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New Testing Agencies For The Next Generation of AV

NEWS / 02.16.17 / Matt Stephenson

Independent third party testing is a hot topic in cybersecurity right now. Cylance VP of Industry Relations and Product Testing Chad Skipper continues to hold the testing agencies accountable, while pushing them to step their collective game up.

“There is controversy simmering in the world of antivirus (AV) testing,” says Chad, speaking from the grounds of RSA 2017. “Right from the very beginning, we have always asked our customers not to trust the (AV) vendors, not to trust the testing industry, but to test for themselves. To use third party testing as a benchmark.”

Skipper adds that from that unique and personalized perspective, potential clients and customers can more thoroughly test products like CylancePROTECT®, which is more advanced than most AV solutions when it comes to artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is also not reliant on day-to-day signature updates, and not reliant on the cloud to “call back to the mothership” for help.

“The challenge then, becomes working with the industry to change their testing methodologies,” explains Skipper. “When testing, it’s really about three things: the attribution, the prominence and the conviction of the malware. The attribution is, who is responsible for creating this malware? The prominence is, how prevalent is the malware? And the conviction means, who actually convicted that malware as being malicious in the first place?”   

The problem, says Skipper, that a lot of third party testing organizations are using outdated malware, malware which has been around since the 80s and 90s with very little change. In these cases, he asserts, it becomes simply hygiene testing, and any results become meaningless.

Watch the full video interview with Chad Skipper here:

So here’s the billion-dollar question: is AV testing ready for ‘the new guys’ – the next generation in cybersecurity vendors, who are doing things that are not simply better, but also very different to that which the industry is used to seeing – and testing for?

Says Skipper, in order to create a fair and modern test that can detect anything, up to and including zero-days, “you’ve got to be able to create your own malware. And you’ve got to be able to test in Offline Mode. In other words, what can the endpoint protection product (EPP) do on its own without having the call to the mother ship?”

That’s a question that Cylance’s product and services demonstrations at RSA 2017 certainly aim to answer.

Go deeper into the controversy: read Chad’s latest cybersecurity blog Real-World AV Testing With Integrity and other key industry stories on the official Cylance blog.

You can also follow Chad on Twitter at @ChadSkipper and LinkedIn at He’s definitely one you want to keep in your news feed.

Join in the conversation with Cylance at the 2017 RSA Conference in San Francisco by following @cylanceinc and #RSAC2017. Stay tuned for more great videos, live from the floor of RSA! 

Matt Stephenson

About Matt Stephenson

InSecurity host Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the  broadcast media at BlackBerry, which puts him in front of crowds, cameras, and microphones all over the world. He is the regular host of the award-winning InSecurity Podcast and video series at events around the globe.

Twenty years of work with the world’s largest security, storage, and recovery companies has introduced Stephenson to some of the most fascinating people in the industry. He wants to get those stories told so that others can learn from what has come before.