What Is The Best Antivirus Software For Detecting Zero Day Threats?

When a person works in the world of online computer security the last words that they want to hear is zero day threats.

Most threats that are found on the Internet are threats that have been known about for sometime and computer security professionals have already worked out pretty safe measures for eliminating the problem.

There are new threats that arise everyday but usually they are just derivatives of an original exploit or malware that the security researchers already knew about.

The problem begins when there is a new threat, of an unknown origin, that displays an attack that has never been seen before.


What Is A Zero Day Threat?

Before I go any further I should probably explain to the normal user what a zero day threat actually is.

A zero day threat is similar to what I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

It is a threat that no one has ever seen before.

Zero day threats are also known as Zero hour threats and if serious enough can really cause trouble in the world of security.

If you are surfing the Internet or checking your email and you download a piece of code that is considered a zero day threat then this will cause a real problem to your computer.

Since it is a zero day attack there will be no antivirus that will be able to get rid of the problem.

You will have two options that you can use to deal with the situation.

You can wait and report the infection to your antivirus vendor, hoping that they come up with a solution.

Or you can format your hard drive and start all over again.

Either way, they are not the most desired scenarios.

Luckily for the end users, zero day attacks are usually taken care of pretty quickly.

It doesn’t take that many people to be infected before the news gets to an antivirus company and they come up with a solution.

Which Antivirus Vendor Responds Quickest To Zero Day Threats?

There are some antivirus software companies that come up with solutions faster than others.

A company called AV-test did a study on which companies best handled zero day exploits on a computer.

The results were not that surprising since they are some of the most popular tools that people use for virus detection anyway.

The best of breed in security software was Symantec, Kaspersky, PC Tools, and AVG.

AV-Test reported that the rates of detection on zero day attacks were 83-90%.

Rival independent lab, NSS labs, claimed that is too high and they had results of 40-65%.

The company’s themselves boast about a rate between 60 to 70%.

Even though the numbers are different both labs have agreed that these are the best antivirus software tools out at the moment.

If you are a person that is concerned with their security while they surf the Internet, these tools should help you feel more safe.

The most important thing to do after you install one of these tools is to make sure that you keep it updated.

No tool will be able to stop a zero day attack if it is not updated on a regular basis.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.


  1. Robert Andrei Botezat says:


    You are wrong, Lee. You said that the antivirus testing agencies AV-Test and NSS Labs both agree that all of the programs up there are the best?
    Let me tell you that you made a mistake. At least, that is not the case with AVG.
    If you would have done a research, you would have seen that they put AVG at the bottom or near the bottom of their tests.
    And, you can also search on google “source boston 2010 measuring the actual security antivirus software provide customers” and you can see and hear there, in the video that Vik Phatak said, when questioned which 2 products liked the most and which 2 products liked the least; AVG was one of the products liked the least.
    So, next time, do your research. Or, better yet, if this wasn’t your source, check on them, check to see if the information is reliable and correct. You might not want to put bad information here.

    So, good luck in the future and live a healthy life and take care. I also thank you for your time.

    With all due respect,

    P.S.: I apologize for my bad english language!

    • Hi Robert,

      As this post is over a year old my memory of it is a little hazy now but I’ll try and find time to check out what you are saying…


  1. […] When you have this, it is when you know that you have a well rounded antivirus program. […]

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