Anti-virus test phishing

Anti-Phishing Certification Test 2022

Every year we publish the results of our phishing protection test. These tests evaluate the protection provided against phishing websites. These deceptive websites can pose a real threat to Internet users, as they attempt to steal sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.

mac security

Mac Security Test & Review 2022

Advantages

  • Has backup, disaster recovery, vulnerability assessment, and secure file-synch
  • Well suited to smaller businesses
  • Console is easy to navigate
  • Pages of the console can be customised
  • Geographically aware threat-feed feature

About the product

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud with the Advanced Security pack is a security package for business networks. It provides a cloud-based console for managing the endpoint protection software. Details of the management console described here are applicable to all supported operating systems. In addition to malware protection, the product contains a variety of other cloud-based services, including backup, disaster recovery, and secure file-synchronisation. This review considers only the malware protection features, however. The product can manage networks with thousands of seats. We feel it would also be suitable for small businesses without dedicated IT support staff.

Management Console

The console is navigated from a single menu panel on the left-hand side. There are entries for Monitoring, Devices, Management, Protection, Software Management, Backup Storage, Reports, and Settings. The numbers shown to the right of each menu item represent items such as threats and alerts that the administrator should look at.

Monitoring\Overview page

This is the page you see when you first log on to the console. It’s shown in the screenshot above. It provides a graphical overview of the security and backup status of the network, using coloured doughnut and bar charts. There are panels for Protection status, Active alerts summary, Activities, Patch installation status, Missing updates by categories, and Disk health status. The Cyber protection panel across the top displays the items Backed up today, Malware blocked, Malicious URLs blocked, Existing vulnerabilities, and Patches ready to install. Details of recent alerts and other items are displayed in further panels at the bottom. You can customise the page by changing data settings for each panel, or adding/removing panels.

Monitoring\Alerts page

Here you can see alerts relating to malware detection, blocked URLs, and also the backup functions. These can be shown as a list, or as big tiles with details (as shown above). Information for malware detections includes the device, protection policy (Plan), file name and path, file hashes, threat name and action taken (e.g. quarantined). Clicking Clear removes the item from the Alerts page, but not the system logs.

Monitoring/Threat feed page

The Threat feed page displays warnings of current attacks and vulnerabilities to watch out for. Acronis tell us that this list is tailored to your geographic location, so that it only displays warnings that are relevant to you. The page may even warn you of natural disasters, where applicable. Clicking on the arrow symbol at the end of a threat entry opens a list of recommended actions to counteract that particular threat. These might be to run a malware scan, patch a program, or make a backup of your PCs or data.

Devices\All devices page

The Devices\All devices page lists the computers on the network. Sub-pages allow you to filter the view, e.g. by managed and unmanaged machines. You can see device type (virtual machine or hardware) and name, user account, and security status, amongst other things. The columns shown can be customised, so you can remove any you don’t need, and add e.g. IP address and operating system. Devices can be displayed as a list (as in the screenshot above), or large tiles with additional details. Selecting a device in the list opens up a menu panel on the right, from which you can see the applied protection policy, apply patches, see machine details/logs/alerts, change group membership, or delete the device from the console.

Management/Protection plans page

Under Management/Protection plans , you can see, create and edit the policies that control the anti-malware features of the platform. Again, if you click on an icon, an uncluttered menu pane slides out from the right with the appropriate details and controls. Amongst the functions that can be configured are real-time protection, network folder protection, action to be taken on malware discovery, exploit prevention, crypto-mining process detection, scheduled scanning, and exclusions. On other tabs of the menu pane, you can also configure other items such as URL filtering, vulnerability assessments and patch management.

Protection\Quarantine page

Under Protection, the Quarantine page lists the names of malicious files that have been detected, along with the date quarantined and device name. You can add columns for the threat name and applicable protection plan, using the page settings. A mini menu at the end of each entry lets you whitelist, restore or delete the selected items.

Protection\Whitelist page

The Whitelist page displays any applications that have been found during backup scanning and categorised as safe. A backup scanning plan has to be created in order to enable automatic whitelist generation.

Software Management pages

The Vulnerabilities page under Software Management is populated if a vulnerability assessment has been created in a protection plan and run at least once.

Reports page

The Reports page lists a number of topics for which reports can be generated, including Alerts, Detected threats, Discovered machines, Existing vulnerabilities and Patch management summary. Clicking on a report name opens up a details page for that item. The Alerts report page, for example, contains panels showing 5 latest alerts, Active alerts summary, Historical alerts summary, Active alerts details, and Alerts history. Coloured alert icons and doughnut charts serve to subtly highlight the most important items. As with other pages of the console, the Reports page can be customised.

