January 03, 2011, 9:11 PM — The malware threat landscape is ever-evolving, with thousands upon thousands of new pieces of malware each year, and with cybercriminals developing new attack methods. As such, security products--and our security testing methods--must evolve too.
When reviewing security suites and antivirus software, PCWorld works with AV-Test, a respected security testing lab based in Germany. AV-Test looks at various aspects of a security product's ability to detect and block malware, including its ability to stop both known and unknown threats.
New in our testing this year--with results outlined in "Battle of the Security Superpowers"--is AV-Test's "real world" malware blocking tests. These tests put antivirus software up against real, live malware found online, as opposed to samples in a lab. These tests are a good way to measure how well a security product can detect new, as-yet-unknown malware--an important metric given how rapidly new threats emerge.
Among the security suites we reviewed, Norton Internet Security 2010 performed the best in this test, fully blocking 96% of these attacks, and partially blocking the remaining 4%.