Commentary: It's been a long time since anti-malware suites have found anything on my computers. Maybe the Windows Defender that comes with Windows 10 is good enough?
I always run an anti-malware security suite on my PC. Over the years I've made a point of running a variety of products.
At least for many years, perhaps more than ten, they've found no malware on my computers. None.
Perhaps I'm a more sophisticated user and I'm less likely to be taken off guard, but that can't be the whole answer. By the same token of expertise I take certain risks with dangerous files and sites that I would urge others to avoid like the plague.
But now comes news that could change the calculus: Independent test lab AV-Test's December tests of Business security suites on Windows 10
showed marked improvement for Microsoft's anti-malware engine, the one that comes free for Windows 10 users as Windows Defender. This program used to be limited to "antispyware," a strange and purposeless distinction from malware generally.
Microsoft has long had a free anti-malware product, Microsoft Security Essentials, for users to run on earlier versions of Windows, and it has always been used as a baseline in AV-Test rankings because it was so reliably at the bottom of the pack. Microsoft is also working to improve its protection by adding a cloud-based retrospective analysis service
to detect breaches that have slipped through.
The results are for System Center Endpoint Protection
which is its managed solution. The user experience is different, but the engine is the same and the AV-Test results should be closely comparable to tests on Microsoft's consumer product at the same time (November and December).
It's definitely not at the top and it's definitely not "industry-leading," but is it good enough? What do you really get from paying for the full AV subscription? The answer is complicated...