There are 2 kinds of timeouts -
- Graceful timeouts
- Fatal timeouts
A graceful timeout results in a warning. Because, any timeout means a file has _not_ been scanned. AV coverage is not lost when a graceful timeout occurs.
A fatal timeout results in the scanner self-terminating, and later restarting. AV coverage is lost during that time; you can therefore run malware during that time. This is recorded as event 5051. It is a much more severe event. You do not want to be encountering fatal timeouts on a regular basis - even one-off occurrences should be looked at.
We have had known problems with fatal timeouts in VSE 8.7i; these have been solved with 8.7i Patch 5 (which of course isn't available at the moment), but that same timeout problem has a workaround of disabling the Boot sector scanning option. This has not been confirmed to be an issue for VSE 8.8.