Most Secured Browser of 2011 – Internet Explorer (Against Social Engineered Malware)

Internet Explorer still continues to enjoy the most used web browser till date in 2011, partly because of it being the default web browser shipped with the most popular operating system of the world, that is Windows.

And this fact of it being the most popular web browser makes it target of the largest attempts of malware attacks. It is the first preference of the malware developers because if they can find a vulnerability or security hole in Internet Explorer, they can spread the malware infection to maximum number of computers. The return over efforts is highest against Internet Explorer.

Most Secured Web Browser of 2011 – Is It Internet Explorer?

Traditionally Internet Explorer has been considered to pose a weak defense against online malware and security threats, when compared to other popular browsers. But the situation is changing very fast. It seems like Microsoft has been working real hard to make Internet Explorer one of the most secured web browser of 2011. At least the latest test results from the reputed research lab NSS shows that.

In Q2 of 2011, NSS Labs performed a test of web browser protection against socially-engineered malware targeting users around the globe.

This NSS Labs report focused on URLs chosen to be of significant threat and followed the same Live Testing methodology as the global tests as was done in their earlier tests.

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And the results are startling.

most secured browser 2011

  1. Windows Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) caught an exceptional 99.2% of live threats: 96% with the SmartScreen URL reputation and an additional 3.2% with Application Reputation.
  2. Google Chrome 12 caught 13.2% of the live threats, considerably more than the 3% observed during the Q3 2010 global test. This improvement tracks to an enhancement in SafeBrowsing so that, according to Google, “Chrome now warns you before downloading some types of malicious files”
  3. Apple Safari 5 caught 7.6% of the live threats. Protection offered was near identical to that of Firefox.
  4. Mozilla Firefox 4 caught 7.6% of the live threats, far fewer than Internet Explorer 9. Results were 11.4% less than the 19% protection rate observed in our Q3 2010 global test, indicating an overall drop in protection for Firefox.
  5. Opera 11 caught 6.1% of the live threats, providing considerably less protection against socially-engineered malware than the other browsers tested.

These results speaks a lot about the efforts Microsoft has been putting in making Internet Explorer to be the most secured browser of 2011.

[Complete Report (pdf)]


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