Does user base matter that much?

Discussion in 'other anti-virus software' started by truoc, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. truoc

    truoc Registered Member

    Dec 31, 2012
    United States
    I am studying IT & Cybersecurity in college at the moment and have been going back and forth on what protection to use for my own devices and something has been on my mind. If Windows is the most used operating system in the world and with the popularity of MSE (Defender built into the new W10 OS) wouldn't that make Microsoft the world's leading protector as far as AV's go? I know that AV protection isn't exactly what Microsoft is known for, but if this is the case then aren't they technically what most people *should* use because they would be able to leverage what infections are occurring the fastest because they have the greatest surface area or am I looking at this the entire wrong way? Or do they only leverage this information by the use of the Malicious software tool that is downloaded monthly (or used to be)? I know that third-party security applications are *generally* recommended due to the fact that security is their primary focus, but why isn't Microsoft the best if they *technically* have the most users? Just something that has been on my mind. Thanks!
  2. quietman

    quietman Registered Member

    Dec 27, 2014
    Earth .... occasionally
    It's Microsoft's massive user base that makes them the primary target for malware creators IMO

    I never bought into the urban myth that Apple machines were "immune" to viruses
  3. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

    Jan 6, 2014
    EU - Slovenia
    I agree. Since MSE is used by so many users, malware creators will make sure that their creations are not detected by it. Maybe some less known AVs are not tested by malware creators...
  4. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

    Jun 14, 2010
    It depends. If you consider prevalence, then user base can have an impact.

    As far as to the question why is Microsoft not leading in the AV industry, the answer is simple: it is not interested in doing so.

    1. Microsoft's approach with MSE/WD is to cover the prevalent malware families while ensuring the rate of critical FPs is low.
    2. Microsoft sets itself as a baseline, letting the other players tackle the issue of 'better detection'...
    3. Microsoft chooses to focus more on improving the exploit mitigation defenses in it's OS and browser.
  5. JoakimM

    JoakimM Registered Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Lomma, Sweden
    Interesting question that headlines the thread...

    A larger user base would for obvious reasons supply the specific AV-company with more stats due to the fact that most if not all AVs send user data back to its servers. But what is the minimum user base an AV-product/company should have to get enough user data to effectively expand its database/knowledge in vital areas apart from the selling point more paying users equals more money? Technology solutions can be bought or leased as well as databases for malware signatures but can an AV-product totally rely on out-sourcing to become a top-notch player with no R&D on its own?