As a part of PCI compliance and general Internet usage safe practices a company wide anti-virus policy is not just a good idea but a must. Today a number of free and fee-based subscription anti-virus clients are available for the Windows platform which in is use by 99 percent of Promet employees. The remaining 1 percent do not use Windows as their day to day OS hence this document will not apply.
Of the 20+ anti virus client available this day I will review the free AVG and Avast! clients with which I have spent some time testing and working with. Neither clients introduced any sluggishness to the system and are fairly transparent in day to day operation. The test rig is an average consumer grade PC with 1 GB of system memory, Pentium 4 2.66Ghz, 80GB disk running Windows XP with Service Pack 2.
Functionality / protection
- AVG Basic: file scanning, spyware, POP/IMAP
- Avast! Personal: file scanning, POP/IMAP, webmail, IM, P2P, network
Scan speed (measuring initial filesystem scan of 23.8GB)
- AVG Basic: 1H 57M
- Avast! Personal: 33M
Resident memory usage
- AVG Basic: 50MB
- Avast! Personal: 60MB
Next we will look at virus detection performance of these 2 clients as well as other more popular variants.
Detection rates against Windows viruses, macros, worms, scripts, backdoors, trojans and other malware:
- AVG: 98.3 %
- Kaspersky: 97.8
- Avast!: 97.2
- Symantec: 96.9%
- McAfee: 93.6 %
Detection rates against high polymorphic viruses (32/Bakaver.A, W32/Etap.D,W32/Insane.A, W32/Stepan.E, W32/Tuareg.H, W32/Zelly.A, W32/Zmist.B and W32/Zmist.D. )
- AVG: 81.1%
- Kaspersky: 100%
- Avast!: 89.1%
- Symantec: 100%
- McAfee: 99.7%
http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2003-090514-4048-99 http://www.symantec.com/security_response/writeup.jsp?docid=2002-011011-3021-99 http://www.viruslist.com/en/viruses/encyclopedia?virusid=25834
Avast! Personal offers more features, faster scanning speeds, better detection rates. Combining Avast! Personal with a browser script blocker such as NoScript offers a more comprehensive virus prevention/detection solution.