Software security firms join forces

Software security firms join forces

Increasingly sophisticated attacks force new standards in anti-malware testing

Software security firms have banded together to develop standards that will evaluate and test what anti-malware technologies can actually do.

Recently more than 40 security software companies, including consumer stalwarts such as AVG Technologies, F-Secure, Kaspersky, McAfee, Panda Security, Trend Micro and Symantec met in Bilbao to formalise the charter for the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation (AMTSO).

The security industry has been having a tough time lately as criminals develop increasingly sophisticated attacks.

Malware that hackers can download to people's PCs is often not picked up by security software before it can do damage.

The idea for AMTSO was formed in 2007 and been driven by industry-wide concern about the increasing mismatch between what anti-malware technologies actually do and the testing methodologies used to evaluate them.

As well as developing universal standards and guidelines for anti-malware testing the organisation plans to develop a forum for discussions, tools and resources for analysis of anti-malware software and educate awareness of the issues among security companies.

Pedro Bustamante, senior research advisor at Panda Security, said: “The current internet threat panorama requires the use of new technologies to provide adequate protection for IT systems.

"However, existing tests only evaluate certain aspects of the various security solutions available. For this reason, any users who simply go by the results of a test that doesn’t fully analyze each and every one of the capabilities of these solutions, will not have an objective perspective of whether a product is truly effective or not."