The Essentials Series: Increasing Performance in Enterprise Anti-Malware Software

by Eric Schmidt


Today's Anti-Malware clients have become bloated suites that often have a negative impact on system performance. Yet, ever increasing security threats require that every system within an enterprise must be protected. The Essentials Series: Increasing Performance in Enterprise Anti-Malware Software offers expert insight into the factors most relevant when evaluating anti-malware solutions, as well as a best practices list to optimize both anti-malware and overall system performance.


Article 1: Why Is Traditional Anti-Malware Software So Slow?

Since the beginning of the Internet, anti-malware software has been an essential component of every business computer. As the Internet continues to grow in scope and sophistication over time, so does the intelligence built into malicious software. Today’s malware has evolved from its origins of viruses as a mostly harmless demonstration of self-replicating code to a full-fledged underground industry with its own motives for profit.

To that end, the malware threat landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. Today’s threats are being created for far more insidious goals, including cyber-terrorism, identity theft, and corporate espionage. This reality has been made easier with the introduction of shrink-wrapped malware toolkits that enable the point-and-click invocation of attacks. These toolkits are easily downloadable through online forums that facilitate the collaboration and development of such attack software.

The solutions that protect computers from these types of attacks were developed shortly after the first viruses. Many of those products are still around today. To combat the ever-changing tactics of malware writers, those early "anti-malware" products have also evolved to address new threats. Unlike with malware, however, this sophistication in protection products comes at a cost. That cost relates to the actual system resources necessary to run their protective processes.

Article 2: Considerations for Evaluating Performance in Anti-Malware Products

The anti-malware product space consists of many bloated, slow product suites that have been around for a very long time. The products have evolved along with the threats they are intended to defend against. This evolution has at the same time created massive suites that create major impacts on system performance.

When choosing an anti-malware solution for an enterprise, it is very important to consider several factors. The first consideration is the ability of the product to protect the systems it’s running on. The second aspect, which is often overlooked, is the impact the product will have on overall system performance. This article will focus on what you should examine from a performance perspective during the product-selection process.

Article 3: Best Practices in Deploying Anti-Malware for Best Performance

New malware is being released at record numbers on a daily basis, yet the products that defend against these threats remain a common source of performance issues today. The threats that enterprises face necessitate a robust anti-malware solution while maintaining high-performing systems. The first two articles in this series focused on what makes anti-malware slow and what should be examined to ensure optimal performance during the anti-malware solution selection process. In this, the final article of the series, the focus will be on the best practices for deploying anti-malware software to optimize performance and the protection it’s intended to provide.