According to the latest report of NSS Labs, Microsoft Edge is the web browser which blocks the highest percentage of socially engineered malware (SEM) and phishing attacks when compared to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.
NSS Labs is a cyber security product research, testing, and advisory company. After conducting two global tests in order to measure how effective web browsers are at blocking current threats targeting Internet users, NSS concluded that the applications which blocked the most attacks overall also blocked URLs the fastest.
NSS Labs conducted the tests in the period Sept. 26 – Oct. 9, 2016, with 220,918 socially engineered malware results and 78,921 phishing results recorded.
For their tests, NSS Labs considered Google Chrome version 53.0.2785, Microsoft Edge 38.14393.0.0, and Mozilla Firefox version 48.0.2. The browsers were tested on Windows 10 Enterprise – Version 1607.
Regarding the SEM protection, Microsoft Edge took the first position by blocking 99.0% of the samples, followed by Google Chrome with 85.8% and Mozilla Firefox with 78.3%.
The Edge browser uses SmartScreen URL filtering and Application Reputation (App Rep) for user protection, while Chrome and Firefox use URL filtering and an application reputation system named Download Protection. According to the test, Microsoft Edge is capable of delivering a 98.7% zero-hour protection rate for malware, followed by Chrome with 92.8%, and Firefox with 78.3%.
The testing, which has been conducted for 7 days, showed that Edge was on the first position with a 99.3% block rate, 3.6% higher than Chrome and 17.4% higher than Firefox. This means that the Edge browser needed less than 10 minutes to block malware, Chrome needed 2 hours and 39 minutes, while Firefox needed over 3 hours and 45 minutes on average.
Regarding the phishing protection, Microsoft Edge had a phishing catch rate of 91.4% over the 12-day test period, followed by Chrome with 82.4% and Firefox with 81.4%.
This year, an average of 145,581 unique email phishing campaigns were reported each month, making a browser’s ability to block such attacks highly important. Nevertheless, SEM protection is as important when assessing a browser’s security capabilities, NSS Labs notes.
During the test period, the phishing protection test conducted by NSS Labs collected 78,921 results and showed that Microsoft Edge has an initial protection rate of 92.1%, followed by Firefox at 84.0%, and Chrome with only 82.7%.
By the seventh day of the testing period, Microsoft Edge jumped to 92.9%, Chrome to 85.6%, and Firefox to 84.9% (both Chrome and Firefox rely on Google Safe Browsing API, hence the nearly identical performance).
The average time for blocking a phishing website is 56.4 minutes. The Microsoft Edge browser was in the lead at 24 minutes, while the other two browsers needed more than an hour to block the offending sites: 61.2 minutes for Firefox and 84.6 minutes for Chrome.
Approximately one third of all Internet users have fallen victim to SEM, making this threat one of the most encountered nowadays. Both individuals and organizations are at risk, because such attacks can compromise, damage, or acquire sensitive personal and corporate information.
Due to the fact that phishing attacks have become more complex and harder to detect lately, they are considered as very important and damaging threats nowadays.