Settings pages

Under Settings/Protection, you can set the schedule for protection definitions updates, and enable the Remote Connection function. The Agents page allows you to see the version of the endpoint agent installed on each client, and update this if necessary. If any devices are running outdated agents, an alert will be shown in the Settings/Agents entry in the menu panel of the console. This makes clear that you need to take action.

macOS Endpoint Protection Client

Deployment

Installation files in .DMG format can be downloaded by going to the Devices page and clicking the Add button. After performing a local installation on a Mac client, you have to click Register the machine in the client window. You then need to log on to the management console from the Mac client, find the device’s entry, and apply a protection plan.

User interface

The user interface on protected endpoints consists of a System Tray icon, which opens a small information panel when clicked. Here you can see the status of the real-time malware protection, and details of any scheduled backups. Settings for backup encryption and proxy server can also be changed here. Users can scan a drive, folder or file for malware by right-clicking it in macOS Finder.

Malware detection scenario

When we connected a flash drive containing malware samples to our test PC, and opened the drive in macOS Finder, Acronis did not immediately take any action. However, as soon as we tried to copy malware from the external drive to the Mac Desktop, Acronis blocked the copy process, and detected and quarantined the malicious files on the flash drive. No alert was shown.

Summary

Avast Security Free for Mac is a free antivirus program. The program is very simple to install, and most common features are easy to find in the clean, well-laid out GUI. Avast Security has highly effective on-access protection, which instantly detects and deletes malicious files when they are copied or downloaded. Alerts are clear and persistent, giving you time to read them. Standard user accounts cannot take any risky actions. The program is well suited to non-expert users due to its ease of use.

Installation

To set up Avast Security on your Mac, you just download and run the installer file, then double-click Install Avast Security. You can uninstall the program by clicking Avast Security in the macOS menu bar, then Uninstall Avast Security.

Finding essential features

Status, default scan, scan options, and quarantine are all found on the home page of the main program window. Settings (Preferences) can be opened from the menu in the top right-hand corner, or the macOS menu bar. Subscription information is not applicable, as the program is free. Updates can be run by clicking Preferences, General (as is standard for modern security programs, Avast Security for Mac runs automatic updates as well). You can scan a drive, folder or file from the Finder context menu, by clicking Scan with Avast. The help file is accessible from the Help menu in the Mac menu bar.

Alerts

When we disabled Avast’s real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main program window. We were able to reactivate the protection by clicking Turn ON, and then setting all the slider buttons on the Core Shields page to ON.

When malware was detected in our functionality check, Avast displayed the alert shown below. No user action was required. The alert persisted until we closed it. We noted that it’s possible to browse through the alerts using the arrows in the top right-hand corner. They can be closed individually by clicking Got it, or all at once using the macOS close button in the top left-hand corner.

Malware detection scenarios

We found Avast Security for Mac to have highly sensitive and reliable on-access detection of malware. Malicious files that we downloaded or copied to the system were instantly detected and quarantined in all cases. When we tried to copy malware from a network share or external drive to the system, Avast not only prevented the files from being copied, but deleted the source malware on the network share or external drive as well.

By default, Avast does not automatically scan USB drives when they are connected, but this can be enabled in the program options. When we scanned a flash drive containing malware samples, Avast presented a list of the threats found; we just had to click Resolve Selected to quarantine them. We had to enter the macOS administrator password in order to allow the quarantine process to complete.

Quarantine and Logs

Virus Chest displays files that have been quarantined, and allows you to delete or (with an administrator account) restore any/all items.

System Tray menu

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features (under Preferences\Shields)
  • Uninstall the program (using the Uninstall button in the installer file)
  • Restore items from quarantine

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot perform any of these tasks, which we regard as optimal.

Help

A web page with basic FAQs and clear, simple text answers is provided. You can open it from the Help menu in the Mac menu bar.

Advertising

The Smart Scan feature promotes Avast’s paid security suite, Premium Security. At the end of the scan, it will display 3 “advanced issues”, namely vulnerability to ransomware, network threats and fake websites. If you click on Resolve All here, a purchase prompt for Avast Premium Security will be displayed. We also saw a pop-up alert with the same function.

