Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization publishes testing guidelines

Members of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) have published guidelines that, for the first time, set recognized standards for testing security software. The standards have been developed and agreed to by more than 40 security experts, product testers and members of the media from around the world. The creation and publication of these standards is a critical first step in fulfilling AMTSO’s mission to improve the testing of anti-malware products.

Members of AMTSO have also produced a comprehensive set of best practices for dynamic testing of security software. This document will help software testers create more accurate and reliable tests.

The approval of these standards and guidelines is a significant step for the security industry as a whole, since it now has a common reference for high quality standards of testing. Members of AMTSO believe that the new, unified approach will ultimately benefit computer users who use product reviews and other test results to help choose internet security software. Adoption of the standards by testers and publications will be voluntary, and AMTSO plans to eventually provide public feedback on the level of compliance with such standards, and to help assess the quality of published product reviews.

AMTSO is an industry-wide, international collaboration of leading vendors of security software, software testers and media representatives. Its formation has been driven by concern about the increasing mismatch between what anti-malware technologies do to protect users and the ways in which product tests measure this protection.

As anti-malware solutions become more complex, many existing tests are unable to evaluate product effectiveness properly, resulting in product reviews that are sometimes incomplete, inaccurate and misleading. The adoption of standards and guidelines is the first stage in an initiative in which members of the industry are collaborating with testers, reviewers and the media in the production of advice that will help customers make better-informed buying decisions.

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