Security for free, update after 4 years

About 4 years ago, while I was working at Avira,  I wrote this article for (ISC)2’s blog.

Security “for free”?

I wrote back then about how to cover all attack vectors for malware.

I also wrote about the hidden costs, which many people tend to ignore. These costs are not
acquisition costs. They are even not easily visible.

I concluded, that it is possible to achieve a decent degree of security without any acquisition costs. However, there are drawbacks and there are hidden maintenance costs. For those who are interested in having software that works for them and not the other way around, it is advisable to get a paid security solution that covers all the relevant attack vectors and offers a
decent quality of service.


I am very proud to say that I would not change anything in that article, even back then I could have been biased by working for Avira, one of the major players in this space.

I guess that this is what makes one a professional.


Four years later

In these four years,

  • AVG, one of the major players in Free AV field was acquired by Avast.
  • Malware Bytes became a major player in the free space, even if they don’t offer yet a Real-time scanner
  • Kaspersky released a free edition of their software
  • Eset writing on several channels (here and here) about how bad the “free” is
  • Many, many new small players entered the free market, many of them even making it to the Microsoft page for AV software

Quite some action, I would say.


Any change in my recommendation?

No. Absolutely no change.

Things got a bit cleaner, less advertising, for example, but all I wrote 4 years ago remains valid.


© Copyright Sorin Mustaca, All rights Reserved. Written For: Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity

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About the Author

Sorin Mustaca
Sorin Mustaca, (ISC)2 CSSLP, CompTIA Security+ and Project+, is working since over 20 years in the IT Security industry and worked between 2003-2014 for Avira as Product Manager for the known products used by over 100 million users world-wide. Today he is CEO and owner of Endpoint Cybersecurity GmbH focusing on Cybersecurity, secure software development and security for IoT and Automotive. He is also running his personal blog Sorin Mustaca on Cybersecurity and is the author of the free eBook Improve your security .
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