Summary

AVG AntiVirus FREE for Mac is, as its name suggests, a free antivirus program. The program is very simple to install, and most common features are easy to find in the clean, well-laid out GUI. AVG AntiVirus has highly effective on-access protection, which instantly detects and deletes malicious files when they are copied or downloaded. Alerts are clear and persistent, giving you time to read them. Standard user accounts cannot take any risky actions. The program is well suited to non-expert users due to its ease of use.

Installation

To set up AVG AntiVirus on your Mac, you just download and run the installer file, then double-click AVG AntiVirus. You can uninstall the program by clicking AVG AntiVirus in the macOS menu bar, then Uninstall AVG AntiVirus.

Finding essential features

Status, default scan, scan options and updates are all found on the home page of the main program window. Settings (Preferences) can be opened from the menu in the top right-hand corner of the program window, or the macOS menu bar. Quarantine is found by clicking the Computer tile on the home page. Subscription information is not applicable, as the program is free. You can scan a drive, folder or file from the Finder context menu, by clicking Scan with AVG. The help page is accessible from the Help menu in the Mac menu bar.

Alerts

When we disabled AVG’s real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main program window. We were able to reactivate the protection by clicking Computer, and then setting the slider button for File Shield to the “on” position.

When malware was detected in our functionality check, AVG displayed the alert shown below. No user action was required. The alert persisted until we closed it. We note that it’s possible to browse through multiple alerts using the arrows in the top right-hand corner. They can be closed individually by clicking Got it, or all at once using the macOS close button top right.

Malware detection scenarios

We found AVG AntiVirus FREE for Mac to have highly sensitive and reliable on-access detection of malware. Malicious files that we downloaded or copied to the system were instantly detected and quarantined in all cases. When we tried to copy malware from an external drive to the system, AVG not only prevented the files from being copied, but deleted the source malware on the external drive as well.

By default, AVG does not automatically scan USB drives when they are connected. However, you can activate a setting in the program’s preferences that will prompt you to scan external drives upon connection to your Mac.

When we scanned a flash drive containing malware samples, AVG presented a list of the threats found; we just had to click Resolve Selected to quarantine them.

Quarantine and Logs

The Quarantine page displays files that have been quarantined, and allows you to delete or (with an administrator account) restore any/all items.

System Tray menu

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features (under Computer\File Shield)
  • Uninstall the program
  • Restore items from quarantine

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot perform any of these tasks, which we regard as optimal.

Help

A help page with basic FAQs and clear, simple text answers is provided. You can open it from the Help menu in the macOS menu bar.

Advertising

The Smart Scan feature promotes AVG’s paid-for Mac security suite, Internet Security. At the end of the scan, it will display 3 “advanced issues”, namely vulnerability to ransomware, network threats and fake websites. If you click on Resolve All here, a purchase prompt for AVG Internet Security will be displayed.

Summary

Avira Antivirus Pro for Mac is a straightforward, paid-for antivirus program with a data-limited VPN feature. It is very simple to install, and all the available features are easy to find in the neat interface. In our functionality check, we found it to have very sensitive and reliable on-access protection against malware. Detection alerts do not require any user action, and standard user accounts cannot take any risky actions. The simplicity of the program makes it an excellent choice for non-expert users.

Installation

To set up Avira Antivirus Pro for Mac, you need to log in to your Avira account. You then download and run the installer, double-click the Avira icon, then click Accept and install. There are no options or decisions to make. When the program window first opens, you are prompted to run a Smart Scan. The program can be uninstalled by deleting it from the macOS Applications folder.

Finding essential features

Status, updates, default scan, scheduled scan, scan options, quarantine and subscription information can all be accessed from the main program window (screenshot above). You can also scan a drive, folder or file from the Finder context menu. The help feature is found in the Help menu in the Mac menu bar. Protection Options in the left-hand menu panel lets you activate or deactivate real-time protection and automatic scans of USB devices. Other settings (Preferences) can be accessed from the cogwheel icon in the top right-hand corner of the window.

Alerts

When we disabled Avira’s real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main program window. We were able to easily reactivate the protection by clicking Turn on.

When malware was detected in our functionality check, Avira displayed a pop-up alert (shown below). No user action was required. The alert closed automatically after 5 seconds.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found Avira Antivirus Pro to have very sensitive and reliable on-access detection of malware. Malicious files that we downloaded or copied to the system were instantly detected and quarantined in all cases. When we tried to copy malware from an external drive to the system, Avira not only prevented the copy process, but also deleted the source malware on the external drive.

