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Sophos going downhill – or Sophos Vs Microsoft Security Essentials [Is Sophos any Good ?]


Sophos going downhill or Sophos vs Microsoft Security Essentials – which title suits this post i am not too sure but anyways read on and be the judge of that yourself !
At work both as a student and employee at the university we are suppose to be using Sophos for virus and Trojan protection… but I have had few notify me that sophos is failing to deliver… Windows Security Essentials (MSE codename Morro) is beating down hard on Sophos. .. More about the Security Essentials can be read from and also downloaded free of cost if I am not mistaken via : http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/

Since, I run XP 64 bit I am not able to try it out myself cause it does not apparently have an installer for that version of XP. It’s rather limited to XP 32 bit, Win 7 32/64 bit only. If it was just one person saying that “o windows essentials thingy found Trojan and malware that were not detected by sophos” I be more speculative about the situation, but I have about 3 or 4 users, all very well versed with computers and some quite versed with computer security, not afraid to say out loud “ Sophos Failed “ .

Looking around on the web, I read a rather interesting article at softpedia, stating this very interesting find [“With a detection rate of 56%, Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 managed to grab the fifth position, along with F-Secure, which delivered a similar performance. Only five products bested MSE, namely ESET NOD32 with a detection rate of 60%, Kaspersky with 64%, G Data with 66%, and Avira with 74%. However, at the same time, Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0 also delivered a very low number of false positives.

MSE mistook no more than 15 legitimate code samples for malware, while not the same can be said of Avira, Sophos, McAfee, TrustPort, Norman, and Kingsoft, which all had in excess of 15 false positives. This is why MSE received the highest possible certification from AV-Comparatives, along with additional security solutions that balanced a high detection rate with a low number of false positives. “] – source http://news.softpedia.com/news/Microsoft-Security-Essentials-vs-Kaspersky-Nod32-BitDefender-Symantec-McAfee-128482.shtml

Now reading that article it was no surprise to me that users were coming to me complaining about how “Sophos Sucks” compared to MSE. It’s funny how Sophos wrote an article about Vulnerabilites in Windows 7 stating  “Lesson learned? You still need to run anti-virus on Windows 7. Microsoft, in the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report released yesterday, stated that “The infection rate of Windows Vista SP1 was 61.9 percent less than that of Windows XP SP3.” – source http://www.sophos.com/blogs/chetw/g/2009/11/03/windows-7-vulnerable-8-10-viruses . At the end of the article Sophos had a very nice conclusion: “Windows 7 is no cure for the virus blues, so be sure to bring your protection when you boot up.”  It is funny that Sophos talked about Vulnerabilities of Windows, and did not talk about Microsoft Security Essentials. Should they have not run the tests they did, with MSE enabled, is what I am wondering? It seemed more or less a post trying to sell their product to windows users, and very well put by Paul Cooke “So while I’m not a fan of companies sensationalizing findings about Windows 7 in order to sell more of their own software, I nevertheless agree with them that you still need to run anti-virus software on Windows 7.  This is why we’ve made our Microsoft Security Essentials offering available for free to customers.” – source http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowssecurity/archive/2009/11/06/windows-7-vulnerability-claims.aspx

Anyways, will give MSE a shot later at home and find out how it works, but then again I have never used Sophos much, cause of it ugly resource requirements and issues. Hoping that MSE is not a resource hog as is Sophos, I wish that Sophos would consider redoing their engine or something and users keeping their antivirus protection upto date be it Sophos or be it MSE. For those wondering, what I use?, well I rely on Comodo Antivirus and have been recommending it to those seeking “free” yet reliable firewall/antivirus protection.

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2 Responses to “Sophos going downhill – or Sophos Vs Microsoft Security Essentials [Is Sophos any Good ?]”

  1. Sumeet says:

    Just wanted to update those that might be interested in getting Sophos, well our college has deemed Sophos as not “any good” hence we have decided to go the Forefront route and get license for the Microsoft Essentials instead and deployed in our labs and maybe in the future builds of faculty computers as well. It’s now 3 years since i stopped using Sop hos and I couldn’t be more satisfied. Maybe Sophos will bounce back but i doubt cause it’s still i heard resource intensive.
    I used to have Sophos on my 2008 server edition, but Microsoft Essentials works great now on the system.

    Please to users browsing this article post your reviews of Sophos experience if any.

  2. Sonic Bass says:

    Sophos is killing my computer at the moment, on access scanning tripples my copying time. :(
    Maby time to switch

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