AMTSO Membership Approves Major Step Forward in Testing Standards

San Francisco, California – May 22, 2017 – The Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO) moves the first ever set of official Standards for anti-malware testing forward to the next level – the development of a full accreditation and endorsement program.

Several recent controversies in published tests have highlighted the need for objective standards to measure the quality and fairness of tests conducted on security products. AMTSO’s Standards project is designed to provide a framework to enable unbiased evaluation of testing approaches and methods.

“The Draft Standards aim to provide guidance to testers on how best to ensure that the testing of anti-malware solutions is open, transparent, and fair,” said Dennis Batchelder, President of AMTSO and CEO of AppEsteem. “Tests should provide useful and actionable intelligence for everyone who relies on test data, from analysts and media to purchasers of security products, as well as vendors themselves trying to improve their products. These Draft Standards are designed to encourage and facilitate that clarity and fairness.”

“The AMTSO Standards will give testers protection against accusations of unfair practices and poor testing,” said Simon Edwards, Chairman of the Board at AMTSO and Director at SE Labs. “By ensuring that all stages of the testing process are clearly described, well documented and open to comment and feedback, testers are given a strong position to back up the claims made in their test reports, and AMTSO is committed to supporting and defending high-quality tests that follow the Draft Standards”.

Since its formation in 2008, AMTSO has leveraged the combined expertise of specialist testers, developers of security products and academics working in the security field to develop a set of guidelines and resources to promote better testing.

In 2016, the organization formed a Standards Working Group (SWG) to drive the development of a definitive set of industry standards. The SWG regularly sought comment from AMTSO’s membership and the wider security community. During the latest round of feedback in the last few months, over 200 comments and suggestions were collected and absorbed into the final Draft document.

“The Standards Working Group has put in a huge amount of work building out these Standards,” said John Hawes, COO of AMTSO. “We’re very proud of how far we’ve got in little over a year, and we are looking forward to getting the structures and processes in place to ensure the Standards are implemented and adopted across the industry.”

At a recent AMTSO meeting in Kraków, Poland, AMTSO members adopted the Draft Standards and authorized the Standards Working Group to proceed with developing the procedures and operations to implement the Draft Standards. Over 60 delegates representing 35 member organizations were present for the discussion and voting.

“The WannaCry outbreak had every security vendor working extra hours to demonstrate their product stopped it, which shows the importance of independent testing to verify vendors’ often bold claims,” said Martijn Grooten, Editor of Virus Bulletin, an AMTSO member organization since 2008. “I was pleased to see the AMTSO Testing Standards officially receive Draft status, helping testers adopt clear and transparent procedures.”

“In an industry as fast moving and increasingly technology diverse as endpoint security, there is a strong need for standard test methodologies to help consumers and businesses determine what products are best for them,” said Norm Laudermilch, CISO at Sophos. “AMTSO’s vote to approve Draft Standards is a monumental move toward producing fair, consistent, and quantitative metrics to drive those decisions.”

About the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organization (AMTSO)

AMTSO is a California-based non-profit mutual benefit corporation founded in 2008. AMTSO’s mission is to improve business conditions related to the development, use, testing and rating of anti-malware solutions. AMTSO membership is open to industry-wide academics, reviewers, testers and vendors. Additional information regarding the organization, including charter documents, membership and educational materials are available on the AMTSO website.


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