When we connected a USB flash drive to our Mac, Avira briefly displayed a prompt to scan it. We did this, and Avira automatically quarantined the malicious files without the need for any user action. A summary of the malware found, and action taken, was displayed in the main program window. We note that the scan prompt closed after 5 seconds, so you have to be quick to make use of it.

Quarantine and Logs

The Quarantine page of the program (screenshot below) shows you all the items that have been quarantined, along with the date when this happened. There are options to delete and restore any of the detected files (you have to enter administrator credentials to take either action).

System Tray menu

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features (Protection Options page or System Tray menu)
  • Restore items from quarantine
  • Uninstall the program

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot do any of these, which we regard as ideal.

Help

Avira Help (in the Help menu in the macOS menu bar) opens the product’s support page in a browser. This consists of simple text instructions for everyday tasks, some illustrated with screenshots. There is also a video to explain installation of the product.

Advertising

Antivirus Pro advertises Avira’s Prime service, via the Get Prime button in the menu panel.

Other points of interest

The program’s main window has both dark and light modes, which co-ordinate with the dark- and light-mode settings of macOS.

Summary

Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is a paid antivirus program with ransomware protection, a data-limited VPN feature, and a browsing-protection add-in for Safari/Chrome/Firefox. We found it very straightforward to install and use. The user manual is easy to find, comprehensive, and very well produced. Effective real-time protection immediately detects and cleans malware on first contact. Overall, the product gets every important detail right, providing solid protection features in a very well-designed interface. Both expert and non-expert users should find it suitable for their needs.

Installation

After downloading and starting the installer file, you just need to double-click the setup package icon to start the setup wizard. You do not need to make any decisions, though you can change the interface language. When setup is complete, you need to create a Bitdefender account and sign in. An optional introductory tutorial then starts, after which the program window displays a recommendation to install the Traffic Light extension for Safari. After that, the Bitdefender window recommends configuring Safe Files, the product’s ransomware protection feature. Next, Bitdefender suggests setting up Apple’s Time Machine backup feature, and finally running a system scan. You can uninstall the program using its own uninstaller. This is found in the Bitdefender folder in the Finder Applications window.

Finding essential features

Status, quick and full scans, subscription information, settings and help are all directly accessible from the program’s Dashboard (home page). You can find custom scan, quarantine and scan exceptions under Protection. Update is in the Actions menu in the Mac menu bar. There is no scheduled scan function, but you can scan a drive, folder or file using the Finder context menu. Logs are shown under Notifications.

Alerts

When we disabled Bitdefender’s real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main program window. We were able to reactivate the protection easily by clicking Enable.

When malware was detected in our functionality check, Bitdefender displayed the alert below. No user action was required, and the alert closed after 5 seconds.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found Bitdefender to have very sensitive and reliable on-access detection of malware. Malicious files that we downloaded or copied to the system were instantly detected and quarantined in all cases. When we connected a USB flash drive containing malware samples to our Mac, Bitdefender automatically scanned the drive and deleted the malware without any user action being required.

Quarantine and Logs

The Quarantine window lets you view and delete quarantined files. If you are using a macOS admin account, you can also restore files from here.

The right-hand pane of the quarantine window shows you the threat name. Notifications is the log feature. It displays events such as updates, component activation, and malware detections. These can be displayed all together, or filtered by importance (Critical, Warning, Information).

System Tray menu

Help

Antivirus for Mac Help in the macOS menu bar opens a very comprehensive manual in .PDF format. This covers all aspects of using the program, and includes a glossary of malware types. It is fully indexed, and very well illustrated with screenshots.

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features (under Preferences)
  • Restore items from quarantine
  • Uninstall the program

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot perform any of these tasks, which we regard as ideal.

Other points of interest

If you install the Traffic Light extension for Safari add-in, safety ratings are added to Google searches. For example, green tick (checkmark) symbols are used to indicate safe sites. There are similar add-ins for Firefox and Chrome.

About the product

CrowdStrike Falcon Pro is a security package for business networks. It provides a cloud-based console for managing the endpoint protection software. Details of the management console described here are applicable to all supported operating systems. As well as malware protection, the product includes investigative functions for analysing and remediating attacks. It can manage networks with thousands of devices. We note that CrowdStrike Falcon Pro is available as a fully managed service for organisations that desire a more hands-off solution to endpoint protection. CrowdStrike tell us that they have datacentres in the USA and EU, in order to comply with the respective data protection regulations.

