As cyber-attacks become more sophisticated and frequent, organizations must invest in advanced threat protection solutions to protect themselves.
Cybersecurity providers have enhanced corresponding defenses at the same rate that criminal organizations have improved virus, phishing, and ransomware attack techniques and technologies. Advanced threat protection software uses artificial intelligence and machine learning within endpoint protection and cyber-defense solutions to learn from and automatically apply new information to better recognize, thwart, and stop cyberattacks.
To better identify and defend against skilled phishing attempts, sophisticated ransomware threats, and other particularly advanced cyberattacks, dynamic endpoint protection and cyber-defense solutions using AI and ML technologies are called “advanced threat protection.” Advanced threat protection (ATP) is a security solution that uses advanced techniques to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats.
ATP solutions go beyond traditional security measures, such as firewalls and antivirus software, and are designed to respond to and detect threats that have already bypassed those measures.
Advanced cyberattacks on well-defended networks have brought down entire nations, educational systems, and oil pipelines. Additionally, organizations can never know the number of successful attacks on significant businesses that never made headlines.
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Why organizations need advanced threat protection
When file signatures matched known threats, endpoint protection software would frequently compare them and take appropriate action. Older cybersecurity software couldn’t adapt to changing circumstances, learn from mistakes, or intuitively recognize when novel behaviors proved risky, which was the problem with that strategy.
Advanced threat protection more effectively detects and resists both old and new threats, including new exploits as they emerge and evolve that try to steal or corrupt sensitive information, by incorporating and enabling AI and ML. Advanced threat protection technologies help network administrators by offering tools and technologies that continuously monitor for threats, mitigate attacks before they occur, disrupt in-progress infections, and even suspend active attacks. These technologies can be integrated into endpoint protection agents, assist as hardware appliances, email or firewall filters, or be used independently.
How to Select Advanced Threat Protection Software
Organizations should choose an ATP solution that meets their budgetary requirements, demonstrates reputable results, and offers the coverage and functionality their security requirements demand. Firms should pay close attention to features and functionality because different businesses may prioritize usability while favoring more sophisticated reporting capabilities and a wider range of applications.
Threats conceal themselves in memory to evade detection
In any IT environment, detection technologies are a crucial line of defense. They are endpoint protection platform (EPP), managed detection and response (MDR), endpoint detection and response/extended detection and response (EDR/XDR), and next-generation antivirus (NGAV). However, the most advanced threats and fresh iterations of old threats are created to avoid these instruments, typically by hiding them in memory.
Scanners use known signatures to try to spot malware and other malicious activity. However, even with multiple layers of security, these scanners are unable to detect threats that lack recognizable signatures, lack files, or exist in memory, making runtime scanning ineffective. After all, one can’t find what one can’t see if they don’t know what to look for and can’t see surroundings in real time. Since it is difficult to identify stealthy, unidentified, and evasive threats in memory using standard cybersecurity tools, security teams cannot stop attacks promptly. Security teams fall behind threat actors as a result.
The Security Gap in Memory is Widening
Threat actors target memory because it offers the best opportunity for undetectable persistence on a device. Runtime memory is a particularly large area, making it virtually impossible to scan without significantly impairing performance, leaving it largely unprotected by security controls. EDR and other detection-based solutions must examine memory only when necessary to preserve performance. The recently released Cobalt Strike Yara rules are one example of how they rely on choosing particular times and locations in memory to scan and look for specific indicators. Scanning solutions frequently miss evasive threats because they can conceal themselves in a large area and change their configuration to avoid triggering rulesets. Threat actors can hijack legitimate processes, steal credentials, and even elevate low-privileged users to system administrators in the runtime memory environment of a device.
Incorporating Memory Defenses
Deploying a layered security posture that makes it difficult for attackers to succeed is the only reliable way to prevent compromise by advanced threats reliably. To detect malicious behavior and keep security teams updated on network activity, this necessitates the development of secure networks, hardening systems, and using security technologies like EDR, EPP, and AV. Security teams should also consider ways to prevent unauthorized actors from accessing memory.
The runtime memory environment can be made random using moving target defense technology to prevent attackers from finding what they’re looking for and disrupt their attack chain. An attacker must contend with a dynamic memory environment that contains decoy traps that record unauthorized activity for forensic analysis rather than a static, known target environment.
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Making a skills map and putting the security team to the test
The cybersecurity skills gap is well known, and while businesses can partially close it by hiring more talent, investing in and developing the current talent will always be worthwhile. Developing a company-wide security awareness training program is critical, but an InfoSec staff may require more in-depth and specialized instruction.
Security training programs and certifications are available, but security leaders should pause and consider their needs. Everything aforementioned can be used to create a skills map highlighting the abilities organizations need to successfully defend their environment and avoid the kinds of threats the business has had to deal with.
Think carefully about specialization because having an oncologist and a brain surgeon is sometimes preferable to having two general practitioners. It may be necessary to establish specialized roles to create an efficient team, but security teams can create training methods using online resources that instruct and test knowledge in a real-world, useful manner.
As IT teams create a security strategy, they should consider these requirements. For the strategy to change and security to strengthen after experiencing incidents, let them communicate with and feed off each other. This is the way to lay the groundwork for effective advanced threat detection.
Layered security that includes memory defense is becoming increasingly important as advanced threats become more prevalent. It is necessary for stopping threats that target device memory to be effective.
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