Posts

Protecting Your MSSP Reputation with Behavior-Based Security

You’ve been here before. Your customer gets hit by a cyberattack and they ask, “Why did this happen? Shouldn’t your managed security service have protected us?”

Unless you give them a satisfactory answer, they may be shopping for a new partner. Over the past few years, I’ve heard several MSSPs having to explain to their customers that the malware or ransomware attack could not be stopped because they didn’t possess the technology that could mitigate new attacks.

Don’t put yourself in a situation where you can’t properly safeguard your customers — even against new or unknown attacks. To protect both your customers and your reputation against the latest threats, you need to deploy behavior-based security solutions that can better future-proof your customer environment.

The Logistics of Threat Prevention

When talking with people about threat prevention I ask, “How many new forms of malware do you think SonicWall detected last year?”

I usually hear answers in the thousands. The real answer? 56 million new forms or variants of malware in a single year. That’s more than 150,000 a day. Every day, security companies like SonicWall have teams of people creating signatures to help build in protections, but this takes time. Despite the industry’s best effort, static forms of threat elimination are limited.

Layering Security Across Customer Environments

MSSPs understand the importance of selling perimeter security, such as firewalls and email security, to scrub out most threats. These solutions will cover roughly 94-98 percent of threats. But for the smaller percentage of threats that are no less devastating, this is where behavior-based solutions come into play.

On each edge-facing firewall and email security service you need to have a network sandbox, which is an isolated environment where files can be tested to understand their intended purpose or motive. For example, the SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox is an isolated environment that is designed to run suspicious files in parallel through multiple engines to resist evasive malware. With the ability to block a file until a verdict has been reached, you can ensure that you will deliver highly vetted and clean traffic to end users.

Endpoints require a form of security that continuously monitor the system for malicious behavior because they roam outside the network perimeter and encounter fileless threats that come from vectors like malvertising.

SonicWall’s endpoint security solution (called Capture Client) only uses roughly 1 percent of the CPU’s processing power on a standard laptop. It can stop attacks before they happen as well as halt attacks as they execute. MSSPs love the ability to prevent dynamic attacks but also roll them back (on Windows only) in case they do initiate.

Behavior-based Security in Action

The power of behavior-based security was clear with the initial WannaCry attack in 2017. It was made famous when 16 NHS hospitals in the UK were shut down due to this viral ransomware attack. These sites were protected by a competitor whose CEO had to explain himself and apologize on national television.

The sites protected by SonicWall were up and running and helped pick up the slack when the others went down. Three weeks before the attack, SonicWall put protections in place that prevented Version 1 of WannaCry and its SMB vulnerability exploit from working.

But it was the behavior-based security controls that helped to identify and stop all the subsequent versions that came after. This same pattern emerged again with the NotPetya and SamSam ransomware attacks; static defenses followed by proactive dynamic defenses.

Furthermore, SonicWall’s reporting enables MSSPs to be alerted when something has been stopped. SonicWall Capture Client attack visualization gives administrators a view of where the threat came from and what it wanted to do on the endpoint.

This approach gives our customers — and MSSPs powered by SonicWall — the ability to protect against threats detected by SonicWall. But this strategy also protects against attacks that shift and change to bypass safeguards. By doing our best to build protections in a timely manner, as well as providing technology that detects and stops unknown attacks, we protect your customer as well as your reputation.


This story originally appeared on MSSP Alert and was republished with permission.

How MSSPs & Artificial Intelligence Can Mitigate Zero-Day Threats

So, here’s the problem: unknown zero-day threats are just that — unknown. You have no way (besides historical experience) to predict the next vulnerability avenue that will be exploited. You, therefore, don’t know what will need patching or what extra security layer needs injecting. This ultimately leads to a forecast-costing dilemma as you cannot predict the man hours involved.

The other quandary faced when tackling complex targeted zero days is the skills gap. Staffing a security operations center (SOC) with highly skilled cybersecurity professionals comes at a cost and only becomes profitable with economies of scale that a large customer base brings.

Coupled with the shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals in the open market, how can you get your SOC off the ground? Could artificial intelligence (AI) level the playing field?

Machine Learning Reality Check

Machine learning and behavioral analytics continue to grow and become synonymous with zero-day threat protection. Is this all hype or is it the new reality? The truth is, it is both.

There is a lot of hype, but for good reason: AI works. Big data is needed to see the behaviors and therein the anomalies or outright nefarious activities that human oversight would mostly fail to catch. Delivered as a layered security approach, AI is the only way to truly protect against modern cyber warfare, but not all AI is deterministic and herein lies the hidden cost to your bottom line.

