AMTSO to publish opinion on anti-virus tests and reviews

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

The great and the good of the security world returned from Budapest last week where there was a meeting of AMTSO, the Anti-Malware Standards Organisation.

One of the outcomes of that meeting was that AMTSO has decided to provide a public analysis of the testing methodology used in anti-virus product reviews. That means next time a consumer picks up a copy of XYZ magazine and reads an anti-virus test, they’ll also be able to go somewhere independent to see how accurate and reliable that test is in the opinion of experts.

Why’s this important? Well, in the past there have been a lot of poor quality reviews done of anti-virus software. That’s not always because the reviewer is deliberately making mistakes, but because testing security software is notoriously hard – and it’s easy to make an elementary blunder and come to the wrong conclusions.

AMTSO’s aim is to improve the quality of testing. As they explain more eloquently than I could:

“Good testing helps vendors…

Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.