How Next-Generation Endpoint Protection Stops Unknown Threats

It’s no secret that today’s hackers take a more sophisticated approach to cybercrime than the stereotypical 20-year-old living in his parents’ basement. Hackers do a lot of research to learn about their targets and find vulnerabilities. They develop advanced solutions and look for help on the dark web. They’re master impersonators and manipulators. Most importantly, they know how to quickly adapt and avoid being caught.

This advanced approach is why signature-based endpoint protection solutions alone are not effective. These tools look for the identifiers of known attacks, much like law enforcement looks through files of fingerprints of known criminals. If the signature is not on file, these tools won’t identify the attack.

When hackers are creating about 75,000 malicious programs per day, waiting for threats to be identified and signatures to be released creates an unacceptable level of risk for most organizations. Zero-day threats capable of finding and exploiting vulnerabilities on the same day can walk right past signature-based tools. Also, the compute resources required to check every suspicious file against a constantly changing list of signatures can affect performance in other areas of the network.

Next-generation endpoint protection (NGEP) doesn’t rely on signatures to keep your network secure. NGEP uses multiple technologies and techniques to detect, mitigate and pinpoint the source of both known and unknown threats.These tools reduce the attack surface by blocking known threats and risky applications, but that’s only one part of the NGEP strategy.

NGEP looks for suspicious behaviors, connections, traffic and processes that would indicate the presence of an advanced threat. Machine learning enables NGEP to become better at detecting threats as more data is consumed. NGEP solutions can also include features capable of detecting and blocking ransomware, analyzing sandboxes (secure areas where threats are isolated), and reversing changes that were made to the network after a threat was detected.

Upon detection, threats are immediately mitigated, eliminated and remediated at the point of detection to prevent them from spreading. Communication back to the hacker is also blocked. An NGEP system will then create new signatures that can be used on other endpoints and at the network perimeter to block similar threats from reaching endpoints.

There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating NGEP solutions.First, determine if an on-premises or cloud-based system makes more sense for your organization. A cloud-based system is often easier to manage and scale while providing access to real-time threat intelligence. However, an on-premises system may be required for compliance purposes.

Look for a solution that can be deployed across multiple operating systems and endpoints, especially if your organization allows the use of employee-owned devices. Built-in, fully integrated sandboxing will ensure that unknown files are quickly and seamlessly analyzed without requiring a separate management system.

Your NGEP solution should allow for continuous monitoring and recording of activity across all endpoints, including agentless detection of malware. This visibility makes it easier to identify the source and activity of threats and determine how to stop them. Additionally, the management interface should be simple enough to allow for fast, informed security assessments, decisions and investigations, using automation to accelerate these processes.

The new generation of hackers and threats requires more advanced protection than signature-based tools alone can provide. Let us show you how NGEP can reduce risk by stopping both known and unknown threats before their impact is felt.