AV-TEST Award 2021: The Best in IT Security
Office, home office, mobile office – a year filled with security challenges
The year 2021 was marked by many challenges, some of them causing a domino effect and becoming part of a chain reaction. The pandemic was extremely taxing on individuals and companies in particular, as traditional work models were totally upended, sometimes within a matter of a few days. Part of the workforce was only in the office, another part was in a home-office setting, and some were in a mobile office. However: Everyone was supposed to have normal access to their workstation, software tools or work data, and naturally at the same level of security as before.
In some cases, staffers were required to use their own PC or Mac, as companies did not even have that much mobile hardware available. For many companies, it was the moment when even the consumer antivirus software of each employee came under scrutiny. Because a well-protected PC in this scenario was the first line of defense in using company networks. The second, and naturally more important, line of defense was handled by the corporate security solution. Reliable protection was and is more important than ever, as cyber-attackers have been mercilessly exploiting the pandemic to attack consumer and corporate PCs and Macs in every way.
2021: sharp increase in malware variants
The strong growth of threats can also be clearly gleaned from the malware samples registered by the AV-TEST Institute in 2021. Whereas from 2019 to 2020 the number had risen to 113 million, from 2020 to 2021 it grew to over 170 million – a surge of nearly 33 percent, making it one of the strongest increases over the past 10 years.
The digital malware samples registered in the AV-TEST databases are naturally only one tactical weapon among the many used by cybercriminals, which solutions for cybersecurity are required to fend off, but it is one of the most important in their arsenal. The experts in the lab at AV-TEST evaluate all Windows, MacOS and Android products for consumer and corporate users, testing how they match up in the categories of PROTECTION, PERFORMANCE and USABILITY.
Among Windows products, the AV-TEST Institute confers awards in the categories of Best Protection, Best Performance and Best Usability for both consumer products and solutions used in a corporate environment. For the protection of Android and MacOS, the institute gives additional Best Android Security and Best MacOS Security Awards – in turn for consumer and corporate users. In the overall evaluation of tests in the year 2021, some products managed to achieve several top rankings, thus in some cases receiving the same recognition along with other security solutions in a given category. The products do not have to share the award, quite the contrary: In these cases, AV-TEST is pleased to confer several awards in one category to the winners for their outstanding performance.