Advantages

  • Investigative functions
  • Comprehensive search facilities
  • Clickable interface provides easy access to details pages
  • Encyclopaedia of known cybercriminal groups
  • Suitable for medium- to large-sized enterprises

Management Console

The console is navigated from the Falcon menu in the top left-hand corner of the console. This lists individual pages under headings such as Activity, Investigate, Hosts, Configuration, Dashboards and Users. You can easily bookmark any page of the console (using the bookmark symbol in the top left-hand corner of the page), and then go directly to that page using the Bookmarks section of the menu.

Activity\Dashboard page

This is the page you see when you first log on to the console (screenshot above). It shows various status items in large panels. There is a list of most recent detections, with a graphical severity rating. You can also see a graph of detections by tactic (e.g. Machine learning, Defense Evasion) over the past month. Terms from the MITRE ATT&CK Framework are used to show attack stages here. Some of the panels are linked to details pages. Thus, you can click on the New detections panel to open up the Detections details page.

Activity\Detections page

Here you can search a list of threat detections using a wide range of criteria. These include severity, malware tactics, detection technique, date and time, affected device, and logged-on user. For each detection, you can see full details, including a process tree view (screenshot below). You can assign a console user for remediation.

Activity\Quarantined Files page

As you would expect, this page lets you see files that have been quarantined by the system. You can see the filename, device name, number of detections counted on the network, user involved, status, and of course date and time of detection. Quarantined files can be released or deleted. Clicking the entry of a quarantined file opens a details panel with additional information. This includes file path for the location where it was detected, file hashes, file size, file version number, detection method and severity. There is a search function and a variety of filters you can use to find specific files within the quarantine repository.

Configuration\Prevention Policies page

Here you can create and edit the protection policies for endpoints. You can define behaviour for a number of different types of attack-related behaviour, such as ransomware, exploitation, and lateral movement. Some sensor components, such as Cloud Machine Learning and Sensor Machine Learning, have separate configurable levels for detection and prevention. 5 different levels of sensitivity can be set, ranging from Disabled to Extra Aggressive. Custom Indicators of Attack (IOA) can also be created and assigned here, and there’s an option to perform automated remediation of IOA detections.

Policies can be assigned to devices automatically by means of a naming system. For example, any device with “Win” in its name can be automatically put into a specific group of Windows computers, to which a particular policy is assigned. Devices/groups can be assigned more than one policy, whereby a policy hierarchy determines which one takes precedence.

Hosts\Host Management page

The Hosts/Host Management page lists all the installed devices. You can immediately see which ones are online. Additional information includes operating system, policy, security status and sensor version. Clicking on a device’s entry opens up a details panel for that device. Here you can find additional information, such as device manufacturer, MAC address, IP addresses and serial number.

Intelligence\Actors page

This page provides details of known cybercriminal groups. You can see the nations and industries that each one has targeted, along with technical details of the attack methods used. CrowdStrike tell us that this information is also available in Detection details when a detection is associated with a specific actor.

Investigate\Host Search page

The Investigate menu provides an extremely comprehensive search facility. It lets you search for devices, hashes, users, IP addresses, domains and events. On the Host Search page, you can look for specific devices. A separate menu bar allows you to look for specific aspects, such as Activity (including detections), Vulnerabilities and Custom Alerts.

macOS Endpoint Protection Client

Deployment

Installer files for the sensor (endpoint protection client) can be downloaded in .pkg format from Hosts\Sensor Downloads page. Half a dozen older versions of the sensor are available if you want. Local installation requires the use of the macOS Terminal – instructions are provided in the documentation.

User interface on macOS client

With the settings used for this test, no graphical user interface is provided, so users cannot interact with the program at all. Administrators can use a command-line interface (falconctl) via the macOS Terminal. Detected files are not deleted, but quarantined in situ.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found CrowdStrike Falcon Pro for macOS to have sensitive and reliable on-access detection of malware. Malware that we downloaded or copied to the system was instantly detected and quarantined in all cases.

Summary

Intego Mac Internet Security X9 is a paid-for security suite. In addition to anti-malware features, it also includes a firewall. This is a separate application within the bundle, called NetBarrier. In this review, we have focused on the antivirus application, VirusBarrier.

The program’s interface makes the most important functions easy to find and use. We found Mac Internet Security X9 to have sensitive on-access protection against malware. Standard user accounts cannot take any risky actions. Overall, the program is straightforward in use.

Installation

To set up Mac Internet Security X9, you just need to download and run the installer, then select Double Click to Install. The first page of the installer includes convenient links to the Getting Started user guide, and the uninstaller. The setup wizard is very straightforward, though you have to restart your Mac at the end of it. When you first open the program after the restart, you will be prompted to allow the program Full Disk Access in the macOS settings. The program can be uninstalled by re-running the installer file and double-clicking Uninstall.

