SE Labs

Posts tagged '2019'

Testing deeper, wider and better

Testing deeper, wider and better

Bad guys evolve; defenders evolve; testing (should) evolve

Latest endpoint protection reports now online for enterprise, small business and home users.

These reports represent the state-of-the-art in computer security endpoint testing. If you want to see how the very best security products handle a range of threats, from everyday (but nevertheless very harmful) malware to targeted attacks, this is a great place to start.

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Breach Response Test: Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform

Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform

Testing anti-breach products needs the full chain of attack.

Kaspersky Lab should be congratulated, not only for engaging with this new and challenging test, but for submitting a product that performed so strongly against attacks that closely replicate advanced, nation-state level threats.

Its endpoint detection and response offering, Kaspersky Anti Targeted Attack Platform, is one of the very first to face our brand new Breach Response Test and it detected all of the attacks, while protecting against the vast majority of them.

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Anti-malware is just one part of the picture

Anti-malware is just one part of the picture

Beefing up security advice with facts

Latest reports now online for enterprise, small business and home users.

At SE Labs we spend our time testing things that are supposed to protect you but we also understand that securing your business, or your home network, is never as simple as installing one or more security products.

The risks are many and varied, but the ways to mitigate them are often most successful with a good dose of common sense as well as the appropriate technology. You just need to think things through carefully and make sensible decisions.

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Breach Response Test: Symantec Endpoint Security Complete

Symantec Endpoint Security Complete

Testing anti-breach products needs the full chain of attack. Symantec Endpoint Security Complete is the first endpoint detection and response offering to face our brand new Breach Response Test.

Report now online.

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SE Labs Annual Report 2019

SE Labs Annual Report 2019

We are proud to announce the SE Labs Annual Report 2019.

SE Labs has been working at the core of the cyber security industry since its launch in 2016. We work with all of the major developers of IT security products as well as their main customers and even investors looking to increase their chances when betting on emerging technologies.

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Targeted attacks with public tools

attacks with public tools

We run attacks with public tools to keep our tests accurate and useful.

Over the last few years we have tested more than 50 different products using over 5,000 targeted attacks. And there’s news, both good and bad.

In this article we will look at the different tools available, how effective they are at helping attackers bypass anti-malware products and how security vendors have been handling this type of threat for over a year.

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The best security tests keep it real

Best security tests

The best security tests are realistic. That’s why it’s important not to try to be too ‘clever’

Latest reports now online for enterprisesmall business and home users.

Realism is important in testing, otherwise you end up with results that are theoretical and not a useful report that closely represents what is going on in the real world. One issue facing security testing that involves malware is whether or not you connect the test network to the internet.

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How can you tell if a security test is useful or not?

security test is useful

How to tell if security test results are useful, misleading or just rubbish?

Latest reports now online.

In security testing circles there is a theoretical test used to illustrate how misleading some test reports can be.

The chair test

For this test you need three identical chairs, packaging for three anti-virus products (in the old days products came on discs in a cardboard box) and an open window on a high floor of a building.

The methodology of this test is as follows:

  1. Tape each of the boxes to a chair. Do so carefully, such that each is fixed in exactly the same way.
  2. Throw each of the chairs out of the window, using an identical technique.
  3. Examine the chairs for damage and write a comparative report, explaining the differences found.
  4. Conclude that the best product was the one attached to the least damaged chair.

The problem with this test is obvious: the conclusions are not based on any useful reality.

The good part about this test is that the tester created a methodology and tested each product in exactly the same way.* And at least this was an ‘apples to apples’ test, in which they tested similar products in the same manner. Hopefully any tester running the chair test publishes the methodology so that readers realise that they have carried out a stupidly meaningless test. But that is not a given.

How to tell if a security test is useful

Sometimes test reports make very vague statements about, “how we tested”.

When evaluating a test report of anything, not only security products, we advise that you check how the testing was performed. And check whether or not it complies with a testing Standard. The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization’s Standard (see below) is a good one.

Headline-grabbing results (e.g. Anti-virus is Dead!) catch the eye, but we need to focus on the practical realities when trying to find out how best to protect our systems from cyber threats. And that means having enough information to judge a test report’s value. Don’t simply trust blindly that the test was conducted correctly.

*Although some pedants might require that the tester release each chair from the window at exactly the same time. Possibly from windows far enough apart that the chairs would not entangle mid-air and skew the results in some way.

Find out more

If you spot a detail in this report that you don’t understand, or would like to discuss, please contact us via our Twitter or LinkedIn accounts.
SE Labs uses current threat intelligence to make our tests as realistic as possible. To learn more about how we test, how we define ‘threat intelligence’ and how we use it to improve our tests please visit our website and follow us on Twitter.
These test reports were funded by post-test consultation services provided by SE Labs to security vendors. Vendors of all products included in these reports were able to request early access to results and the ability to dispute details for free. SE Labs has submitted the testing process behind this report for compliance with the AMTSO Testing Protocol Standard v1.0. To verify its compliance please check the AMTSO reference link at the bottom of page three of each report or here.

UPDATE (10th June 2019): AMTSO found these test complied with AMTSO’s Standard.

Our latest reports, for enterprise, small business and home users are now available for free from our website. Please download them and follow us on Twitter and/or LinkedIn to receive updates and future reports.


SE Labs Ltd is a private, independently-owned and run testing company that assesses security products and services. The main laboratory is located in Wimbledon, South London. It has excellent local and international travel connections. The lab is open for prearranged client visits.


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