That's the philosophy of a new security startup called TaaSERA, which emerged from stealth today and launched its initial product offerings. The company is combining on-premises anti-malware software tools with cloud-based threat intelligence services to deliver a new type of product that operates in real time and can stop malware from operating before a breach occurs, according to company officials.
While signature-based tools struggle to record the many footprints of today's constantly evolving malware, TaaSERA's NetAnalyzer offering goes the opposite direction, boiling malware's behavior down to eight basic, easily identifiable functions, such as scanning and egg download, according to the company.
"There are some behaviors that are unique to malware," says David Nevin, vice president of marketing and corporate development at TaaSERA. "If it tries to infect other machines, you know it's suspect. If it tries to upload code without authorization, you know it's suspect. What we do is correlate all of those behaviors to detect the malware -- and because we operate in runtime, we can interrupt the behavior before it's complete."
TaaSERA combines the malware detection and analysis tools -- which include patented technology -- with a threat intelligence service that helps enterprises spot new attacks as they evolve, officials say. The startup also analyzes new threats by anonymously collecting information from each device that has been instrumented with a NetAnalyzer censor, potentially speeding awareness of new threats from one customer to all the others.
The NetAnalyzer censors are small bits of agent software that are deployed to all devices in the enterprise environment, including network equipment and end-point devices. Once installed, the censors feed new malware behavior information to NetAnalyzer, which works at run-time speeds to correlate recognizable malware behavior and detect new malware on every system that has been infected, potentially helping enterprises to track malware back to its source.
In addition, TaaSERA is working on a remediation capability that would enable software-defined networks and other security systems to take action against newly discovered malware attacks, officials say. For example, an antivirus system equipped with a TaaSERA API could be warned of a new threat and triggered to find other versions of that same malware, Nevin says.
"There has been a lot of discussion about detecting malware based on behavior, rather than on signatures, but not all of these behavior-based technologies work the same way," says Srinivas Kumar, vice president and CTO at TaaSERA. "We think we've found a better method of behavior analysis that can not only detect the malware, but stop it before a breach occurs."
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