AI-based analysis tools that provide forensics are very powerful, but the horse has bolted by the time they are used. This approach is akin to intrusion detection systems (IDS) versus intrusion prevention systems (IPS). The former are great for retrospective audits, but what is the cleanup cost? This usage of behavioral analysis AI solely for detection is not MSSP-friendly. What you need is automated, real-time breach detection and prevention. Prevention is key.

So, how do you create an effective prevention technology? You need security layers that filter the malware noise, so each can be more efficient at its detection and prevention function than the last. That means signature-based solutions are still necessary. In fact, they are as important as ever as one of the first layers of defense in your arsenal (content filtering comes in at the top spot).

By SonicWall metrics, the ever-growing bombardment of attacks the average network faces stands at 1,200-plus per day (check out the mid-year update to the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report for more details).

When you do the math, it’s easy to see that with millions of active firewalls, it’s not practical to perform deep analysis on every payload. For the best results, you must efficiently fingerprint and filter everything that has gone before.

Aren’t All Sandboxes Basically the Same?

Only by understanding the behavior of the application and watching what it’s attempting to do, can you uncover malicious intent and criminal action. The best environment to do this is a sandbox, but no SOC manpower in the world could accomplish this with humans at scale. In order to be effective, you must turn to AI.

AI understands the big data coming from behavioral analysis. It can adapt the discovery approach to uncover threats that try to hide and, once determined as malicious, can fingerprint the payload via signature, turning a zero day into a known threat. It is the speed of propagation of this new, known signature to the protection appliances participating in the mesh protection network that drives the efficiencies to discover more threats.

Also, it’s the size of the mesh network catchment area that allows you the largest overall service area of attaches, which helps your AI quickly learn from the largest sample data set.

Luckily, SonicWall has you covered on all these fronts. With more than 1 million sensors deployed across 215 territories and countries, SonicWall has one of the largest global footprint of active firewalls. Plus, the cloud-based, multi-engine SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox service discovers and stops unknown, zero-day attacks, such as ransomware, at the gateway with automated remediation.

Our recent introduction of the patent-pending Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) technology, which inspects memory in real time, can detect and prevent chip vulnerability attaches such as Spectre, Meltdown and Foreshadow. It’s included with every Capture ATP activation.

At SonicWall, the mantra of automated, real-time breach detection and prevention is fundamental to our security portfolio. It is how our partners drive predictable operational expenditures in the most challenging security environments. Only via connected solutions, utilizing shared intelligence, can you protect against all cyber threat vectors.


A version of this story originally appeared on MSSP Alert and was republished with permission.

Advancing Beyond Hygiene to Next-Gen Email Protection Services

This story originally appeared on MSSP Alert and was republished with permission.


Most of us have a love-hate relationship with email. It’s been around for what seems like forever and while new channels of communication like Slack are making inroads, email is still the primary means of communicating in most organizations.

Since it is so ubiquitous, we know it will be a primary target of malicious attackers. Because of the attack surface area, attackers have been targeting email as a point of entry into organizations for over a decade. Most companies have responded with some form of email security solution. However, there seems to be a disconnect in outcomes versus goals in the industry.

For instance, 90 percent of current attacks against organizations use spear phishing as the primary means of breaching those organizations, yet most people would say they have email security in place.

Preventing Spam is Only the First Step

The major problem we are having as a security industry is that most people believe they have “security” for their email systems, but what they really have is hygiene. Email hygiene can be defined as “the process of keeping the inbox clean by keeping spam and unwanted advertisements away.”

It’s easy to think that hygiene is security because when email was new, spam was the major source of annoyance and security breaches — we’ve all dealt with Nigerian prince scams.

According to a recent FBI Public Service Announcement, business email compromise is a $12 billion problem today. Anti-malware and anti-spam are hygiene tools provided for free by cloud service providers, such as O365 and G Suite, as part of their mailbox functionality, but these tools do not stop evolving, sophisticated attacks.

Unfortunately, security industry nomenclature to customers hasn’t changed. The consequence has been continual breaches in organizations that believe they have security in place, but the reality is the hygiene solutions they have in place aren’t up to the task of stopping advanced email penetration techniques.

