Glorious, Glorious Spam

Sniffing around for a topic of interest this weekend I came upon an e-mail informing me that Network Testing Labs (hang on a moment, I’ll come back to these guys) has found that in head-to-head testing, McAfee's single-appliance Secure Internet Gateway is eight times more effective at blocking malicious web sites, six times more effective at blocking spam and more than four times more effective at blocking malware than a combination of Barracuda Spam Firewall and Web Filter Appliances.

Sniffing around for a topic of interest this weekend I came upon an e-mail informing me that Network Testing Labs (hang on a moment, I’ll come back to these guys) has found that in head-to-head testing, McAfee's single-appliance Secure Internet Gateway is eight times more effective at blocking malicious web sites, six times more effective at blocking spam and more than four times more effective at blocking malware than a combination of Barracuda Spam Firewall and Web Filter Appliances.

So these lab boffins looked for the ability to identify and block malware such as viruses, spam, phishing attempts, keystroke loggers, browser hijackers, adware, rootkits, dialers, data miners and Trojans.

The labs collected a suite of 200 malware samples and moved the samples to an isolated network designed to simulate the Internet. McAfee’s products blocked 198 instances of malware and let two pass undetected. In contrast, the Barracuda products blocked 190 instances of malware and let 10 pass undetected.

Now then, Network Testing Labs performs independent (it says here) technology research and product evaluations. Personally I’ve never heard of them and I was unable to research them on the web as they are quoted by so many sources that have benefited from positive “independent” reviews that I could not find their home page. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

…and another thing, if they can be specific enough to gauge a security gateway as exactly eight or six times more effective than some other solution – how can they use a “simulated” environment to produce these results? This is like using a bathtub to simulate the ocean’s tidal movements isn’t it? The gargantuan size of the web itself means that we can never truly “simulate” it, surely now.

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