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Business Security Test March-April 2021 – Factsheet

Date April 2021
Language English
Last Revision May 10th 2021

Release date 2021-05-15
Revision date 2021-05-10
Test Period March - April 2021
Number of Testcases 373 Real-World
1,008 Malware Protection
Online with cloud connectivity checkbox-checked
Update allowed checkbox-checked
False Alarm Test included checkbox-checked
Platform/OS Microsoft Windows

This report is an excerpt of the Business Security Test 2021 (March – June). For more details, please click here.


This is a short fact sheet for our Business Main-Test Series, containing the results of the Business Malware Protection Test (March) and Business Real-World Protection Test (March-April). The full report, including the Performance Test and product reviews, will be released in July.

To be certified in July 2021 as an “Approved Business Product” by AV-Comparatives, the tested products must score at least 90% in the Malware Protection Test with zero false alarms on common business software, and at least 90% in the overall Real-World Protection Test (i.e. over the course of four months), with less than one hundred false alarms on any clean software/websites (and with zero false alarms on common business software). Tested products must also avoid major performance issues (impact score must be below 40) and have fixed all reported bugs in order to gain certification.

Please note that the results of the Business Main-Test Series cannot be compared with the results of the Consumer Main-Test Series, as the tests are done at different times, with different sets, different settings, etc.

Tested Products

The following products were tested under Windows 10 64-bit and are included in this factsheet:

Information about additional third-party engines/signatures used by some of the products: Acronis, Cisco, Cybereason, FireEye, G Data and Vipre use the Bitdefender engine (in addition to their own protection features). VMware uses the Avira engine (in addition to their own protection features). G Data’s OutbreakShield is based on Cyren.

In business environments, and with business products in general, it is usual for products to be configured by the system administrator, in accordance with vendor’s guidelines, and so we invited all vendors to configure their respective products.

Only a few vendors provide their products with optimal default settings which are ready to use, and did therefore not change any settings. Cloud and PUA detection have been activated in all products. We currently do not include any PUA in our malware tests.

Please keep in mind that the results reached in the Enterprise Main-Test Series were only achieved by applying the respective product configurations described here. Any setting listed here as enabled might be disabled in your environment, and vice versa. This influences the protection rates, false alarm rates and system impact. The applied settings are used across all our Enterprise Tests over the year. That is to say, we do not allow a vendor to change settings depending on the test. Otherwise, vendors could e.g. configure their respective products for maximum protection in the protection tests (which would reduce performance and increase false alarms), and maximum speed in the performance tests (thus reducing protection and false alarms). Please not that some enterprise products have all their protection features disabled by default, so the admin has to configure the product to get any protection.

Below we have listed relevant deviations from default settings (i.e. setting changes applied by the vendors):

Acronis: “Backup”, “Vulnerability assessment”, “Patch management” and “Data protection map” disabled.

Bitdefender: “Fileless Attack Protection”, “Sandbox Analyzer” (for Applications and Documents) and “Scan SSL” enabled. “Encryption” and “Patch Management” add-ons registered and enabled. “HyperDetect” and “Device Sensor” disabled. “Update ring” changed to “Fast ring”. “Web Traffic Scan” enabled for HTTP Web traffic and Incoming POP3 emails.

Cisco: “On Execute File and Process Scan” set to Active; “Exploit Prevention: Script Control” and “TETRA Deep Scan File” enabled; “Event Tracing for Windows” enabled.

CrowdStrike: everything enabled and set to maximum, i.e. “Extra Aggressive”. “Sensor Visibility” for “Firmware” disabled. Uploading of “Unknown Detection-Related Executables” and “Unknown Executables” disabled.

Cybereason: “Anti-Malware” enabled; “Signatures mode” set to “Disinfect”; “Behavioral document protection” enabled; “Artificial intelligence” and “Anti-Exploit” set to “Aggressive”; “Exploit protection”, “PowerShell and .NET”, “Anti-Ransomware” and “App Control” enabled and set to “Prevent”; all “Collection features” enabled; “Scan archives on access” enabled.

Elastic: MalwareScore (“windows.advanced.malware.threshold”) set to “aggressive”.

ESET: All “Real-Time & Machine Learning Protection” settings set to “Aggressive”.

FireEye: “Real-Time Indicator Detection” disabled, “Exploit Guard” and “Malware Protection” enabled.

Fortinet: “Sandbox analysis” (FortiSandbox) and FortiEDR enabled. “Submit files from USB Sources” disabled; “Exclude Files from Trusted Sources” for “Sandbox Detection” enabled; in “Execution Prevention”, “Suspicious Script Execution” was disabled and “Unconfirmed File Detected” was enabled; eXtended Detection (XDR) was disabled.

G Data: “BEAST Behavior Monitoring” set to “Halt program and move to quarantine”. “G DATA WebProtection” add-on for Google Chrome installed and activated.