We need to move our language more toward discussing hygiene solutions and advanced email security solutions. What customers need isn’t email security (aka hygiene) but next-generation email security focused on identifying advanced threats. A next-gen email security solution should include:

  • Targeted phishing and email fraud protection
  • Unknown threat detection capabilities beyond just a “sandbox”
  • Compatibility beyond on-premises email server to O365, Gmail, etc.
  • Outbound protection to minimize potential data leakage
  • Hygiene capabilities as needed

Next-Gen Email Security Opportunity

While education is required, customers are starting to realize the need to supplement the native security functionalities with dedicated advanced threat protection (ATP) capabilities.

Gartner says over 50 percent of customers will look for dedicated security tools. MSSPs should look to provide a next-gen email security solution to their customers. This not only solves a real customer problem, but can also:

  • Increase your monthly recurring revenue with a next-gen email security solution as an additional value-added service for your customer
  • Lower analyst workload by blocking threats proactively
  • Enable better translation to real business impact – email addresses are associated with real people in the business rather than just an IP address
  • Reduce risk of liability – if customers are better protected, the chance of a significant breach is lower
  • Ride on the Microsoft Office 365 wave

The transition to Microsoft Office 365 (O365) is interesting as it both presents an opportunity and creates additional fear, uncertainty and doubt in the market. Businesses realize the benefits of moving their IT to the cloud (lower total cost of ownership, easier management, etc.) and email Exchange server was one of the first to move to the cloud.

However, O365 customers are often unsure of the level of security they get. An SMB customer typically evaluates the two Exchange Online Protect plans (EOP 1 and EOP 2). Let’s see what the customer is paying for:

  • In EOP 1, for $4/user/month, customers get the mailbox functionality and known malware protection included with anti-spam and anti-virus. Customer must upgrade to EOP 2 plan at $8/user/month for the addition of DLP functionality.
  • What’s not included is the ATP sandbox. If a customer wants that protection against today’s advanced threats, he needs to pay an additional $2/user/month for the add-on service.

Powering Your Advanced Email Protection Service with SonicWall

This opportunity is ripe, so it’s important that you not only find an effective technology, but a partner that will help you enable your service quickly. To protect against today’s advanced threats, SonicWall’s award-winning solution provides a multi-layered defense mechanism:

  • A multi-engine sandbox to catch the most evasive of malware. Our sandbox supports and scans extensive file attachment types and can scan over 70 percent of the files in under five seconds.
  • To stop spoofing attacks, business email compromise and email fraud, powerful email authentication, including SPF, DKIM and DMARC, is automatically included.
  • In-house anti-phishing, anti-spam and multiple anti-virus technologies protect against known threats.
  • Real-time threat intelligence feeds powered by Capture Labs that include signatures of newly found threats and IP based reputation for URL filtering.

Purpose-Built for MSSPs

The SonicWall secure email platform is built with MSSPs in mind to not only reduce the cost of management, but to ensure your brand is at the forefront:

  • Multi-tenant platform with flexible deployment options – hardware, software, virtual and cloud
  • Customizable branded experience
  • Integration with restful APIs and syslog alerting
  • Built-in O365 integration

The SonicWall SecureFirst MSSP program will help you implement the email security solution quickly, reduce time to market and take advantage of this great market opportunity. Some of what the MSSP program includes:

  • Service description templates
  • MSS pricing option
  • MSS specific setup and operation guides

MSSPs have a major opportunity here to educate their market on the differences between hygiene and security. And SonicWall’s MSSPs are doing exactly that.

A case in point: According to Erich Berger of Secure Designs Inc., a SonicWall SecureFirst MSSP Partner: “Within an hour of being installed it saved one particular customer from an Emotet infostealer malware variant.”

SonicWall Email Security Wins Coveted 2018 CRN Annual Report Card (ARC) Award

Once again, SonicWall Email Security has been recognized at the top of its class for protecting the No. 1 threat vector: email. The solution was named the overall winner by sweeping the 2018 CRN Annual Report Card (ARC) email security category.

The solution has won three prestigious security awards to date in 2018. This is a testament toward the innovation and effort the SonicWall team has invested the last 18 months in key focus areas: advanced threat protection, administrative ease, product support and channel enablement.

“An ARC award is one of the industry’s most prestigious honors. It symbolizes a vendor’s dedication to delivering high quality and innovative product and program offerings to their channel partners,” said Bob Skelley, CEO, The Channel Company. “CRN’s Annual Report Card provides solution providers with the rare opportunity to offer their invaluable insight on vendors’ products and services, as well as their partner programs. As a result, the technology suppliers are equipped with actionable feedback to bolster their efforts to remain the best-of-the-best.”

The Annual Report Card summarizes results from a comprehensive survey that details solution provider satisfaction across product innovation, support and partnership for hardware, services and software vendors. The vendors with the highest ratings are named to the prestigious Annual Report Card list of winners and celebrated as best-in-class by their partners.

