OPSWAT’s Security Score Beta – NOT Ready for Primetime

imageThe concept behind OPSWAT’s  Security Score (currently in Beta) – that is – active PC monitoring with a view to insuring the security status of the machine is in good order – has obvious value. In this case unfortunately, the execution could do with a shake-up. Let’s take a quick walkthrough.

As a security professional it came as more than just a mild surprise to see my test bed (a Win 8 reinstall just 2 days ago), pop out of this application with a dismal security score of 60/100, as shown in the following graphic. Yikes!!

BTW, I ran a series of identical tests – the results – identical – 60/100.

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No, no, no – it won’t get away with it.   Smile

Firewall:

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The lack of response, in the application, to the Windows Firewall – I’m assuming that the Windows Firewall has not been certified by OPSWAT – is a head-shaker.

If I can make the argument that the majority of computer users are not particularly “PC savvy”, I suspect that a “Not Detected” notification might be cause for panic.

The reality – as the following graphic illustrates; Windows Firewall is up and running.

I’ll take 5 points back, thank you!

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Hard Disk Encryption: Sorry – but, I don’t do full disk encryption. However, since I do encrypt selected files/folders (a much better choice for most users in my view), using what has long been considered the premier free encryption application available – TrueCrypt (shown below) – I’ll take my 10 points back, thank you.

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Patch management: Now I’m insulted – sort of. I’m a bear for patch management!   Smile

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Secunia PSI, a free patch management application (again, perhaps the premier example of such software), begs to differ with OPSWAT’s  Security Score. This application, as it has for many years, runs in the background on all my machines.

I’ll take my 10 points back, thank you.

Todays score:

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Public File Sharing: Yes, I do run a torrent application on this machine but, not all file sharing is illegal. To the contrary – virtually all file sharing is legal.

I’ll take my 5 points back, thank you.

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Antivirus score – 18/30: During the system reinstall on this machine, on the recommendation of super user and regular reader Bob Gostischa, I installed avast! Free Antivirus (substituting for AVG Free – a great app too). Much to my delight, incidentally.

avast! Free Antivirus, has been, and continues to be, an exceptional free application ( a quarter of a Billion downloads on CNET alone, speaks to that) – so, an OPSWAT certification of “Bronze” puzzles me. I’m not suggestion that popularity equates to an effective solution – we all know better.

Equally however, many of us do know that avast! Free Antivirus is a very effective solution.

Since OPSWAT suggests that the user may well be better off substituting the installed security application with an OPSWAT certified higher level product, let me counter-suggest that the developer provide access to an explanation of the certification process and, the testing methodology.

In this particular case, OPSWAT’s assessment of avast! Free Antivirus falls short of the generally accepted view as to this application’s effectiveness. I know that, and I suspect that you do as well – but, a typical computer user may not.

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avast! Free Antivirus – My new number one.

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I’ve long been a fan and a strong supporter of OPSWAT, and continue to be – with good reason – the company provides a series of superb free products which techies have come to rely on. AppRemover, as well as Metascan Online and Secure Virtual Desktop.

Yep – I realize this application is in Beta – but, there are Betas and then there are Betas. In the past few years, we have gotten quite use to the “Beta” that for all practical purposes, represents a fully functioning product. This is not one of them. Nice presentation, but…………….

I like the idea – so c’mon guys, hurry with a fix.

I have no doubt that this application will be brought up to the standard we have come to expect from OPSWAT. But, in its current state of Beta, this application provides neither accurate, nor complete information. Incidentally, I awarded myself a 10 point bonus just for the sheer aggravation.   Smile

If you want to take this one out for a test drive, you can download the application here. If you do so, I’d be interested in hearing about the results.

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6 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, downloads, Freeware, Malware Protection, OPSWAT

6 responses to “OPSWAT’s Security Score Beta – NOT Ready for Primetime

  1. Hi Bill – From info available via the Opswat site, it appears this app is specifically designed to work only with Opswat certified security products. At least, that’s the way it reads to me:

    “Make sure that your score is accurate by using products that are OPSWAT Certified! OPSWAT Certification verifies that products can be accurately detected and assessed by OESIS, meaning that the information needed to compute your score will be available”

    It also appears that this tool’s main function is to verify whether or not installed security products are Opswat certified:

    “Make sure your applications are OPSWAT Gold, Silver and Bronze Certified to minimize compatibility issues for home and business network connections, remote support tools, and many other solutions. To find out if your applications are OPSWAT Certified, download OPSWAT’s free Security Score tool.”

    Cheers mate… Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      I can certainly see how the piece can easily be read that way. It is though, designed for the general market.

      Read with a slightly different emphasis, one might consider it a piece of advertising. :)

      BTW, just sent over my test logs to OPSWAT for analysis.

      Great to hear from you. Hope all is well in the land of Oz.

      Best,

      Bill

  2. John

    Hi Bill,
    Very interesting as usual.
    I scored 56/100, I got zero for backup and hard disk encryption which to be honest is very accurate because as yet I have done neither even though you and I were only discussing back up the other week (still shame on me).

    10/10 for patch management simply because I have Windows auto update mobilized, 5/5 for firewall as it apparently likes Kaspersky Pure but only 19/30 for antivirus which is part of the same Kaspersky suite?

    So all up if I was to do a back up and some hard disk encryption my score would not be too shabby HaHa. :-)

    Cheers,
    John

    • Hi John,

      Yes, one more time I’ll join in the shaming ceremony. :)

      Interesting – I have Windows Update set on auto but still got a fat 0. Check out TrueCrypt – a definite keeper.

      Best,

      Bill

  3. Thanks Bill for the mention. Although not necessary, it’s always appreciated.
    My true passion continues to be in educating those who use a computer or other type of smart device in the importance of “Protecting Yourself, Your Computer and Your Identity.” http://goo.gl/rNRnY
    I’ve also taken the OPSWAT Security Test and like you, would have scored much better if I used one of their Gold Sponsor application.
    We already know that the price you pay for security isn’t what’s important.
    What is important is the quality and ability of the product you choose to stop the “nasties” from getting to your computer and other smart devices.
    In many instances, free just like heavy cream rises to the top
    Thanks for another great issue.
    Bob.

    • Hi Bob,

      You do a GREAT job of it. I’ve enjoyed your video contributions here – please keep it up. :)

      Sent my test logs over to OPSWAT and they’re a great bunch – so, I expect a reasonably quick fix.

      Best,

      Bill