Exploring Advanced Malware Protection and Why You Need It
The threat of malware is a persistent concern for every business and organization today. If it finds its way into your IT infrastructure, malware can disrupt operations, compromise data, and corrode your business’ reputation through a full-fledged data breach. If that wasn’t enough to worry IT and cybersecurity teams, the advent of advanced malware has upped the stakes. Implementing advanced malware protection can’t be ignored by business.
Malware comes in many forms and the term is used as a catch-all to describe myriad threats — from viruses and worms to ransomware. Advanced malware differs in that it is more sophisticated and designed to bypass cybersecurity systems. These advanced strains are engineered to have better capabilities for infection, payload execution, communication, and control — such as replicating itself and spreading to other devices once delivered. These threats are purpose-built to avoid detection or mimic a friendly file.
Advanced malware protection (AMP) uses specialized tools and techniques to detect, prevent, and respond to malware threats to a network or system. This includes an array of approaches as well and incorporates different elements to provide levels of protection, such as traditional antivirus software, firewalls, and detection systems, and forensic analytics and incident response plans to mitigate malware attacks.
Turning to advanced malware protection empowers businesses to better protect their infrastructure and data. Off-the-shelf or ‘regular’ malware security isn’t equipped to detect new or unknown malware well, and advanced malware is specifically designed to elude such precautions. With the threats malware presents — data loss, breaches, downtime, financial and reputational costs — businesses of every size can not afford to ignore advanced malware protection.
If the 2025 deadline wasn’t sufficiently motivating, the DoD expressed strong views about their expectation of the current state. Since CMMC 2.0 focuses on NIST 800-171 compliance which organizations have been attesting to for years, there will be no excuse to not being ready when CMMC is fully implemented. With this in mind, contract enforcement will be increased through the Civil Cyber-Fraud Initiative. If businesses fail to adhere to the cybersecurity requirements specified in contracts, they could face loss of those contracts and steep fines under the False Claims Act.
With the need to start pursuing NIST 800-171 / CMMC compliance a business imperative for many companies, it’s time to examine the certification process from start to finish.
Key Components of Advanced Malware Protection
The key to advanced malware protection is a multi-layered approach. If malware is able to bypass one layer, additional layers remain to prevent and/or mitigate the damage that could result. Similarly, rigorous AMP solutions address several components of protection; let’s look at those more in-depth.
Identifying and detecting malware includes different approaches, which can be broadly categorized into two categories:
Signature-based detection: Tradition antivirus software relies heavily on this method, which looks for known binary patterns in the malware. But advanced malware authors stay ahead of such security by writing oligomorphic and polymorphic viruses, which modifies the virus to NOT match signatures in the known antivirus database.
Behavior-based detection: This monitors the behavior of programs and seeks out anomalies that indicate the presence of malware. This means this detection method isn’t dependent solely on signatures.
Behavior-based detection is often powered by AI and machine learning algorithms to analyze data and zero in on potential threats. Advanced malware detection providers regularly update their databases with new signatures, when found, to keep abreast of evolving threats.
Preventing the delivery of malware is an essential part of the security puzzle. Antivirus software can scan files and block the execution of known malicious software. Firewalls, of course, block unauthorized network traffic. Intrusion prevention systems monitor your network and can block malicious activity before it can execute. One example of this is sandboxing, which essentially executes potentially dangerous code in a controlled environment.
As with detection, prevention tools used in advanced malware protection can also lean into AI and ML to better parse data and find lurking threats that can elude traditional solutions.
Mitigating the impact of any attack is a part of advanced malware protection as well. The response aspect helps businesses quickly and effectively react to a malware intrusion and minimize the effects on their infrastructure and systems. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools can provide retrospective security that contains the threat at the initial signs of malicious behavior. Other elements of a response plan include:
- Incident Response Plans — Outline what steps to take in the event of a malware attack
- Forensic Analysis — The attack happened: How was this piece of malware able to bypass your security measures?
- Containment — Develops tools and process to isolate infected systems and devices from the rest of the network. Learn how to repair or clean systems to remove traces of malware.
Reduce your Risk with Advanced Malware Protection and Inversion6
Inversion6 has the expertise, experience, and wide-range of partnerships with cutting-edge solution providers to create the risk-mitigation program you need to secure your business against all of the many types and emerging varieties of malware.
Our complete scope of managed detection and response services empowers your business with experts that help you stay ahead of the ever-changing threat landscape. With a Secure Operations Center powered by best-in-class SentinelOne Technology, our team provides around-the-clock protection by continuously monitoring network traffic, proactively looking for suspicious activity, and quickly responding when threats arise.
With an extensive list of MSSP services, we act as an extension of your own team to protect your organization. From fractional CISO services to autonomous penetration testing and assistance with cybersecurity compliance standards, Inversion6 offers everything to enable your organization to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity.
Advanced malware protection is within reach. Connect with our team today to get the assistance needed to tackle the process with confidence.