Prove it! Another security vendor claims 100 percent malware detection

A long line of security vendors has promised to detect all malware. Every last one failed. Can Trustwave break the mold?

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Let me get this straight: Trustwave promises 100 percent detection with no slowdown? If it's anywhere close to that, the world will beat a path to the company's door. I have customers who are seeing their performance crushed by far less accurate, traditional antivirus programs.

Cole said, "We know we have a great product, and part of the guarantee and its boldness was designed to get my mind share.  It's working. We got your attention."

What's in the guarantee?

Reading the fine print

Trustwave's guarantee is limited to providing a one-month extension of its service at no cost. I'd rather see a money-back guarantee, but you'll probably never get that from any antimalware vendor (though you see both service extensions and refunds from many cloud providers for service disruptions beyond the SLA terms).

The scope of the Trustwave guarantee is any agreed-upon and configured, monitored Web traffic, including Web traffic sent over SSL/TLS, although Trustwave's service injects itself into the encrypted pipe to be able to read traffic. It does this by jumping into the middle of the protected channel with an agreed-upon and trusted endpoint certificate.

The overall question is if Trustwave can deliver on its guarantee to all or most customers over a long period of time. Nothing else really matters, including my own conjecture (or taunting).

I asked Trustwave if it would be advertising its accuracy rates online, similar to the stats you can get from some cloud service provider dashboards, or tell the public how things are going in a few months. Trustwave said it had no plans for that at this time. To be honest, I would have been shocked if it did.

The best of intentions

After spending some time with Trustwave, I came away liking the company and people. The group obviously feels it has a superior service. Besides MSS, Trustwave offers managed firewalls, security information/event management, two-factor authentication, encryption, unified threat management, network access control, PKI encryption, intrusion detection/penetration systems, data leak prevention, penetration testing, and vulnerability management -- all watched over by five global, 24/7 security operations centers.

Despite the impressive resume, I remain a devout skeptic that any company can do what Trustwave is claiming it can do. The goal of 100 percent malware detection is elusive, up there with trying to create software without any bugs. As long as you have human beings involved, you'll have sneaky, successful malware and software coding bugs. I don't think perfection, especially in the antimalware world, is attainable.

The truth is that I very much hope that I'm wrong. For decades we've been stuck in a malware morass. We have been on the losing end of the equation for far too long. It would be nice for the good guys to win one for once, if even for only a little while -- because any real, broad success is sure to be successfully challenged by malware writers in short order.

I'll be tracking Trustware closely over the coming weeks and months to see how it does in the real world. I would love to eat my words.

This story, "Prove it! Another security vendor claims 100 percent malware detection," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Keep up on the latest developments in network security and read more of Roger Grimes' Security Adviser blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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