A group of security software firms has agreed a set of testing procedures.
Members of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation have published standards for testing security software.
The standards have been developed and agreed by more than 40 security experts, product testers and members of the media around the world.
The creation and publication of these standards is the first step in Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation (AMTSO)’s mission to improve anti-malware product testing.
Members of AMTSO have also produced a set of best practices for dynamically testing security software. This will help software testers create more accurate and reliable tests.
Both documents (The fundamental principles of testing, and Best practices for dynamic testing) are available to download from AMSTO's website.
Members of AMTSO believe the unified approach will benefit computer users who use product reviews and other test results to choose internet security software.
Adoption of the standards by testers and publications will be voluntary. 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's was formed because of concern about the rift between what anti-malware technologies do to protect users and the ways in which product tests measure these.
As anti-malware solutions become more complex, many existing tests can not evaluate effectiveness properly. This results in incomplete, inaccurate and misleading product reviews.
Companies that support the initiative include Symantec, McAfee, Kaspersky and F-Secure.