Risk
2/15/2011
11:36 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Symantec Intros Endpoint Protection 12

Client-side security software for SMBs will utilize cloud-based data to identify mutating malware and other rapidly changing threats, Symantec says.

12 Money Saving Tech Tips For SMBs
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: 12 Money Saving Tech Tips For SMBs

Symantec on Tuesday announced version 12 of its Endpoint Protection and Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SBE) software. Both will be released this summer, with a public beta beginning in April.

The new versions will leverage Symantec's Insight technology to identify and protect against mutating malware and other threats as they change and adapt, based on information from the 2.5 billion files that Symantec "sees" across its cloud-based database of 175 million endpoints.

"Think of [Insight] as an algorithm, but it's an algorithm that's based on a pretty large sample size," said Blake McConnell, senior director of product management at Symantec, in an interview. "Insight will put files into context: What is the age of that file? What is the frequency or prevalence? What is the source or location? Where was that file created? What are the behaviors or associations of that file?"

McConnell said that the concept of context is critical because it enables Symantec to block potential threats before they're actually identified in the digital landscape. "The 'today problem' is around malware mutations that are generated from attack toolkits," McConnell said. In other words: Although traditional signature-based protection is still in place, it is no longer enough.

Executables and other files are rated for risk by Symantec -- these ratings are preconfigured for SBE, while midsize and larger customers set their own comfort levels with various potential threats. McConnell added that although the SBE comes with more preconfigured options out of the box, customers can modify those settings if they wish. SBE targets firms with 5-99 employees or endpoints, while the flagship is geared for 100 or more seats.

Insight won't scan "known good files," meaning it can skip 70% of files on typical systems, according to Symantec.

"That clearly has a dramatic impact on scan time and scan overhead," McConnell said, adding that idle-only scans also help boost system performance. "We don't even want the user to know we're there."

Planned updates for version 12 also include Mac support and Sonar 3, Symantec's behavioral engine. If Insight is the lock on the front door, Sonar is the hall monitor -- it enforces policy-based behavioral rules. McConnell notes that while the composition of a malware file might change on the fly, its goal does not.

"People who are looking to steal passwords are still looking to steal passwords. Spambots are still looking to do spam," McConnell said. Sonar goes looking for evidence of the bad seeds, such as keystroke logging or changes to the homepage of a Web site. "[Sonar] will ask behavioral questions: 'What has [the file] done?"

McConnell shares the view that small and midsize businesses (SMBs), though perhaps less likely to be the victim of headline attacks such as Stuxnet or the Nasdaq hack, are increasingly at risk for malware infections, particularly because of the rise of attack toolkits.

"What we tend to see more of [with SMBs] is the impact that these attack toolkits have had on the amount of malware that is in the market, " McConnell said, adding that the boom in quantity was a key driver of Endpoint Protection's reputation-based and behavior-oriented enhancements. "No one -- Symantec or others -- will be able to keep up with that amount of malware with a classic signature business."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6306
Published: 2014-08-22
Unspecified vulnerability on IBM Power 7 Systems 740 before 740.70 01Ax740_121, 760 before 760.40 Ax760_078, and 770 before 770.30 01Ax770_062 allows local users to gain Service Processor privileges via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-0232
Published: 2014-08-22
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in framework/common/webcommon/includes/messages.ftl in Apache OFBiz 11.04.01 before 11.04.05 and 12.04.01 before 12.04.04 allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified vectors, which are not properly handled in a (1)...

CVE-2014-3525
Published: 2014-08-22
Unspecified vulnerability in Apache Traffic Server 4.2.1.1 and 5.x before 5.0.1 has unknown impact and attack vectors, possibly related to health checks.

CVE-2014-3563
Published: 2014-08-22
Multiple unspecified vulnerabilities in Salt (aka SaltStack) before 2014.1.10 allow local users to have an unspecified impact via vectors related to temporary file creation in (1) seed.py, (2) salt-ssh, or (3) salt-cloud.

CVE-2014-3594
Published: 2014-08-22
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Host Aggregates interface in OpenStack Dashboard (Horizon) before 2013.2.4, 2014.1 before 2014.1.2, and Juno before Juno-3 allows remote administrators to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via a new host aggregate name.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Three interviews on critical embedded systems and security, recorded at Black Hat 2014 in Las Vegas.