How Cloud-Based Antimalware Strengthens Security
An FBI memo has revealed that the type of malware used in the cyberattack on Sony Pictures is capable of using Windows management and network file sharing features to destroy data on Windows computers and attack Windows servers. The malware installed itself as a Windows service, which gave it unrestricted access to the network, and then communicated with attackers through scattered IP addresses from systems likely hacked to hide the origin of the attack.
Yes, this is how well-planned and organized today’s criminals are.
According to AV-Test, the population of malware increased 35 percent in 2014. 720 security breaches identified by the Identity Theft Resource Center exposed more than 81 million records, an increase of almost 25 percent. The use of ransomware such as CryptoWall, which encrypts data and holds it ransom, is on the rise. Malware like Heartbleed that exploits internet protocols continues to emerge. Spear-phishing campaigns are being used to infiltrate even the most secure networks. Many of the world’s largest brands, including Apple, Home Depot and Sony, have fallen victim to cyberattacks. Reputations and consumer trust are eroding.
Security threats are only expected to become more dangerous in 2015 as both the volume and sophistication of malware continue to increase. Some security experts expect to see malware designed to simply avoid detection and collect data for long periods of time. Mobile devices are expected to become both targets and sources of more cyberattacks, while the growth of the Internet of Things provides hackers with millions of potential portals into corporate networks. Retailers, healthcare companies, financial institutions and government agencies are expected to be prime targets for the most sophisticated criminal groups and terrorists.
Traditionally, antimalware software, or antivirus protection, has been installed on individual computers and devices. The expansion of cloud computing has led to the introduction of cloud-based antimalware, which offloads most security workloads to a service provider’s infrastructure while maintaining lightweight software on the device. Scans are sent to a cloud-based server for processing and analysis, and instructions for any actions that need to be taken are transmitted back to the user’s device.
Cloud-based antimalware offers several key benefits. Instead of waiting for weekly automated software updates, cloud-based antimalware will always be updated and have the latest data. This eliminates the need for software updates on the device, which can be lengthy and cause performance issues. Cloud-based antimalware scans traffic before it reaches the network, which enables better protection, reduces bandwidth congestion, and allows for faster Internet connections. Many service providers even run several antimalware programs to maximize security. Like most cloud services, the cost of cloud-based security is often less expensive than locally installed software.
The 2015 outlook for security threats is grim as malware continues to become a primary weapon for both small-time criminals and global terror organizations. The only thing organizations can do is ensure that they are using the best possible security tools and employing the most effective strategy. Let ICG show you how cloud-based antimalware can help fortify your defenses and reduce the risk of a security breach.