By Damien Garvey, Technical Account Manager at Backup-Technology
January 11, 2013

Backup-Technology Online Data Backup Expert Tips: Anti-Virus Products NOT All That Effective Against New Viruses

Backup your Data: The Effectiveness of Antivirus Products
The results from a recent study — [ link: - ] — that investigated the effectiveness of the antivirus products that are currently available in the market have been released. The results showed that anti-virus products are not all that effective against new viruses, which makes the need for having a suitable and robust backup solution in place more important.

The study was undertaken by Imperva and a group of students from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology. They tested 82 malware samples against 40 different antivirus products to test how effective the products are in detecting viruses. The results are quite frightening as the detection rate for newly created viruses was less than 5%. This is quite concerning. If your company was to be targeted by a new virus, the likelihood of it infiltrating your system and possibly changing or deleting data is very high. Therefore, having a suitable and robust backup solution in place is important so you can recover any data, servers or standalone machines that have been affected.

Although the antivirus companies are constantly updating their antivirus detection databases, the study found that they are struggling to keep up with the rate of how quickly new viruses are being created. For some antivirus vendors, a virus isn’t detected for up to four weeks from the time of the initial scan. By utilising an antivirus product from one of these vendors, your system could be affected by the virus for a reasonable period of time and cause significant harm before it is detected.

Despite these finding, Imperva did stress the need to continue to use antivirus products but that a greater security focus should be put on using technologies that detect abnormal behaviour — [ link: - ] — in systems and servers. They believe that such a combination will offer greater coverage and significantly help in detecting viruses. Although many antivirus products purport to contain such technologies already, the results from this latest study suggests that they are far from effective.

With exploiters continuing to learn the strengths and weaknesses of antivirus products and developing more sophisticated viruses, the importance to ensure that your data is recoverable increases dramatically. Ideally a secure offsite and onsite backup solution — [ link: - ] — will be utilised alongside a modern antivirus product so no matter what happens your data and servers can be recovered and will reduce the overall impact.

About the Author: Damien Garvey is a Technical Account Manager at Backup-Technology, an Asigra powered cloud backup and disaster recovery solutions provider.

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