Setting Up an Anti-Malware Testing Environment

Testing anti-malware products can be performed in a safe and secure manner if the tester follows best practices. Testing in a virtual machine (VM) that is isolated from the host device, as well as isolated from the production network, ensures that a security analyst can execute malware safely and in a manner that yields the most accurate test results.

In practice, accurate results are a product of recreating production environments as accurately as possible. It follows that accurate reproduction of a production environment warrants the accurate reproduction of attacks against that environment. This outcome can be achieved with software that virtualizes a physical machine.

“Testing anti-malware products can be performed in a safe and secure manner if the tester follows best practices. Always test on a network that is separated from production,” says Chad Skipper, VP of Industry Relations & Product Testing.

“Accurate test results allow security professionals to properly vet available solutions for their networks and devices, and it is therefore imperative that these tests reflect the environment that the tested products will eventually protect.”

Once the virtual environment has been established, install the anti-malware product of your choice for testing and ensure it has been configured and updated with the policies you intend to run within your environment. Check to ensure the anti-malware product is up to date and running the policy of choice. Virtualization software, such as VMware, should also be updated to the most recent version.

Now, where can you get malware? There are many legitimate sources for obtaining malware samples. If you don’t have a “zoo” (your own library of malware), then visit TestMyAV: a website with a single purpose - to enable people to test anti-malware solutions for themselves.

Rather than trusting vendors, testing companies, and salespeople at their word, TestMyAV knows that testing isn’t hard and believes that everyone should have the ability to evaluate which solutions are best for their organization.

“Your malware samples should include different malware types like portable executables (PEs), compressed files, Visual Basic scripts, Javascript, and browser-based exploits, among others. TestMyAV is a website with a single purpose – to get people testing anti-malware solutions for themselves,” Skipper explains.

“Rather than trusting vendors, testing companies and sales people, they believe that testing isn’t hard and that everyone should have the ability to evaluate what solutions are best for their organization.”

For more information on how to safely and effectively test anti-malware solution in your own environment, check out the recently released book Next-Generation Anti-Malware Testing for Dummies, which explains why you need to test different solutions for yourself and provides the details on how you can do it effectively.

While the publication is intended for IT managers and security administrators tasked with server and endpoint security in your organization, it is crafted to be accessible to non-technical readers as well, so you’ll come away with more knowledge about malware and anti-malware solutions testing.

This resource is offered at no charge, and contains a wealth of information that will get your team up to speed in order to set up your own internal testing lab so you can better evaluate which anti-malware solution Is the best for your organization.

Download Next-Generation Anti-Malware Testing For Dummies, and feel free to reach out to our team of experts for more information on why testing for yourself is the key to furthering your endpoint security efforts.