Finding essential features

Status, quick/full/scheduled scans, settings (Preferences), logs and quarantine are all found on the program’s home page. You can scan a file, folder or drive using Finder’s right-click menu. The update, custom scan and help features are found in the Mac menu bar. The About box (VirusBarrier menu) shows the licence key and registered email address, but does not state when the licence expires.

Alerts

When we disabled Intego’s real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main program window. We were able to reactivate the protection easily by clicking Turn On.

When malware was detected in our functionality check, Intego displayed the alert shown below. No user action was required. The alert persisted until we closed it.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found Intego to have sensitive on-access detection of malware. Malicious files that we downloaded or copied to the system were immediately detected and quarantined in situ. When we connected a USB flash drive containing malicious files to our Mac, Intego prompted us to scan it. We did this, and Intego automatically quarantined the malware. An alert like the one above was shown.

Quarantine and Logs

The quarantine feature is shown above. There are options to delete, repair or restore the quarantined files. If you click on an individual quarantined item, the path to its location will be shown in the status bar at the bottom.

Logs displays a list of all system events, including updates, scans and real-time detections, enabling/disabling real-time protection, and items added to or deleted from quarantine. The applicable date and time are shown, along with a traffic-light colour-coding system for each item. Malware finds are thus shown as red, quarantine actions as yellow, and enabling real-time protection as green.

System Tray menu

Help

There are 2 help items in the Mac menu bar. Show Basic Help displays an overlay that explains the principal features in the main program window. VirusBarrier Help opens a comprehensive online manual that covers installation, configuration and use of the program. It is generously illustrated with screenshots.

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features
  • Restore items from quarantine
  • Uninstall the program

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot perform any of the above tasks, which we regard as ideal.

Other points of interest

Whilst running our functionality check, we saw a notification from Intego that the contents of an attached USB flash drive had changed, along with a prompt to rescan the device.

VirusBarrier uses Intego’s own detection engine to detect macOS malware, but makes use of the Avira engine to detect Windows malware.

Summary

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac is a paid-for security suite with browser add-ons, parental controls and a data-limited VPN. We found it very straightforward to use, with all the features easily accessible from the main program window or macOS menu bar. Effective on-access detection quarantines any malware downloaded or copied to the system. Users without administrator rights cannot disable the protection or uninstall the program. Overall, the product is well designed and reliable in operation.

Installation

Having downloaded and run the installer, you need to double-click Install Kaspersky Internet Security\Download and Install. The only technical options are whether to install network protection, encrypted web traffic inspection, and browser extension(s). The latter are provided for Safari, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, and can be selected independently of each other. The program can be uninstalled by clicking Support\Uninstall in the Help menu of the macOS menu bar.

Finding essential features

Update, status, scan options (including scheduled scan) and subscription information can all be accessed directly from the program’s home page. Settings (Preferences), logs (Reports), quarantine (Detected Objects) and help are all in the macOS menu bar. Additionally, a link to quarantine is shown on the home page when quarantined items are present.

Alerts

When we disabled Kaspersky’s real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main program window. We were able to reactivate the protection easily by clicking Enable.

Malware alerts

In our functionality check, Kaspersky detected malware silently, i.e. without any visual or audio alerts being shown.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac to have reliable on-access detection of malware. Malicious files that we downloaded or copied to the system were detected and quarantined in all scenarios. When we tried to copy malware from a USB drive or network share, Kaspersky deleted not only the copied files on the Mac Desktop, but also the source malware on the USB drive or share. We noted a short delay, typically between 10 and 20 seconds, between the copy/download process completing and the files being detected by Kaspersky.

When we connected a USB flash drive containing malware samples to our Mac, Kaspersky prompted us to scan it. We did this, and Kaspersky automatically deleted the malicious files on it, with no user action required. However, no alert was shown. We note that the scan prompt closed after 5 seconds, so a user would have to be quick to make use of it.

Quarantine and Logs

The Detected Objects page shows quarantined items. By clicking on the ”…” symbol at the end of each line, you can delete or restore individual items. You can delete all quarantined items using the Delete All button. The Reports page shows the location of detected objects, action taken, threat type, threat name, and date/time of detection.

System Tray menu

Help

Kaspersky Internet Security Help is found in the Help menu in the macOS menu bar. It opens the product’s support page on the Kaspersky website, which contains simple, clear feature descriptions and text instructions for using the program.

