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
Navigating Security in the Cloud
Diya Jolly, Chief Product Officer, Okta,  12/4/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: "The security team seem to be taking SiegeWare seriously" 
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
A Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in LDAP Account Manager (LAM) Pro 3.6 in the filter parameter to cmd.php in an export and exporter_id action. and the filteruid parameter to list.php.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
A Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in LDAP Account Manager (LAM) Pro 3.6 in the export, add_value_form, and dn parameters to cmd.php.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
A local code execution issue exists in Apache Struts2 when processing malformed XSLT files, which could let a malicious user upload and execute arbitrary files.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
A poorly-behaved client could use keepalive requests to monopolize Puma's reactor and create a denial of service attack. If more keepalive connections to Puma are opened than there are threads available, additional connections will wait permanently if the attacker sends requests frequently enough.
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-05
The Strapi framework before 3.0.0-beta.17.8 is vulnerable to Remote Code Execution in the Install and Uninstall Plugin components of the Admin panel, because it does not sanitize the plugin name, and attackers can inject arbitrary shell commands to be executed by the execa function.