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Anti-Virus Products Show Spotty Performance on Windows Vista

Virus Bulletin's Reactive and Proactive (RAP) tests discovered many anti-virus programs while
running on Windows Vista did not perform upto expectations.

The latest figures recorded an average detection rate from February 2009 (when RAP tests were
first introduced) till end of July 2009. During the study, 37 anti-virus products were examined
and 12 of them failed a set of tests - including scanning of a virus-loaded Vista SP2 system for
some known virus and detecting activity of viruses evolving after pervious update of the

It is learnt that success in RAP test as well as getting Virus Bulletin's "VB100" certification
depends on detecting all viruses that are known to be spreading in wild. Moreover, the product
should not generate any false positive during the test.

The resultant "RAP Quadrant" demonstrates that many popular anti-virus products fall into the
graph's lower left hand quarter. PC Tools' Anti-virus, CA's Internet Security Suite and
Fortinet's Forticlient are some of the products that attained detection levels of less than 50%
on both of the axes in their default mode.

The best performers were also reported of showing mixed performance in certain aspects of RAP
test system.

According to John Hawes, director, VB test, considerably poor detection of new emerging threats
was observed and the questionable anti-virus products are required to put in a lot of effort to
provide adequate protection for the customers, reported Techworld on August 4, 2009.

He further hoped to see improvement in RAP test scores in coming times as all products are
expected to aim for the good position.

Apart from this, Virus Bulletin also praised many products in the report for showing good
performance. G DATA was especially quoted for its remarkable detection rates while Microsoft
Forefront and AVG are the other good performers. Though, the results do indicated that the
performance of anti-virus products on Windows Vista is still not up to the mark.

It is important to note that this report has come up at such a time when Gartner's recent study
has revealed that spending in security software market surged by over 18% in 2008, hitting $11.8
Billion worldwide. This clearly shows that IT managers still consider security as a priority
despite the financial crisis.

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