With the advancement of technology, the number of cyber attacks has grown dramatically over the years. As a result, the numbers of security threats have also multiplied. Cyber criminals have become more creative in their approach to criminal activities. They have learned how to evade detection and block detection with advanced technologies and skills. As a result, security infrastructures around the world are increasingly vulnerable to attack. The following is a brief discussion on advanced threat protection.
Cyber attacks are always developing and ever-so-proficient techniques to gain unauthorized access into networks. These attacks are usually well-planned, specifically targeted, and are often highly sophisticated, often specifically designed to evade most common security attacks. Unlike more traditional attacks, these efforts are almost always well-coordinated by advanced threat protection systems. Because many attacks are well-planned, they frequently make use of several elements that could be combined in order to successfully bypass security. Countering advanced threats involves sophisticated analytical tools which can provide quick insight, context, and action into the activities and contents of targeted network traffic.
The primary goal of such advanced threat protection systems is to detect and prevent known attacks and to mitigate new threats before they become a problem. By being proactive in blocking attackers, businesses gain the ability to prevent malware from accessing their systems and to block known attack sources. While blocking attackers may require knowledge of the attacker’s tools and skills, IT professionals can assess the strength of an organization’s current security posture. A strong security solution provides an environment that prevents vulnerabilities and creates a false sense of security.
Many attacks succeed at penetration because they work around typical security measures. The most common techniques used for attacking organizations include spear phishing, email spoofing, and Backdoor attacks. Spear phishing involves sending emails to employees purporting to be from trusted sources or from a company that is recognized as being highly secure. If the employee clicks on the email, they are opened on a system that has been compromised. The spyware infects the computer and records the IP address and location of the targeted machine.
Some advanced threats utilize sophisticated software to gain access and operate independently. These programs are much more difficult to detect and remove once they are installed. Common malware used in advanced attacks includes adware, spyware, and virus. Spyware collects information from a computer and can be transmitted via email, IM, FTP, or P2P. Adware is used to track the Internet usage of an individual. In some cases, the adware sends out unwanted pop up advertisements.
The most effective way to defend against advanced threat protection threats is to detect them early and stop them in their tracks. Security solutions that detect and block attacks from known malicious software quickly reduce the risk to an organization. Many attacks are preventable if the proper steps are taken at the right time. By identifying the vulnerabilities in an organization’s overall security environment and configuring security solutions to protect from them, businesses can prevent such attacks before they become a serious threat and significantly reduce the impact of an outage or data loss.
It is important to implement security solutions that are not only designed to block current threats, but are designed to prevent new threats from invading the environment. It takes time for advanced threats to materialize. Therefore, the best solution is to implement security measures that are able to block attackers at the onset of an attack. By blocking the attack vector, security solutions prevent the penetration of other malicious software that may be waiting in the wings to pounce once the initial threat has been neutralized.
Organizations that do not implement adequate security measures are at increased risk for attack since attackers know that they will not have much trouble penetrating the corporate firewall. While it may seem more practical to pay money for advanced threat protection and to expect a direct response after the attack has occurred, this rarely happens. Instead, organizations usually pay for unnecessary and unrealistic enhancements that do not actually reduce the level of threat to the business. By investing in security innovation, organizations can get a true return on investment and prevent the costs of sustained damage and loss.
Using Onedrive For Advanced Threat Protection
Advanced Threat Protection gives you the insight you need in order to prevent and respond appropriately to today’s most advanced threats. Use domain and sub-domain filtering along with industry standard alerting to identify and block malicious websites, email addresses, threats, spam messages and malware. Use fully qualified threat intelligence which includes evidence of validation, information on more than forty threat categories, five year history, domains, and associated samples, to determine whether a website is malicious.
Advanced Threat Protection detects and addresses threats through signatures included in email. When you receive an email message that you believe is from a trusted source, review the address and look for the ” From ” line in the email body. If it has one, it is a threat. Also review the subject line and any words in the message that may indicate the sender. For malicious emails the subject lines will often contain a virus attachment. For other emails a simple indication that the message comes from a trusted source is that there is a link provided to the website that could be harmful.
Another way advanced threats can be detected is through behavioral trends. Many attacks show common behavior, such as the distribution of numerous spam messages in one subject line or that a computer is used by the same user to send many messages. Other indicators of a dangerous web presence include the creation of false websites, frequently change email passwords, create or modify associated paths on files, and constantly check for updates. Some signs of other potential infections are that there is no readily available help (such as a phone number for help), or that the online tools used to detect infections do not work with the system.
To counter these new threats and get the most protection, use fully qualified threat management software. Fully qualified refers to the level of security that the software provides. For an Internet protocol network the level of protection provided will be higher than for a more local system. For instance, firewalls can be used to detect intrusion attempts and stop them, but they are not fully qualified for detecting spyware. Anti-virus scanners are a good start, but they are not fully qualified in detecting advanced threats, which includes both email viruses and Trojans.
Another option is to use threat intelligence. This provides real time intelligence about threats, which can be used to prevent the attack in the first place. For example, if someone posts information about a particular computer virus online, the threat intelligence software will notify the appropriate personnel. In some cases this type of advanced threats can also include remote access tools, which allow an infected computer to be accessed remotely by anyone who has been given authorization. Computers that have been compromised in this way are usually impossible to get into, making it very difficult to remove the worm or virus.
A third option for advanced threat protection is using a web browser based on the Microsoft internet shield. This application runs in the background, gathering data on attacks and providing reports, which can be accessed remotely through the Sys Admin tool. Reports can be sent to an e-mail address or a desktop URL, which can include all of the relevant details for the user that has requested the report.
Web filters, which are designed to examine the “links” that are contained in documents on the Internet, are also a useful type of advanced threats prevention tool. They work by determining whether or not a document is safe to open or download, based on whether or not it contains known malicious links. Safe links (safe Excel files, for example) will be displayed as a trust symbol on the browser’s window, making it more likely that the document can be opened safely. Some Internet browsers, including the Microsoft Internet Explorer, have taken this a step further and include “anti-link” features within their web browsing applications.
In this case, we had a network administrator in our company who was traveling to Africa. He had downloaded a large number of images from several different websites onto his work station’s local hard drive. Several weeks later, he had two more malicious attachments that he had not saved to the same location. We were able to scan the attachments and determine that they had been infected with malicious links, making it clear that a simple application like onedrive could be a great tool for advanced threat protection. We recommend that everyone invest in this type of security application, whether they are traveling to an area that may not be prone to security risks.