Joe Wells, our chief scientist for security research, interviewed by Jennifer LeClaire:
TechNewsWorld: When consumers buy a top-rated software product, are they really getting what they paid for?
Joe Wells: It depends on the reliability of the rating method. On one hand, the more the method depends on precise testing the better; on the other hand, the more the method depends on the tester’s personal opinion, the worse it is. So tests that emphasize look and feel tend to be less dependable.
TNW: What is your philosophy on quality assurance and testing for anti-malware software?
Wells: We test our software in the same basic way all software is tested. But in addition, we must test against real, active threats, including detection, remediation, correct information, as well as false positive testing.
TNW: In the wake of this Consumer Reports incident, what can we learn about the art and science of testing anti-malware software?
Wells: The CU testing is a simple example of a testing body not researching to find out what the current state of the art in security testing actually is. There are papers available on well-established scientific procedures for testing antivirus and anti-other malware products.