In case you missed it: recently more than 40 anti-malware researchers and testers got together in Bilbao, Spain, to formalize the charter of the Anti-Malware Testing Standards Organisation (AMTSO). The organization's main aim is to create security software testing guidelines and standards.
Why is a body like this needed? Well, although security software has changed enormously in the last ten years, most tests used today haven't evolved at the same rate. New and better tests are needed to better assess the effectiveness of new technologies. AMTSO is a very significant move towards having tests that more accurately reflect the performance of security software in real life situations.
I was part of the initial talks about this way back during the AV Testing Workshop, and it's clear that with this new organization, we've come a long way.
Right now the group consists of AV researchers and testers. One of the goals is to include academics as well. AMTSO strives to be vendor and technology neutral and academic members will be very helpful in ensuring this position.
It'll be interesting to see what AMTSO comes up with it. As a member of the pro tem standards and guidelines subcommittee I'll obviously have a say in the matter. The result may be that we end up with tests where security solutions don't score as highly as they do in current tests. But this will be no bad thing if test results reflect the genuine ability of solutions to combat today's constantly changing threats.
Read more about the organization here