The collection is not static; the team collects close to 400,000 new malware samples each day.

In order for AV-TEST researchers to subject each antimalware application to online threats, they register and classify thousands of URLs, emails, and files every day using an in-house developed scanner system named VTEST. To make all that happen, AV-TEST has three test laboratories with more than 100 physical workstations (not virtual machines).

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