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25 Jan 2011

Sophos Achieves Top Certifications in Latest 2010 Anti-Virus Comparative Tests

Sophos Behavioral and Genotype PreventativeProtection; and Excellent Performance Credited for 'Advanced+' Certification Ratings

AV Comparables

Global IT security and data protection company Sophos announced today that AV-Comparatives, a non-profit independent organization that performs comparative detection capability tests of various popular anti-virus products, awarded Sophos Anti-Virus – part of Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection - the highest certification levels in two of the organization's latest tests. Sophos received an 'Advanced+' rating in both comparative tests – Proactive/Retrospective test, which compared more than a dozen anti-virus products on their ability to detect and block new and unknown viruses and other malware; and the Performance test comparing the impact of 20 anti-virus software solutions on computer performance. AV-Comparatives is often referenced in Gartner Magic Quadrant reports noting those vendors who have achieved favorable certification ratings conducted by the test center.

AV-Comparative Proactive/Retrospective 2010 Results

In this latest November 2010 test, Sophos achieved 'Advanced+' certification (ranked one of the top 3) alongside nearly a dozen others on this list, which included other major market players such as Microsoft (ranked 8th) and Symantec (ranked 9th). Enterprise vendors McAfee and Trend Micro chose not to participate.

With the consistent rise in new viruses and malware, vendors not only must provide new updates frequently and quickly, they must also be able to detect these threats in a proactive manner using generic and/or heuristic technologies. AV-Comparatives' November 2010 Proactive/Retrospect report emphasized that even if anti-virus solutions deliver updates on the hour, daily, or via the cloud, if heuristics/generic methods are not applied, there will always be a lapse in protection – leaving users vulnerable to infection.

In a single scan, Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection 9.5 protects against viruses, spyware, worms, Trojans, adware, and other potentially unwanted applications (PUAs). Sophos automatically guards against zero-day threats using Sophos Genotype® virus detection, which proactively blocks families of viruses while Behavioral Genotype® Protection analyzes the behavior of code before it executes. Sophos Live Protection simplifies the rollout of proactive protection for those users with in-the-cloud checks against the latest threat data and malicious URLs – allowing them to get the protection they need against today's fast moving threats such as hijacked websites and targeted malware attacks – without adding additional IT security management overhead.

AV-Comparative Performance Test Results

The test measured the impact of security products while performing a number of real world tasks. It also used a third party industry recognized performance tool by PC Mark to assess system performance.

The December 2010 AV-Comparative Performance test evaluated 20 solutions to determine how long it took each to copy files, archive, encode, install software, and launch applications—each activity was given a score ranging from +0% to +10% very fast, +10% to +20% fast, +20% to +30% mediocre, over +30% slow and all activities were added for a total score. Based on this scoring system, Sophos was ranked 2nd as one of the highest performing anti-virus solutions and outperformed all other vendor solutions, including Symantec, McAfee, and Trend. Sophos and AVG were the only solutions out of the two dozen tested that launched the scanner early enough to detect and block malware before it was able to execute. In the PC Mark test, Sophos out-performed all other vendors and was second only to a machine not running any anti-virus software.

"We are pleased to see another independent test organization highlighting the issue of security solutions not providing adequate protection against malware at system start," said Rainer Gawlick, Chief Marketing Officer at Sophos. "This Performance report validates Sophos' strong performance capabilities and recognizes the company's pure enterprise security focus and ability to successfully deliver excellent security for organizations of all sizes."