Posted by Virus Bulletin on Oct 24, 2012
Security software causes malware to run for less than a third as long.
'Does anti-virus software actually help?' is a question often asked, even by security experts - who point to the fact that malware authors test their creations to make sure they aren't detected by anti-virus products before releasing them, and to the fact that good practice among users prevents a lot of attacks from happening in the first place.
Recent research carried out by Dutch security firm SurfRight, however, shows that running anti-virus software really does help. On machines on which the company's HitManPro product detected a banking trojan, the average lifetime of said trojan was 81 days when no anti-virus product was running. However, on machines that were running anti-virus software, the average lifetime was a mere 25 days.
SurfRight admits that these numbers should not be taken as exact science - after all, the research only included machines whose owners were suspicious that something was amiss in the first place. But we should note that the company offers a 'second opinion' security solution, and thus it would actually be in its interest to emphasise the failures of anti-virus software rather than its triumphs.