Checkout Your Internet Risk Factor With OPSWAT’s Free Security Score

Not an imaginary conversation.

Me – How are you handling all the crazy new cyber threats currently being thrown at us on the Internet?

She – I’m cool! I’ve got the best Anti-virus program there is (her reference – the neighbourhood geek.)

Me – Good to hear that. So, what are you doing to take care of the rest?

She – What rest?

Rinse, wash and repeat this conversation a thousand times – and, the “rest” almost always becomes the new focus of attention. As it should – it’s here, in an often murky area (at least to a typical user), that, that user, runs a major risk of stumbling.

Security – both physical and electronic – isn’t about eliminating all risk – if it was, you and I (on the physical side), wouldn’t cross the road. Similarly, in Internet security, we can’t eliminate all the risks – short of unplugging the connection. Instead, a more realistic approach requires that we focus our attention on eliminating as many known risks as possible (just as we do in the physical world.)

In other words – we need to engage with the proactive side of Internet security rather than continuing to focus on the reactive side – the, “I’ve got the best Anti-virus program there is” side.

Luckily, there’s a terrific little application – OPSWAT’s Security Score – that in a matter of just a few seconds, evaluates and sets out the “rest” – and, should the application determine that a security issue needs to be addressed, helpful tips/hints are provided.

Regular readers may remember that I first reviewed this application several months ago, and while I agreed in principal with the concept, the execution (in my view), was not up to standard. OPSWAT has since revised and expanded the application in such a way, that Security Score should be considered a “must have” addition to a security toolbox. Particularly for those users who are less familiar with the ever changing cyber threat landscape.

Let me backtrack just a little and put up a graphic from the first run through with Security Score, in April. As you can see, the application teased out a score of 60/100. A less than impressive score for a security professional.

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Good News:

The issues which prevented Security Score from digging into the system in order to provide an authentic result have been addressed and, are reflected in the following graphic – June 7, 2013.

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The above graphic indicates an encryption raw score of zero which reflects the fact that I choose not to use Windows BitLocker.

However, as I wrote in my previous review – “I don’t do full disk encryption. I do however, 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. Still, it’s good to see that the application addresses an issue which often escapes the notice of less experienced users.

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Since application and operating system patches are often neglected by average users, a key component in Security Score measures the users adherence to a patch management routine.

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Often not considered as part of a layered security approach, system/file backup is, in fact, a key element in any such process. You’ll note from the following graphic that Security Score has picked up on my use of a number of backup schemes including Google Drive…..

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and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.

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As the following graphic indicates, I’ve been marked down slightly on AV coverage since the application cannot be aware that I substitute full on-board AV scans with weekly scans using a Linux Live CD.

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Given the conditions that we are now forced to deal with on the Internet – active PC monitoring with a view to insuring the security status of the machine is in good order is not just a preference or a recommendation – it’s an absolute necessity.

Sure, you can do all that this application does, manually. Choosing this route however, one could increase the risk of possible shortcomings in an otherwise acceptable security strategy. So, do yourself a favor and install OPSWAT’s Security Score. Better yet, introduce your friends/relatives/co-workers, to this neat freebie – we’ll all be the better for that.

Download at: OPSWAT

How OPSWAT calculates your security score:

OPSWAT’s score calculation is based on security industry and market research reports, over ten years of expertise in the security field, and feedback from leading security technology vendors on the relative importance of the categories and status of security software.

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18 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Freeware, OPSWAT

18 responses to “Checkout Your Internet Risk Factor With OPSWAT’s Free Security Score

  1. Hey Bill – Great to see OPSWAT has lifted its game with this product and, of course, that you are all over it as usual. My system scored a 78 (you beat me, darn it) :)

    I too do not utilize full drive encryption, plus I have uTorrent installed. And, although we share the exact same AV solution (Avast Free), I don’t use its scan facility at all, I prefer to scan regularly using MBAM and SAS. Perhaps OPSWAT could (or maybe should) include additional on-demand scanners as part of the criteria.

