Are Suites really “Sweet”?

The proliferation of “Software Suites” to deal with the ever increasing “malware” problems raises serious issues for users of these products.

As the market for anti-virus software has stabilized, the major anti-virus software companies are entering other sections of the malware market in order to expand their user base and also to secure their current customers.

Depending upon the vendor, these suites now encompass not only the traditional anti-virus area, but have also expanded into the Firewalls, Anti-Spyware, Anti-Trojan, Anti-Keylogger, Anti-Phishing And Anti-Spam areas. This shift in emphasis and expansion is one result of the stabilization if not the decline of the anti-virus market and the movement of those writing malicious software into the lucrative adware/spyware area. In addition, as the distinction between anti-virus and anti-spyware products has blurred, considerable overlap of software capabilities has developed.

At first appraisal by computer users, the evolution of suites appears as a desirable solution to a continually evolving problem. The question arises whether these suites are really serving the end user’s needs?

In order to ensure adequate protection and to protect their customer base, the software suites appear to have adopted a philosophy that there is no need to co-exist with other competing programs. Thus users attempting to maintain dual means of protection are thwarted both by slowdowns of their computer system as well as by direct conflicts with users’ competing products. The use of resources by the suites is heavy even without competing components. The adage “jack of all trades, but master of none” seems appropriate here because the results of numerous tests clearly demonstrate that no single product can be relied upon to provide the required protection because rapid changes characteristic of the spyware area are in sharp contrast to the previous viral area. Thus users must seek and use multiple products to provide them the required margin of safety.

Co-existing with suites is a challenge because of the aforementioned problems, not the least of which is the heavy use of system resources by the “suite” products. The result of this dilemma is that users must rely upon products which are “light” on system resources. We have realized this requirement, as no single product can catch every infection on a given day, and have specifically designed our product, SUPERAntiSpyware, to be light on system resources and co-exist with existing security solutions. I am certain other companies will follow suit. Users will ultimately dictate the verdict on whether “suites are sweet.”.