We’ve compiled five very specific reasons why consignment and resale stores (or any business) should not use Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).
First and foremost, what is Microsoft Security Essentials? Microsoft Security Essentials is free security software provided via Microsoft. On Windows 7, Microsoft Security Essentials is automatically downloaded via Windows Update, if an antivirus product is not detected on the system. On Windows 8/8.1, it’s known as Windows Defender and is included out of the box.
#1 – AV Comparatives Considers MSE “Non-Competitive”
AV Comparatives regularly tests the major antivirus/security products and publishes their findings. They recently published their October 2014 Real-Word Protection Test results.
See the white, dashed-line? That represents Microsoft Security Essentials:
Now, no antivirus solution is 100% effective, 100% of the time, nor should antivirus be your sole point of system security/malware prevention. However, MSE can’t even compete @ only 83.3% protection.
#2 – AV-Test Revoked MSE’s Antivirus Certification
Two years ago, AV-Test revoked Microsoft Security Essentials antivirus certification.
Again, no antivirus solution is 100% effective and ratings from one testing firm should not be the sole reference point for selecting a security product.
MSE flunking though, is right in-line with real-world experience, as well as other testing firms’ results.
#3 – Microsoft Does Not Recommend Utilizing MSE
Even Microsoft, does not recommend utilizing MSE:
#4 – Computer Peeps Have Found MSE Does Not Work
The Computer Peeps manage hundreds of systems for consignment and resale stores all across North America. We are directly responsible for keeping computers clean, protected, and available; computers which store employees utilize to search the Web for pricing, browse Facebook, sell on eBay, check email, etc. i.e. Computers that are a high-risk for getting infected.
We regularly work on systems that are utilizing the all-too-common (yet ineffective) Chrome + MSE combo:
A client running Chrome & Microsoft Security Essentials…yet still infected with Conduit. MSE does NOT work, period. pic.twitter.com/DhTB5hjO0z
— The Computer Peeps (@computerpeeps) October 4, 2014
Remember that computer from yesterday running MSE? Showed no infections, right? Here's that system with ESET Nod32… pic.twitter.com/RUbahGI6wy
— The Computer Peeps (@computerpeeps) October 5, 2014
In five years of managing, maintaining, and securing systems for consignment and resale store owners, The Computer Peeps have not seen a worse or less-effective antivirus solution than Microsoft Security Essentials.
#5 – MSE Is Not PCI Compliant
Last but not least, MSE is not PCI Compliant. First, it’s simply not considered antivirus by multiple, independent testing authorities.
Second, Microsoft recommends utilizing an actual antivirus product, further reinforcing that MSE is not antivirus.
Third, MSE does not have the ability to retain its log files for 365 days (required as per the PCI DSS, Requirements 5.2d and 10.7):
This isn’t a matter of opinion or “We like pepperoni pizza vs. cheese pizza – so should you!” It’s just really simple – MSE doesn’t work, it is not considered antivirus, Microsoft recommends not utilizing it, and multiple antivirus testing firms have found MSE cannot compete against even the worst antivirus program.
So please, if your tech or vendor recommends or implements MSE, stop them and ask them to remove it. Then, ask them to install and configure a viable antivirus solution. MSE is free and it helps avoid the topic of money – yes, viable antivirus costs money + time to configure. Would you rather avoid the topic, or would you rather spend $57 for a viable antivirus solution?