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features
  • Restore items from quarantine
  • Uninstall the program

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot disable protection or uninstall the program, which we regard as ideal. Non-admin users can restore items from quarantine, although restored malware files are immediately re-detected and re-quarantined by default.

Other points of interest

Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac uses graphics in the program window that could be described as “intelligent”. The program detects whether it is installed on a Mac laptop or desktop system, and accordingly shows either a desktop or a laptop graphic. The Update and Scan icons animate when in use.

In our functionality check, we found that Kaspersky Internet Security for Mac did not display any alerts when malware was detected, even though notifications were enabled in both the application itself and the macOS settings for it. This did not affect detection/protection, however.

About the product

Trellix Endpoint Security (HX) is a security package for business networks. It provides a cloud-based console for managing the endpoint protection software. Details of the management console described here are applicable to all supported operating systems. A variety of console types is available. These include cloud-based, hardware appliance, virtual appliance, and Amazon-hosted. We describe the cloud-based console in this review. As well as malware protection, the product includes investigative functions for analysing and remediating attacks. The product is designed to handle very large organizations, with support for up to 100,000 endpoints per appliance.

Advantages

  • Attack investigation features
  • Variety of console types available
  • Suitable for medium- to large-sized enterprises
  • Comprehensive search feature
  • Containment feature lets you isolate infected devices

Management console

Dashboard

When you open the console, you will see an overview of key status items (screenshot above). These include the total number of hosts with alerts, with a breakdown by exploits and malware. Clicking on the Total hosts with alerts button opens the Hosts with Alerts page, shown below.

Hosts with alerts

As the name suggests, this page displays details of protected devices with alerts that have not yet been dealt with. If you click on the plus sign for a device, you can see a list of alerts for that device, in chronological order. With malware alerts, a wealth of detail is provided for each one. This includes status (e.g. quarantined), file path, MD5 and SHA1 hashes (but not SHA256), file size, last modified and last accessed times, process path, username of logged-on user, detection name, threat type, and times of first and last alerts for the item. Each threat can be acknowledged (marked as “read”), or marked as a false positive. You can also add comments to the threat details, for future investigation.

Alerts

For a threat-centric rather than a device-centric view, you can go to the Alerts page. Here you can sort threats by name, file path, first or last detections, and hostname or IP address of the respective device. The options Acknowledge, Mark False Positive and Add Comment are provided here too.

Acquisitions

From the Hosts page, you can acquire a file or various items of diagnostic data from an individual device. The Acquisitions menu lets you download files that have been acquired from hosts, in order to analyse them.

Enterprise Search

This feature allows you to search the network for a very wide variety of items. These include application name, browser version, hostname, various executables, file names/hashes/paths, IP address, port, process name, registry key, service name/status/type/mode, timestamp, URL, username and Windows Event Message.

Admin\Policies

Here you can configure numerous different aspects of the client protection policy. Examples are scans, whether to show alerts on the client, logging, malware scan settings, polling frequency, tamper protection, scan exclusions, management server address and malware detection settings. Scans can be set to run on a schedule, or after a signature update or device boot.

Admin\Host Sets

These are simply groups of computers. They can be defined according to a wide variety of criteria, or simply by dragging and dropping from the list of all devices. These groups are used to apply different protection policies.

Admin\Agent Versions

This lets you download current and older versions of the endpoint agent for Windows and Mac systems. The admin can thus e.g. avoid compatibility problems with a particular agent version on specific systems.

Admin\Appliance Settings

This page allows you to change settings for the management console itself. There are controls for date and time, user accounts, notifications, network settings and licences, and more.

macOS Endpoint Protection Client

Deployment

Installer files in .dmg format can be downloaded from the Admin menu, Agent Versions. As the name suggests, the current and earlier versions of the client are provided. The installer file can be run manually, or via a systems management product such as Jamf. If you install the product manually, you will need to remember to give the agent full disk access in the macOS settings. This is a necessary action to enable the product to work properly.

After installation, the Trellix agent takes some minutes to download the protection engine. Protection will not be enabled until this is complete.

User interface on macOS client

The user interface is completely hidden, and users cannot interact with the program at all. No detection alerts are shown.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found Trellix Endpoint Security for macOS to have very sensitive and reliable on-access detection of malware. Malware that we downloaded or copied to the system was instantly detected and quarantined in all cases. When we tried to copy malware from a USB drive to the system, Trellix not only prevented the malware copy process, but also deleted the source malware on the USB drive.

