Vista security needs beefing up, says independent test

Windows Vista’s bundled anti-spyware is not up to the job and users should rely on standalone solutions, according to independent lab tests.

Windows Vista’s bundled anti-spyware is not up to the job and users should rely on standalone solutions, according to independent lab tests.

In a scenario close to Microsoft’s own commissioned positive lab tests comparing Windows performance with that of Linux, anti-spyware specialist PC Tools commissioned tests from independent lab Enex Testlab.

Enex found that Vista’s anti-spyware Windows Defender didn’t stand up well when compared with PC Tools’ own dedicated solution Spyware Doctor.

The lab compared identical threats against a number of leading anti-spyware products throughout 2006, and Spyware Doctor was ahead of the bunch.

Matt Tett, senior test engineer for Enex TestLab, said, “We have taken a look at several anti-spyware vendors over time to determine the current level of accuracy against spyware threats in 2006. These results show Vista requires more work to protect users. Third party security vendors, especially in the area of anti-spyware, are still essential components in protecting users.”

According to the aggregate Enex test results for the whole of 2006, Microsoft’s Windows Defender quick scan was able to block only 46.61% of dangerous threats, while its full scan blocked 53.39%.

Tested at the same time and using the same sample-set, PC Tools’ Spyware Doctor quick scan blocked 83.26% of threats, and the full scan blocked 88.69%, receiving the overall number one ranking for the year.

For much of 2006, however, Vista was not a commercial product, and was only available to large firms from November 2006. Windows Defender in Windows XP was also in beta mode.

Hopefully for users, Microsoft has improved the scanning engine of Windows Defender. Microsoft has not so far responded to its small rival’s research.

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David Lacey’s security blog
The latest ideas, best practices, and business issues associated with managing security

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