Malwarebytes: “Expert System Algorithms”, “Block penetration testing attacks”, “Disable IE VB Scripting”, “Java Malicious Inbound/outbound Shell Protection”, “Ealier RTP blocking”, “Enhanced sandbox protection” and “Thorough scan” enabled; “RET ROP Gadget detection” and “Malicious LoadLibrary Protection” enabled for all applications; “Protection for MessageBox Payload” enabled for MS Office; “Malwarebytes Browser Guard” Chrome extension enabled.

Microsoft: Google Chrome extension “Windows Defender Browser Protection” installed and enabled.

Sophos: “Threat Case creation” and “Web Control” disabled.

Vipre: “DNS Traffic Filtering” and “Malicious URL Blocking for HTTPS Traffic” enabled. “Firewall” and “IDS” enabled and set to “Block With Notify”.

VMware: policy set to “Advanced”.

Avast, K7, Kaspersky, Panda: default settings.

Test Results

Real-World Protection Test (March-April)

This fact sheet gives a brief overview of the results of the Business Real-World Protection Test run in March and April 2021. The overall business product reports (each covering four months) will be released in July and December. For more information about this Real-World Protection Test, please read the details available at The results are based on a test set consisting of 373 test cases (such as malicious URLs), tested from the beginning of March till the end of April.

  Blocked User dependent Compromised PROTECTION RATE
[Blocked % + (User dependent %)/2]*
False Alarms
Bitdefender, Microsoft 373 100% 2
K7 373 100% 3
Crowdstrike 373 100% 10
372 1 99.9% 11
G Data 372 1 99.7% 2
Vipre 372 1 99.7% 3
Panda 372 1 99.7% 18
Kaspersky 371 2 99.5% 0
FireEye 371 2 99.5% 4
Malwarebytes 371 2 99.5% 24
ESET 370 3 99.2% 0
VMware 368 5 98.7% 2
Fortinet 366 7 98.1% 18
Sophos 363 2 8 97.6% 0
Cybereason 364 9 97.6% 52
Cisco 363 10 97.3% 0
362 11 97.1% 0
360 13 96.5%

* User-dependent cases are given half credit. For example, if a program blocks 80% by itself, and another 20% of cases are user-dependent, we give half credit for the 20%, i.e. 10%, so it gets 90% altogether.

Malware Protection Test (March)

The Malware Protection Test assesses a security program’s ability to protect a system against infection by malicious files before, during or after execution. The methodology used for each product tested is as follows. Prior to execution, all the test samples are subjected to on-access scans (if this feature is available) by the security program (e.g. while copying the files over the network). Any samples that have not been detected by the on-access scanner are then executed on the test system, with Internet/cloud access available, to allow e.g. behavioral detection features to come into play. If a product does not prevent or reverse all the changes made by a particular malware sample within a given time period, that test case is considered to be a miss. For this test, 1,008 recent malware samples were used.

False positive (false alarm) test with common business software

A false alarm test done with common business software was also performed. All tested products had zero false alarms on common business software.

The following chart shows the results of the Business Malware Protection Test:

  Malware Protection Rate False Alarms on common business software
Avast, Bitdefender, G Data, VMware
100% 0
Cybereason, FireEye, Panda, Vipre
99.9% 0
Acronis, CrowdStrike 99.8% 0
Cisco 99.7% 0
Kaspersky, Microsoft, Sophos 99.6% 0
ESET 99.3% 0
Fortinet 99.2% 0
K7, Malwarebytes 99.1% 0
Elastic 99.0% 0


In order to better evaluate the products’ detection accuracy and file detection capabilities (ability to distinguish good files from malicious files), we also performed a false alarm test on non-business software and uncommon files. This is provided mainly just as additional information, and the results do not affect the overall test score or the Approved Business Product award. The false alarms found were promptly fixed by the respective vendors. Organisations which often use uncommon or non-business software, or their own self-developed software, might like to consider these results, however.

FP rate Number of FPs on
non-business software
Very low 0 – 5
Low 6 – 10
Medium/Average 11 – 20
High 21 – 35
Very high 36 – 75
Remarkably high > 75
  FP rate on non-business software
Acronis, Avast, Bitdefender, Cisco, ESET, G Data, Kaspersky, Microsoft, Vipre Very low
VMware Low
CrowdStrike, Elastic Medium
Malwarebytes High
Fortinet, K7, Panda, Sophos Very high
Cybereason, FireEye Remarkably high


Copyright and Disclaimer

This publication is Copyright © 2021 by AV-Comparatives ®. Any use of the results, etc. in whole or in part, is ONLY permitted after the explicit written agreement of the management board of AV-Comparatives prior to any publication. This report is supported by the participants. AV-Comparatives and its testers cannot be held liable for any damage or loss, which might occur as result of, or in connection with, the use of the information provided in this paper. We take every possible care to ensure the correctness of the basic data, but a liability for the correctness of the test results cannot be taken by any representative of AV-Comparatives. We do not give any guarantee of the correctness, completeness, or suitability for a specific purpose of any of the information/content provided at any given time. No one else involved in creating, producing or delivering test results shall be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damage, or loss of profits, arising out of, or related to, the use or inability to use, the services provided by the website, test documents or any related data.

For more information about AV-Comparatives and the testing methodologies, please visit our website.

(May 2021)