Microsoft developed MSAT with the help of Symantec and Ziff Davis Media to give it some credibility, so people won’t feel that the only purpose of the tool is to sell Microsoft products. Symantec was responsible for writing the questions, the answers, and the scoring of the tool. Ziff Davis Media was responsible for programming the tool, and currently hosts it on Security Guidance web site for Microsoft.
Although not positioned as such, MSAT can be used as a sales and marketing tool that encourages organizations to contact Microsoft Certified Partners that specialize in security-related matters. According to Microsoft, the goal of this tool is "to help customers gain a holistic understanding of security risks and gaps, develop a road map to becoming more secure, and develop recurring opportunities to offer relevant Microsoft products and partner solutions."