21 Jun Traditional Antivirus Software vs Next Generation Endpoint Protection
How would you rate your device security?
As cybercriminals gain access to sophisticated technology, it is critical that organisations utilise state-of-the-art cyber defences to safeguard against a cyber-attack.
Nowadays, almost all businesses collect and store some form of sensitive data. Unfortunately, SME’s continue to underestimate the risk of a cyber-attack due to the size of their operation. The implications to a business can be detrimental, including financial loss, reputational damage, and loss of staff productivity.
Did you know that 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses, while only 14% of these businesses would rate their cyber security as highly effective? Cybercriminals consistently exploit this false sense of security, often targeting smaller businesses who have let their guard down.
‘But I have antivirus software installed on my computer, so these cybercriminals won’t be able to get my data.’Unfortunately, traditional antivirus software only provides a fraction of the security required to provide effective protection in today’s environment.
To help you understand why traditional antivirus software is no longer a sufficient security mechanism, let’s discuss how it operates.
A signature is a static string or pattern of text that uniquely identifies a virus. These signatures allow antivirus software to detect and trigger alerts when a virus is present. As these are static identifiers, the virus needs to be known and understood, if the virus behaviour changes or a new virus is released then new signatures will be required. Signature updates range from once a day to once a week.
These antivirus products are often referred to as point-in-time detection technologies.
Traditional Antivirus vs Next Generation Endpoint Protection
Traditional antivirus software was originally designed to prevent and detect single devices against malware infections. While it used to be considered a must-have in the battle against cybercriminals, legacy antivirus provides little protective value in today’s advanced cyber landscape for the following reasons:
- Antivirus software can only detect known threats. With thousands of new malicious threats being developed every day, traditional antivirus software simply can’t keep up. Moreover, antivirus is limited to point-of-entry inspections, meaning it doesn’t analyse behaviour once it has infiltrated the device.
- Most antivirus software conducts static analysis on the device, rather than leveraging real-time cloud-based threat intelligence.
- Legacy antivirus also lacks the real-time visibility of newer cyber protection models that utilise machine learning and fuzzy fingerprinting to analyse and catch the malware at the point of entry, in real-time.
Taking these things into consideration, it’s clear that traditional antivirus is no longer effective. So, what can you do to protect your business?
Next Generation Endpoint Protection
As the name suggests, Next Generation Endpoint Protection (NGEP) offers the latest technology in anti-malware and hacking protection. As a comprehensive security model, NGEP mitigates the risk of unauthorised access at every step of the way, meaning devices get the best possible protection against infiltration, data loss, and malicious activity.
Within the Next Generation Endpoint Protection space, we recommend Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoint.
AMP for Endpoints was specifically designed to work together with existing security products that may be installed on an endpoint such as traditional antivirus. AMP does not clash with existing antivirus products nor does it try to compete with them.
A current trend that we are seeing is the replacement of traditional antivirus software with AMP. AMP for Endpoints goes beyond traditional normal signature-based detection and prevention technologies, by including multiple processes and analysis engines to enhance AMPs ability to detect Malware. AMP provides,
- Multiple preventative engines utilising cloud-based threat intelligence, effectively doing the heavy lifting for you in the cloud and not on your device, AMP automatically identifies and stops advanced threats before they reach your endpoints.
- Continuous analysis, remediation and retrospective security, when a file arrives on an endpoint, AMP watches the file continuously and records its activity, regardless of whether the file is deemed good or bad. If a good file starts to exhibit bad behaviour in the future, AMP can alert your team, so you can contain and remediate the threat quickly.
- AMP utilises threat intelligence provided by the Cisco Talos group, Talos analyses millions of malware samples and terabytes of data every day. Once available, Talos pushes this threat intelligence to AMP for Endpoints so users are protected 24/7.
- AMP integrates with Cisco Threat Grid to provide Advanced Sandboxing functionality. AMP can perform automated static and dynamic analysis of files, against a large number of behavioural indicators, to determine whether a file is malicious
Taking an integrated approach
Next Generation Endpoint Protection offers an integrated approach to cybersecurity that just isn’t possible through traditional antivirus software.
AMP for Endpoints prevents threats at point of entry, then continuously tracks every file it lets onto your endpoints. AMP can uncover even the most advanced threats-including fileless malware and ransomware–in hours, not days or months.
Thinking back to the beginning, how would you now rate your device security?