Feeds

Anti-virus products are rubbish, says Imperva

‘Spend not proportional to effectiveness’

SANS - Survey on application security programs

A study released in December by US security outfit Imperva has tipped a bucket on the multi-billion-dollar anti-virus industry, claiming that initial detection rates are as low as five percent, and concluding that enterprise and consumer anti-virus spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”.

Working in conjunction with students from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the company tested 82 malware samples against 40 anti-virus products including offerings from Microsoft, Symantec, McAfee and Kaspersky.

The test revealed that while catalogued viruses are well-detected, “less than 5% of anti-virus solutions in the study were able to initially detect previously non-cataloged viruses and that many solutions took up to a month or longer following the initial scan to update their signatures.”

Interestingly, the study revealed that virus writers improve their chance of evading detection by keeping a low profile. If an infection is spreading rapidly, it provides a large number of identical samples that feed into the anti-virus detection databases.

On the other hand, “variants that are of limited distribution (such as government sponsored attacks) usually leave a large window of opportunity”, the study states. That window of opportunity gives security teams a “blind spot”: if a zero-day virus gets past the first line of defense, security teams might not notice the infection until it’s become a crisis.

While stating that it does not advocate abandoning anti-virus products, Imperva suggests enterprise security should devote more attention to detecting aberrant behavior in systems and servers. Which, unsurprisingly, happens to be the company’s own specialty.

The full study is here. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches
German service pays tribute to Lavabit
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.