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Antivirus vendors tackle testing standards

Companies including Microsoft and Symantec have formed an organisation to investigate testing standards for anti-malware products
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

Various security companies have banded together to tackle what they claim to be falling standards in the testing of anti-malware applications.

The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) was formed on Monday by 25 of the leading players in the IT security world, including Microsoft, Symantec, AVG, McAfee and Trend Micro.

While organisations such as Virus Bulletin already exist for the testing of anti-malware products, the formation of AMTSO was "driven by industry-wide concern about the increasing mismatch between what anti-malware technologies actually do and the testing methodologies used to evaluate them", according to the AMTSO website.

Most current evaluation methodologies for anti-malware products are inadequate, according to a statement on the AMTSO website: "As anti-malware solutions become more complex, many existing tests are unable to evaluate product effectiveness properly."

Security vendor Sophos, which belongs to the organisation, agreed that testing standards had not kept pace with the evolution of anti-malware products. "Traditional tests are becoming increasingly irrelevant as they fail to take into account the new technologies built into security solutions," said Stuart Taylor, SophosLabs manager.

The organisation's aims include providing a forum for discussions related to the testing of anti-malware products, and developing and publicising standards and best practices for such tests.

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