    I just wish the application was portable, I can’t see the need for on-demand type programs such as this to be installed. I see it includes a service though, which may explain the installation requirement.

    A terrific freebie and an equally terrific review.
    Cheers mate… Jim

    • Hey Jim,

      A 78 ain’t so bad. :)

      Totally agree on your choice of AVs. Haven’t run with SAS for a bit – thanks for the reminder.

      Agreed – “Perhaps OPSWAT could (or maybe should) include additional on-demand scanners as part of the criteria.” Hopefully, we can look forward to additional scanners in the near future.

      Yep, portable is the way to go with this – or, at least the option of a portable installation.

      Always great to hear from you.

      Best,

      Bill

  2. Unfortunately the Antivirus product you use and how much they pay to Opswat influences your score. Not what I’d call totally impartial.

    • Hi Bob,

      “How much they pay to Opswat influences your score.” – If you have evidence that what you say is valid, please provide it. Given that you work with avast!, your comment lacks impartiality.

      Rather than see the glass half-full, it would be better, I think, to keep in mind that OPSWAT offers additional free applications including AppRemover, and Metascan Online.

      Finally, OPSWAT not only dealt with the issues raised in my initial review immediately (within hours of the review being posted), but worked with me in determining the final product configuration. All signs of a highly reputable organization.

      I’m surprised at your comment, frankly.

      Best,

      Bill

  3. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Needless to say I downloaded this, thank you. It gave me 90% as, like you, I have no full hard disk encryption. Couldn’t be easier to use by those motivated to do so.

    Kind regards,
    John

    • Hi John,

      I like that – ” by those motivated to do so.” About 10% of users, I reckon.

      The rest? Well, they don’t seem to really care about the “rest.” :)

      Best,

      Bill

  4. i just did scored 78 on my vista machine not tooo bad…

  5. Hey Bill,

    I am a regular reader, how come I missed the previous post :( Nice share, testing.

    • Hey Neeraj,

      That was the day you spent chasing the girls through the town. Remember? lol

      Best,

      Bill

      • lol, I have installed the application but unfortunately its not detecting my internet connection :(

        • Hey Neeraj,

          ???? If you have the time, can you let me know how you resolved this?

          Best,

          Bill

          • Bill,

            My Wi-Fi was disabled so I thought it could be an issue(might be the app getting confused lolz) though I was running the net via wired net. I did not enable it that time (as its a weird error I have ever seen as the net is working absolutely fine in all OS including few distros of LInux) so I just enabled it as part of the troubleshooting but again the same error message “OPSWAT requires an internet connection to run and try the scan again”. I think its better to stay with Secunia only, what do you think. How this one is better than Secunia or worth using if can`t detect the net?

            Regards

            • Hey Neeraj,

              No, don’t stay with Secunia only. Security Score works hand-in-hand with PSI. They compliment each other very nicely.

              It’s been mentioned (by a reader), that Security Score uses Internet Explorer. Is there an issue with IE on your machine?

              Let me know if this resolves the problem. If not, I’ll email OPSWAT re: your issue.

              Best,

              Bill

              • Hey Bill,

                I don’t use IE but I checked it and its working fine. I reported the issue using the link in the app and surprisingly it said that mail sent. I uninstalled the software as initially it said can`t detect internet but the mail was sent successfully and I did not get any ticket number or something for the request received.

                Frankly speaking I don`t trust any security software completely, apart from AV I am using four other security softwares including Secunia and still remember the fact that anything can be bypassed in the digital world. As of now I am busy learning Windows Server & Linux after that I would be learning the security things ( I believe you would be one of my mentor for this) with different tools available. I would reinstall the software this weekend to check the things.

                Thanks
                Regards

                • Hey Neeraj,

                  Good – glad to hear that you reported the issue directly to the developer.

                  Happy to help when you’re ready to focus your learning on security.

                  Best,

                  Bill