West Coast Labs Unveils Real-Time Testing Program

Independent testing service expands beyond standard, baseline benchmarking tests to include continuous live testing of products and services against security threats collected in real time

March 19, 2009

7 Min Read


Cardiff, UK and Irvine, Calif., March 16, 2009 " West Coast Labs, part of the Haymarket Media Group and one of the world's leading independent test facilities for information security products and services, today announced the first of its kind higher level of performance validation with the introduction of West Coast Labs Real Time Testing Program. Leading security vendors AVG Technologies, Equiinet, Panda Security, Symantec, and the Internet Security Business Unit for CA, Inc. are the first companies committing to 24x7x365 live testing of their solutions.

Widely recognized as the leading test facility for content security products and services, West Coast Labs has enhanced its independent testing service in response to demand for up-to-the-minute performance validation of mission critical security applications and services. The West Coast Labs Real Time Testing Program expands beyond the company's standard, baseline benchmarking tests to a sophisticated program that now conducts continuous live testing of products and services against security threats collected in real time through West Coast Labs' global network.

"As we continue our effort to remain the leading developer of proactive detection technologies that keep IT resources free from viruses and other computer threats, we remain committed to having the most relevant knowledge of our products' performance," said Pedro Bustamante, senior research advisory, Panda Security. "The ability to understand the real-world results against time relevant security threats provides us with keen insight and the opportunity to dynamically enhance our product. These Real Time Tests are one of the best tests that exist today which give the focused view and real-time intelligence that will allow us to continue to offer security solutions that best meet our clients' needs."

Real Time Testing " Performance Validation that Considers Today's Realities

According to Lysa Myers, director of research, West Coast Labs, "Up until now, there's been an extremely large gap between the evaluation of products and end users' experiences. Where once testing was conducted without regard to time and geographic location, our Real Time Testing program recognizes the importance of testing against up-to-the minute threats that originate from multiple locations and are aimed at varying entry points. It is the first major step in years that closes that gap between test labs and user experiences."

The West Coast Labs Real Time Testing Program takes into consideration the realities of today's malware environment. It is comprised of a range of tests and accreditations to vendors seeking the highest level of independent validation on real world product performance. No other testing regime exists today that monitors and tracks product performance against the security threats experienced by corporate organizations around the world in real time.

"AVG's research indicates that today's threats and attacks on Internet users are more sophisticated and depend on stealth, transience, and multiple/random attack vectors. The constantly evolving nature of these attacks requires testing facilities that more accurately portray today's threat environment," said Larry Bridwell, vice president of Global Security Strategies, AVG. "West Coast Labs Real-Time Testing Program is a welcome addition to other validation schemes currently in use. AVG sees great value in this dynamic testing program. These methods are synergistic with our own strategy and approach to use techniques such as behavioral analysis to deliver real-time threat protection."

Sunil Aggarwal, vice president and head of threat research, the Internet Security Business Unit for CA, Inc., says, "We are very excited about the new Real Time Testing program launched by West Coast Labs. As attacks on networks and endpoints have become more sophisticated and targeted with multiple attack vectors, validation of security software in a real time environment has taken a very critical dimension. While our own research labs collect samples via honey pots and crawlers, we see tremendous value in our relationship with West Coast Labs as an independent validation organization and in their real time testing program, which can provide product test results in seconds. This is a much needed program for the end point security industry."

Testing's Role in Product Performance Accountability

The nature of content security threats changes almost daily. Malware authors, tempted by significant financial gains, are driven to create more sophisticated and prolific threats, especially those that exploit the vulnerabilities of corporate networks.

"Equiinet has been a keen industry participant of the West Coast Labs' Checkmark accreditation scheme for over ten years. Our Education and SME customers similarly value the independent testing and reassurance that Checkmark offers," says Keith Baker, managing director, Equiinet. "We are delighted to be an early participant in West Coast's Real Time testing program and are already receiving very useful practical feedback. We believe that West Coast's new offering is huge step forward in testing methodologies - clearly differentiating itself from simple single point-in-time testing - providing Equiinet and our customers with up-to-the-minute quality assurance."

IT managers now demand more accountability from vendors to address emerging threats " attacks targeted specifically at corporate networks and individual employees from an expanded realm of attack vectors with increasing frequency. As malware attacks throughout the world increase, information security product and service providers can best meet this accountability challenge, and demonstrate product superiority and up-to-date protection, by engaging in real-time product testing that is based on relevancy " time and geographic location " of the security threats.

"Now more than ever, businesses worldwide require highly scalable and reliable security applications that can protect their complex network environments from the rapid expansion of attack vectors and newly authored security threats," said Scott Markle, US vice president of business development, West Coast Labs. "West Coast Labs has always served to push vendors and service providers through third party validation of the full functionality and performance of their products. Through our Real Time Testing Program, vendors stand to benefit greatly from live independent testing in terms of both competitive advantage and ability to meet client demands quickly."

Early Participants and Testing Methods

Recognizing the demand for creating solutions that address the changing landscape of security threats AVG Technologies, Equiinet, Panda Security, Symantec, and the Internet Security Business Unit for CA, Inc. also understand the importance of independent real world testing to maintaining competitive advantage through performance validation. These market-leading companies have agreed to subject their products to rigors of the Real Time Testing program, which will provide them with an accurate and independent measurement of real time product performance.

Currently, the Real Time Testing program for content security products and service includes:

Real Time Anti-malware for HTTP, FTP, SMTP, application-specific attacks and malicious URLs " solutions continually tested in real time through West Coast Labs' global collection network with locations across the USA, Europe and Asia, as well as its own proprietary honey net and web spidering research program Real Time Anti-spam " a live spam feed looks for spam attacks with regional differentiating origination points Real Time URL Filtering " full-time web spidering of the World Wide Web to identify objectionable content collected daily from locations worldwide

About West Coast Labs Real Time Testing Program

Believing that effective independent performance validation of content security technologies should occur as an actual business experience in real-world environments, West Coast Labs now delivers sophisticated, live testing and real-time product performance through its 24x7x365 Real Time Testing program. Products are tested continuously against content security threats collected through West Coast Labs' global network in real time to provide the ultimate in performance validation.

About West Coast Labs

Part of the Haymarket Media Group, West Coast Labs is a global leader in technical research, testing and the Checkmark Certification of information security products and services. With market-leading technology and testing facilities accredited to ISO17025 in the UK, USA and India, West Coast Labs' services and the Checkmark Certification System are being used by the leading global brands to create market advantage and by large business enterprises for obtaining crucial technical insight into product performance.

For more information, please contact Lauren Curley, [email protected], 781 383 6406 or Chris Thomas, [email protected], 44 (0) 77 1735 5760

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