AMTSO Offers More Encouragement to Testers

The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization, an international organization that promotes improved methodologies for testing security products, announced today that its members have approved a document that offers guidelines to vendors on ways in which they can make it easier to test products accurately. The document “AMTSO Guidelines on Facilitating Testability” was initiated at the suggestion of testers and developed jointly by testers and vendors, and is available here.

Righard Zwienenberg, President of AMTSO and Chief Research Officer of Norman, said: “It is very encouraging for testers when security vendors play a part in raising the standard of anti-malware testing by making a positive contribution to increasing testing accuracy, rather than simply complaining about tests they consider inadequate.”

AMTSO’s latest guidelines document suggests that vendors look at areas such as improving the details held within product logs and providing support for more automation within testing, including closer communications to keep testers up to date with product changes. Automation is a vital tool for enabling tests that are executed on a larger scale, but when a number of vendors recently altered the method for displaying prompts, an extensive test had to be re-engineered mid-stream to accommodate the changes.

The new paper is the latest in a succession of Guidelines and Best Practices documents already published at here. AMTSO’s members have also agreed to expand the range of documentation the organization produces to include more consumer-friendly, educational material, and introduced changes to its voting procedure to ensure that documents cannot be approved by the membership unless a supermajority of testers agree that the content is up to standard. This last measure is designed to avoid any possibility of bias in favour of any one group within the organization.

Pavel Baudiš, of AVAST software, which hosted the AMTSO workshop in Prague at which the document and document review process were approved, said: “AMTSO has shown that it can adapt to changing perceptions and that vendors and testers can work together both in and out of the organization for the benefit of the customer. The availability of more educational material will give influencers outside the anti-malware and testing industries the opportunity to help a wider audience choose and use appropriate protection.”


AMTSO is comprised of 37 members, representing testers, vendors, academics and publishers involved in anti-malware research. Founded in 2008, AMTSO members have cooperatively developed and adopted standards, guidelines, educational materials, and a review analysis process aimed at improving the efficacy and reliability of anti-malware testing.