First and foremost, the anti-virus space and the related anti-spyware market have become commoditized in terms of costs, features and performance. These are information security staples in most infrastructures. Given this, the question my Technology Editor Peter Stephenson and I faced was how to cover this space in such a way that we don't have pages and pages of repetitive summations. After all, these solutions are some of the oldest and therefore most mature in the market, with quite similar offerings. So, for two of June's Group Tests, we've opted for more concise features and functions matrices, detailing the stuff to consider when looking to deploy such technologies.

Second, our sister company has a reputation for testing these products for just about as long as this set of information security solutions has been in existence, really. As a result, they test all the major vendors in this space.

Finally, this month's special has a supporting review in our typical Group Test format: anti-malware management. This is where differentiation still occurs. So, for this review, we tested in SC Labs and were able to provide summaries on products that showed real pros and cons, along with differences that may influence how a company views a solution.

In the end, this Malware Special is quite comprehensive. These reviews provide a complete picture of the market, product features and the differences among products — especially when it comes to managing these solutions efficiently and effectively.

And yet another change in this issue that makes it special is the arrival of our new West Coast Bureau Chief Jim Carr. A correspondent for SC Magazine for over two years, Jim brings some 15 years experience in writing about IT industry trends, technologies and companies. He previously has worked for such organizations as Network Magazine, eCommerce Business Magazine and many others. We're glad to have him on board with us full-time. Be sure to check in with him on the West Coast.

- Illena Armstrong is SC Magazine's U.S. editor-in-chief.