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Our testing methods use proprietary, commercial, and open source tools along with world class analysts in threat research to provide “deep dives” into a security product’s capabilities and limitations. We measure security effectiveness, performance, stability, usability, and cost of ownership. 

Security Value Map™ (SVM)

An SVM is the graphical representation of an expert opinion on the relative strength and value of a product. Empirical data from Test Reports and analysis from Comparative Reports are used to create the NSS Labs’ Security Value Map™ (SVM).

Comparative Reports

NSS Labs Comparative Reports highlight products’ performance relative to one another.  NSS Labs incorporates results from test reports as well as analysis formed by expert opinion.

Test Reports

NSS Labs tests a product and records the results in the test report.  The test report contains granular details (i.e. UDP latency at a specific packet size) not available in the group test report.

Product Ratings

A product rating is a forecast, an expert opinion about a product’s capacity to meet its obligations to consumers over time. Product ratings inform consumers—enhancing transparency and enabling them to focus on considerations that are most critical to their organizations.

Ratings range from AAA – D. A product rated ‘AAA’ has the highest rating assigned by NSS Labs. The product’s capacity to meet its commitments to consumers is extremely strong. A product rated ‘D’ is actively being breached by known threats and is unable to protect consumers.

Since a rating is an expert opinion, NSS Labs may rate a product from time to time based upon publicly available information as well as surveys and other feedback from consumers.

Note: Ratings are not simply a way to communicate the results of test. Ratings are based on NSS Labs’ expert opinion, and include multiple factors including leadership turnover, customer feedback, financial strength, market conditions, and anything else an analyst considers relevant.

Product Rating Report        

To provide readers with insight into the thought process used to render the overall Product Rating, NSS Labs produces Product Rating Reports that includes detailed analysis & expert opinion of management, false positives, resistance to evasion, and attack prevention/detection. 

Comparative Ratings Report

Comparative Ratings Reports quickly summarize findings of Product Ratings Reports; they efficiently convey NSS Labs’ expert opinions on the differentiation between various vendor offerings and help consumers identify which products may meet their needs.

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