Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Study: One-Quarter Of Antivirus Apps Aren't Working

Promisec study says many AV packages are disabled or weren't installed properly in the first place

More than one-quarter of business PCs are running antivirus software that has been disabled or was never properly installed, according to a study that will be published on Monday.

Promisec, a company that makes endpoint management tools, conducted the study on 100,000 PCs to prove a point: that antivirus management consoles from leading vendors are not accurately reporting when their software isn't working. The endpoint security tool vendor hopes the report will help drive users to try out its "clientless" management tools, which it says can take a more accurate reading of the status of AV software on remote endpoints.

The study, which was conducted from June to November of this year, tested the status of AV software on 100,000 endpoints in businesses operating in a variety of industries. According to the researchers, more than one-fourth of all computers were found to have missing or disabled antivirus software. But network administrators weren't being alerted to the problem by the vendors' management consoles, Promisec says.

"It's a serious issue, and really a scary situation," says Gary Morse, president of Razorpoint Security Technologies, a penetration testing firm. "Companies rely on antivirus software and assume they're covered. You've got a CIO sleeping well at night, thinking everything is secure when nothing could be further from the truth."

In many cases, users had turned off the antivirus software, thinking that would make their computers run faster, the researchers say. In other instances, the antivirus software was never deployed to certain computers. But the AV management tools didn't pick up the problems, Promisec says.

"What we're seeing are companies paying Symantec, McAfee, and others for protection that is only working about 75 percent of the time," adds Alan Komet, vice president of marketing for Promisec. "The vendors' management console is simply not a good monitoring source." Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Attackers Could Use Azure Apps to Sneak into Microsoft 365
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  3/24/2020
Malicious USB Drive Hides Behind Gift Card Lure
Dark Reading Staff 3/27/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
Data breaches and regulations have forced organizations to pay closer attention to the security incident response function. However, security leaders may be overestimating their ability to detect and respond to security incidents. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Local Privilege Escalation can occur in PHOENIX CONTACT PORTICO SERVER through 3.0.7 when installed to run as a service.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
Insecure, default path permissions in PHOENIX CONTACT PC WORX SRT through 1.14 allow for local privilege escalation.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
An exploitable denial of service vulnerability exists in the GstRTSPAuth functionality of GStreamer/gst-rtsp-server 1.14.5. A specially crafted RTSP setup request can cause a null pointer deference resulting in denial-of-service. An attacker can send a malicious packet to trigger this vulnerability.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
The custom-searchable-data-entry-system (aka Custom Searchable Data Entry System) plugin through 1.7.1 for WordPress allows SQL Injection. NOTE: this product is discontinued.
PUBLISHED: 2020-03-27
GitLab EE/CE 8.11 through 12.9.1 allows blocked users to pull/push docker images.