The results also provide the IT vendor community with valuable feedback — directly from their solution providers — that can be used to refine product offerings, enhance support and improve communication with partners.

This year’s group of honorees was selected from the results of an in-depth, invitation-only survey by The Channel Company’s research team. More than 3,000 solution providers were asked to evaluate their satisfaction with more than 65 vendor partners in 24 major product categories.

SonicWall Email Security is a multi-layer solution that protects organizations against advanced email threats such as targeted phishing attacks, ransomware and business email compromise. The key capabilities include:

  • Real-time threat intelligence feeds from over 1 million security sensors deployed globally and delivered through the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform.
  • Dynamic scanning of suspicious email attachments and embedded URLs using the award-winning, multi-engine SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox service with Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM).
  • Anti-phishing technology uses a combination of methodologies such as machine learning, heuristics, reputation and content analysis.
  • Powerful antispam and antivirus engines to protect against known malware and spam.

The solution can be deployed as hardened physical appliances, robust virtual appliances or a resilient cloud email security service. And whether an organization uses on-premises email servers or cloud services, such as Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite, SonicWall’s solution delivers best-in-class threat protection through seamless and simple integrations.

Given that email continues to be a top attack vector in the cyber arms race, SonicWall is committed to enhancing the solution to better protect its users from advanced email threats.

The 2018 Annual Report Card results can be viewed online at www.crn.com/arc.

Foreshadow Vulnerability (L1TF) Introduces New Risks to Intel Processors

A group of 10 threat researchers have disclosed a trio of new Spectre-based vulnerabilities that affect Intel chipsets. Named Foreshadow, the threats leverage a CPU design feature called speculative execution to defeat security controls used by Intel SGX (Software Guard eXtensions) processors.

“At its core, Foreshadow abuses a speculative execution bug in modern Intel processors, on top of which we develop a novel exploitation methodology to reliably leak plaintext enclave secrets from the CPU cache,” the research team published in its 18-page report Aug. 14.

The vulnerabilities are categorized as L1 Terminal Faults (L1TF). Intel published an overview, impact and mitigation guidance, and issued CVEs for each attack:

The research team found that Foreshadow abuses the same processor vulnerability as the Meltdown exploit, in which an attacker can leverage results of unauthorized memory accesses in transient out-of-order instructions before they are rolled back.

Conversely, Foreshadow uses a different attack model. Its goal is to “compromise state-of-the-art intra-address space enclave protection domains that are not covered by recently deployed kernel page table isolation defenses.”

“Once again, relentless researchers are demonstrating that cybercriminals can use the very architecture of processor chips to gain access to sensitive and often highly valued information,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “Like its predecessors Meltdown and Spectre, Foreshadow is attacking processor, memory and cache functions to extract sought after information. Once gained, side-channels can then be used to ‘pick locks’ within highly secured personal computers or even third-party clouds undetected.”

 

Does SonicWall protect customers from Foreshadow?

Yes. If a customer has the Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox service activated, they are protected from current and future file-based Foreshadow exploits, as well as other chip-based exploits, via SonicWall’s patent-pended Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) technology.

“Fortunately, prior to Meltdown and Spectre being made public in January 2018, the SonicWall team was already developing Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) technology, which proactively protects customers against these very types of processor-based exploits, as well as PDF and Office exploits never before seen,” said Conner.

RTDMI is capable of detecting Foreshadow because RTDMI detection operates at the CPU instruction level and has full visibility into the code as the attack is taking place. This allows RTDMI to detect specific instruction permutations that lead to an attack.

“The guessed-at branch can cause data to be loaded into the cache, for example (or, conversely, it can push other data out of the cache),” explained Ars Technica technology editor Peter Bright. “These microarchitectural disturbances can be detected and measured — loading data from memory is quicker if it’s already in the cache.”

To be successful, cache timing must be “measured” by the attack or it can’t know what is or is not cached. This required measurement is detected by RTDMI and the attack is mitigated.

In addition, RTDMI can also detect this attack via its “Meltdown-style” exploit detection logic since user-level process will try to access privileged address space during attack execution.

Notice

SonicWall customers with the Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox service activated are NOT vulnerable to file-based Foreshadow processor exploits.

How does Foreshadow impact my business, data or applications?

According to Intel’s official L1TF guidance, each variety of L1TF could potentially allow unauthorized disclosure of information residing in the SGX enclaves, areas of memory protected by the processor.

