Having antivirus software on your business computer system is a lot like having the flu shot. Everyone knows you should have it, but you also understand that you won’t be protected from all strains of the flu. The antivirus can block threats that are known, but these days, systems are prone to be hit by more than just viruses. Vulnerabilities in the network and malware can lead to more compromises in your system. Not only that, but new threats are created faster than any antivirus can catch up with.
Companies need to realize that simply depending on an antivirus and firewall is leaving the business wide open to compromise. The first step to a security breach is malware, whose job is to steal credentials then create a new identity that can access the business network. When malware is discovered, it is a good thing but is typically too late. Once the malware is detected by the antivirus system, the hacker has already accessed the network with a new identity. The anti-malware software is a necessity, but it is not a complete solution.
What to Do
It is argued that a company needs to use antivirus protection along with artificial intelligence, behavioral analytics, and other new technologies to help buff up their defense. Antiviruses alone can typically stop about half of the breaches today. When it comes to more sophisticated threats, though, behavioral and white listing options need to be deployed to block the malicious activity.
Now, more artificial intelligence and sophisticated machine learning is being used to defend networks. These programs can learn quickly and adapt to the different types of malware and can often find problems in areas where malicious behavior is hiding amongst normal traffic patterns. Behavioral analytics are also important since they look for anomalies or surges in traffic, things that are beyond the normal boundaries.
One of the best ways to fight against cyber-attacks is by layering security, with some pieces running in the network and others at endpoints. An approach that is optimized will look at not only the flow of data, but the behavioral activities of the users, data and applications, machines, and incorporate external threat intelligence.
The End of Antivirus?
Developers of antiviruses are not ready to call quits on their products yet. The new strains are constantly appearing, but the older strains are still out there and able to infect systems. This keeps the older antivirus still relevant. It is still important for companies to use an antivirus, just not alone. An antivirus is unable to protect systems against the more modern threats like fileless malware, targeted attacks, and polymorphic malware. They are still as important as ever, though, because of what they do protect systems from.
Rebirth of the Old
The less sophisticated criminals today try to make malware that is old seem new again at the binary level. They do this by taking a malicious Trojan that is well known and easy to detect and jumbling it up on the binary level, so the original signature on the antivirus matches no longer. This strategy can evade most basic antivirus programs. Some attackers can automate this process, so their servers are constantly repacking the malware to target new victims. This leads to thousands of malware samples that a basic antivirus may not catch.
Luckily, new technologies are allowing the antivirus to become more proactive rather than reactive. This is done through behavioral data and artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence is used to learn and adapt the software and algorithms at the endpoint to stop attackers. Using this technology is giving companies the leverage to fight against the cyber conflict.
If you are worried about your network security, contact RedWave Technology Group, the best IT support Birmingham AL has to offer. We can help secure your network and keep your data safe from attack.