AV-Comparatives is one of the few independent security organizations that tests software used to defend against viruses, Trojans, and other forms of malicious code. Recently, the company published its report on ten popular anti-malware applications.
Any belief that Macs don’t get infections was dispelled by KeRanger (more info), a ransomware Trojan that infected thousands of Macs earlier this year. OS X attacks are still relatively rare, but they can be devastating, as any ransomware victim knows.
The upshot of the AV-Comparatively report is that the ten products included were all 100 percent effective at detecting and blocking the 50 malware samples used for the tests. To experienced personal-computer users, that might not sound like a very large sample. But AV-Comparatives notes that it’s a good representation of what’s “in the wild” and not already blocked by the latest versions of OS X — Yosemite and El Capitan. (For comparison, the organization uses about 250 malware samples for testing Windows-based products.)
There are far more than ten anti-malware products for Mac. According to AV-Comparatives, the list was limited to apps whose publishers agreed to AV-Comparatives testing. Unfortunately, popular products such as Malwarebytes were not included.
One of the complaints about anti-malware applications is their impact on system performance. AV-Comparatives stated that it saw no significant effect on the test Mac (not defined). Interestingly, the tests also checked an application’s ability to detect Windows malware, if the app included that capability. That’s a nice feature in mixed Mac/Windows environments; downloaded malicious code might not work on OS X, but if it’s passed to a Windows machine via email attachments or file transfers, the PC could become infected.
The report lists the best practices for preventing infections, such as keeping strong passwords, don’t use a admin-level account for day-to-day computing, keep the OS and applications fully up to date, and more.
Check it out at: Mac Security Review / Test 2016