Microsoft Security Essentials misses 39% of malware in Dennis test

Microsoft Security Essentials

Latest results from Dennis Technology Labs put Microsoft at the bottom of the security pile

The latest tests from Dennis Publishing's security labs saw Microsoft Security Essentials fail to detect 39% of the real-world malware thrown at it.

Dennis Technology Labs (DTL) tested nine home security products on a Windows 7 PC, including Security Essentials, which is distributed free to Windows users and built into Windows 8 in the form of Windows Defender.

While the other eight packages all achieved protection scores of 87% or higher - with five scoring 98% or 99% - Microsoft's free antivirus software protected against only 61% of the malware samples used in the test.

Microsoft conceded last year that its security software was intended to offer only "baseline" performance, saying it wanted to "give customers a good reason to pay for their [security] products" because that would create greater diversity in the market and make life harder for malware writers.

Nevertheless, the company insisted that Security Essentials provided "strong, comprehensive defence against malicious code and attacks".

Norton Internet Security received the strongest protection rating in DTL's tests, detecting 99% of the malware used. Taking into account false positives against legitimate software, Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 provided the best overall level of protection.

The full results from Dennis Technology Labs can be downloaded here, along with results for small business and enterprise software.

Read more