Microsoft Security Essentials is one of the few antivirus programs to fail the Av-Test and it has done so continuously in fact it would be difficult to ask any security researcher if there was a time when Microsoft Security Essentials did pass the test. For those who are unaware, Av-Test.org is a website dedicated to testing antivirus solutions and it does so in a very meticulous manner. The programs are pinned against thousands of samples and hundreds of websites and their protection scores are evaluated.
Microsoft Security Essentials has not been able to pass the test in an extremely large time and it has gotten worse since the previous one. Many users are quick to jump to say that Microsoft Security Essentials has done its job and while it’s true that it does detect malicious programs and files just not in the best way. Microsoft has for a long time now, been the butt of every security researchers joke because it doesn’t do well against zero-day threats which are threats that are not in the database and instead rely on the program’s signatures (this allows antivirus programs to profile a virus based on how it acts even if it is not in the database).
In a report from PC Mag, Microsoft has even attempted to artificially inflate their scores by asking for special reports against their own figures.
Microsoft did commission a special report from AV-Comparatives, taking existing detection scores and weighting them using Microsoft’s own prevalence figures. With that change, Microsoft’s rating rose from cellar to stellar. I do note, though, that top-notch companies like Bitdefender and Kaspersky manage to ace all the tests without any need for such tweaking.
Microsoft Security Essentials was never meant to be the best antivirus on the market its original intention was to give some sort of antivirus protection to users that would otherwise have none and thus reduce the amount of money that is brought in through ransomware and other forms of malware. However, the company has tried to deploy its software into business’ and institutions through their Endpoint solution and while this might be a good sign keep in mind that the engine between the paid endpoint and the free version for your computer is the exact same. So using Microsoft as an Endpoint solution is not a smart business move.