Summary

Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac is a paid-for antivirus program with camera and microphone protection, an anti-ransomware feature, and a web-protection add-in for Safari. We were particularly impressed with the very effective on-access malware detection. The help features are clear, and convenient to access. Installing and uninstalling are both straightforward, and the clean UI design makes the most important features very easy to access and use. Consequently, Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac would be particularly well suited to non-experts. For advanced users, a resizable quarantine window would be appreciated. However, overall the program has been very well thought out, and gets all the important things right.

Installation

After downloading and running the installer file, you start the setup wizard by clicking Install Trend Micro Antivirus. The User Support folder on the same page includes links to the following pages on the vendor’s website: System Requirements, Known Issues, and Quick Start Guide. There is also an uninstaller, with which you can later quickly and easily remove the program, should you need to.

The setup wizard is very straightforward. Aside from choosing whether to enter a licence key or use the trial version, there are no decisions to make. When it comes to the process of authorising Trend Micro extensions and permissions, the setup wizard provides a convenient “Verify” button, which checks whether you have successfully granted the necessary permissions. A Trend Micro Safari Extension is installed, and will be activated if you authorise this. When you first open the program, it prompts you to set up Camera and Microphone Protection and Ransomware Protection. For the latter, you can easily customise the default list of folders and drives to be protected.

Finding essential features

Status, update, default scan, scan options, subscription, logs/quarantine and help can be accessed directly from the Overview page (please see screenshot above). We note that the logging and quarantine functions are both found under Logs. Settings are found under Trend Micro Antivirus\Preferences in the Mac menu bar, as is to be expected for a macOS program. Scheduled scans can be configured in the Preferences dialog box.

Alerts

When we disabled real-time protection, the alert below was shown in the main window. We were able to reactivate the protection easily by clicking Fix Now.

When malware was detected in our functionality check, Trend Micro displayed an alert in the main window (shown below). No user action was required. The alert persisted until we closed it.

The alert box remains on display until you close it. If you click on View Results in the alert box, it opens the logs/quarantine page, and shows you what’s been detected.

Malware detection scenarios

In our functionality check, we found Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac to have exceptionally sensitive on-access detection of malware. Malware that we downloaded or copied to the system was instantly detected and quarantined in all cases. When we tried to copy malware from a network share or USB drive to the system, Trend Micro not only prevented the malware copy process, but also deleted the source malware on the USB drive or network share.

When we scanned a flash drive containing malware samples, Trend Micro automatically quarantined the malicious files without the need for any user action. At the end of the scan, a message box is displayed, showing a summary of the scan results. There is a button you can click on to see further details.

Quarantine and Logs

The quarantine and log functions are both accessed via the Logs page. Quarantine functionality, including options to restore or clean quarantined items, is reached by clicking List Quarantined Files on the Logs page. From here, you can view and delete or (with a macOS Administrator Account) restore any or all of the quarantined items.

As noted in previous years, the quarantine and log data is displayed in panels within small windows that cannot be resized or maximised. It is necessary to resize the columns is required to see all the content, and then scroll to the left to see all the data for one entry. We found this very inconvenient. However, it is possible to export the log as a .CSV file.

System Tray menu

Advanced options

Power users with a macOS Administrator account can perform the following tasks (caution is advised):

  • Disable protection features (using the slider buttons on the Overview page)
  • Restore items from quarantine (by clicking List Quarantined Files)
  • Uninstall the program

Standard macOS users (i.e. accounts without administrator rights) cannot perform any of the above tasks. We regard this as ideal.

Help

Clicking the ? icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the main window opens a context-sensitive online manual. This provides a simple, clear guide to the program’s features and how to use them, well illustrated with screenshots.

Advertising

Trend Micro Antivirus for Mac advertises its vendor’s freemium Cleaner One Pro program. There is a link to this in the More Tools page of the program window. Also, running a Smart Scan will find “junk files”, and prompt the user to get Cleaner One Pro to remove these.

Other points of interest

The Safari add-in shows safety ratings for sites in Google web searches. These use e.g. a green tick (checkmark) icon for safe sites.

In the Trend Micro folder in the macOS Applications window is a diagnostic toolkit. With a macOS Administrator account, you can stop/start components; delete temporary files; uninstall if the standard uninstaller has problems; troubleshoot; collect debugging info; upload quarantined files to the vendor; collect network logs; create scanning exclusions.

In our functionality check, we discovered that the link to the Quick Start Guide in the installer misdirected to a different page. We informed Trend Micro of this, and they have since fixed the issue.