Tag Archives: XGen

It’s Time to Up Cyber Maturity Levels in 2017 – Starting with the Endpoint

by Bharat Mistry

As we close out another eventful year one thing is patently obvious: cyber threats have never represented a bigger risk to firms. Data and security breaches recently revealed at the likes of PayAsUGym, Ryanair, Lynda.com, KFC and more have all provide a timely festive reminder to CISOs of the value of multi-layered threat defence. More concerning still are new stats suggesting UK firms continue to operate with lower levels of security maturity than their US counterparts.

A good way to start the new year would surely be to consider how your organization can be smarter about security in 2017. And that means taking a look first at the endpoint.

Another year of breaches
Even before the catastrophic breaches at Yahoo, which may have affected over 1.5 billion accounts, were revealed, this was already shaping up to be another epic year for the black hats. Perhaps most worrying from the stream of breach incidents we’ve all read about in the news over the past 12 months is the fact that organisations are still making the same old mistakes.

Newly released data from UK-based insurer CFC Underwriting makes for particularly uncomfortable reading. It reveals that firm handled more than 400 claims on cyber breach policies this year – with the main categories being privacy breaches (31%), financial loss (22%) and ransomware (16%). Now, we don’t have mandatory breach reporting laws in the UK – not until the European GDPR comes into force in 2018, at least. So this is an interesting reminder that, while we might not always hear about them, security incidents are happening – and affecting UK firms every day.

More concerning still is that UK firms apparently represent 8% of the insurer’s policy count, but 17% of its claims count. Why does the UK have a disproportionately high volume of claims? CFC reckons because of the low cybersecurity maturity of these organisations.

Start with the endpoint
A comprehensive approach to cybersecurity of course requires multiple layers of protection including web and email gateways, networks and servers – not forgetting the vital “people” and “policy” elements. But many of the attacks which have led to damaging breaches over the past year started at the endpoint – the initial incursion point into the corporate network. We therefore need to start our efforts by better protecting this layer of infrastructure – but it’s not easy given the explosion in endpoints facilitated by cloud, mobile and IoT technologies.

Trend Micro’s answer is XGen: a cross-generational approach reliant on multiple layers of protection. None of these are a silver bullet on their own. But together they can form a formidable defence against the vast majority of known and unknown threats.

It should feature signature and non-signature based tools, including behavioural based filters, app control, exploit prevention and machine learning. The latter has been used for years by Trend Micro. But in this context we’ve made it even more effective at stopping threats by designing capabilities which extract and analyse a suspect file’s characteristics before and during its execution. This helps to reduce false positives and improve accuracy.

Endpoint compromise can play a vital role early on in the cyber kill chain. As we head into 2017, don’t underestimate the importance of gaining visibility and control at this layer. With huge regulatory pressure coming from Europe in 2018, no CISO can afford to ignore it.

 

 

Trend Micro a Double Winner at V3 Technology Awards as Deep Security and Deep Discovery Impress

by Bharat Mistry

The UK’s IT decision makers have it pretty tough. On the one hand the sheer range, volume and persistence of threats today make it virtually impossible to keep digital corporate assets 100% safe. But on the other, the outrageous hyperbole spread by security vendors in what is an increasingly crowded market makes finding the right tools more challenging than it’s ever been. In these situations, the opinions of journalists, independent reviewers and customers themselves become incredibly important. Continue reading

Why You Need Multi-layered Security for Maximum Endpoint Protection

by Bharat Mistry

Recent headlines have highlighted once again that many organisations are just a click away from a potentially catastrophic malware infection or data breach. The world-leading heart and lung Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire was lucky enough to have daily back-ups in place when it was recently hit by a ransomware attack. North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust was less so, and ended up cancelling operations and moving patients elsewhere after IT systems were taken offline for several days.

Many endpoint security vendors trumpet their capabilities as a silver bullet to tackle these and other modern day threats. It’s a tempting prospect, but sadly with little substance to back up the claims. The truth is that the only way to effectively protect your organisation from the multiplicity of threats out there is with a multi-layered approach, which runs from traditional signature-based detection to advanced machine learning. Continue reading

Black Hat Europe: How Machine Learning Offers a New Approach to Uncover IOCs

Indicators of compromise (IOCs) are an incredibly important forensic artifacts which, as the name suggests, are used in incident response and threat research to discover if a system has been compromised. They come in various forms, for example, unusual outbound network traffic, an MD5 file in a temporary directory, or even log-in irregularities. One class of IOCs so far resistant to detection by traditional methods relates to the use of external content in web-based attacks.

At Black Hat Europe earlier today, Trend Micro senior security researcher Marco Balduzzi, explained how a new machine learning approach can reap fantastic results for early detection of such threats. Continue reading