While no current real-world exploits are known, it’s imperative that organizations running virtual or cloud infrastructure, as well as those with sensitive workloads, apply microcode updates released by Intel (linked below) immediately. Meanwhile, SonicWall Capture Labs will continue to monitor the malware landscape in case these proofs of concept are weaponized.

“This class of attack is something that will not dissipate,” said Conner. “Instead, attackers will only seek to benefit from the plethora of malware strains available to them that they can formulate like malware cocktails to divert outdated technologies, security standards and tactics. SonicWall will continue to innovate and develop our threat detection and prevention arsenal so our customers can mitigate even the most historical of threats.”

What is speculative execution?

Speculative execution takes place when processors execute specific instructions ahead of time (as an optimization technique) before it is known that these instructions actually need to be executed. In conjunction with various branch-prediction algorithms, speculative execution enables significant improvement in processor performance.

What is L1 Terminal Fault?

Intel refers to a specific flaw that enables this class of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities as “L1 Terminal Fault” (L1TF). The flaw lies in permissions checking code terminating too soon when certain parts of the memory are (maliciously) marked in a certain manner.  For more information, please see Intel’s official definition and explanation of the L1TF vulnerability.

Are chips from other vendors at risk?

According to the research team, only Intel chips are affected by Foreshadow at this time.

What is Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMI)?

RTDMI technology identifies and mitigates the most insidious cyber threats, including memory-based attacks. RTDMI proactively detects and blocks unknown mass-market malware — including malicious PDFs and attacks leveraging Microsoft Office documents — via deep memory inspection in real time.

“Our Capture Labs team has performed malware reverse-engineering and utilized machine learning for more than 20 years,” said Conner. “This research led to the development of RTDMI, which arms organizations to eliminate some of the biggest security challenges of all magnitudes, which now includes Foreshadow, as well as Meltdown and Spectre.”

RTDMI is a core multi-technology detection capability included in the SonicWall Capture ATP sandbox service. RTDMI identifies and blocks malware that may not exhibit any detectable malicious behavior or hides its weaponry via encryption.

To learn more, download the complimentary RTDMI solution brief.

How do I protect against Foreshadow vulnerability?

Please consult Intel’s official guidance and FAQ. To defend your organization against future processor-based attacks, including Foreshadow, Spectre and Meltdown, deploy a SonicWall next-generation firewall with an active Capture ATP sandbox license.

For small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB), also follow upcoming guidance provided via the new NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act, which was signed into law on Aug. 14. The new policy “requires the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop and disseminate resources for small businesses to help reduce their cybersecurity risks.”

NIST also offers a cybersecurity framework to help organizations of all sizes leverage best practices to better safeguard their networks, data and applications from cyberattacks.

Stop Memory-Based Attacks with Capture ATP

To mitigate file-based processor vulnerabilities like Meltdown, Spectre and Foreshadow, activate the Capture Advanced Threat Protection service with RTDMI. The multi-engine cloud sandbox proactively detects and blocks unknown mass-market malware and memory-based exploits like Foreshadow.

6 Reasons to Switch to SonicWall Capture Client from Sophos Intercept X

While Sophos claims to be a leading next-generation antivirus solution, are they really able to protect your organization’s endpoints — not to mention the rest of your network ­— in today’s threat landscape?

SonicWall Capture Client, powered by SentinelOne, was designed to deliver stronger security with better functionality against ransomware and other advanced cyberattacks. Explore these six key reasons to switch to SonicWall Capture Client:

  1. Certified for business.
    Although Sophos Intercept X is recommended by NSS Labs, it is not certified by OPSWAT and AV-Test. SentinelOne, the core engine within Capture Client, is also recommended by NSS Labs and has certifications for OPSWAT and has AV-Test certifications for corporate use. Capture Client is also compliant with HIPAA and PCI mandates.
  2. True machine learning.
    Sophos only leverages machine learning as code executes on a system. In contrast, Capture Client applies machine learning before, during and after execution to reduce the risk of compromise to your endpoints, thereby better protecting your business.
  3. Real remediation.
    Sophos Intercept X relies on the Sophos Cleaner to restore potentially encrypted files. Not only can it be bypassed, but it is limited to using 60 MB of cache to save up to 70 “business” file types. Capture Client creates shadow copies of your data, which does not discriminate on size or file type. Capture Client rollback capabilities revert the impact of a malware attack, leaving the device clean and allowing the user to continue working — all without any risk of further damage.
  4. Firewall synergies.
    Although Sophos Endpoint Protection is closely linked to their next-generation firewall, this integration is lacking on Intercept X. Capture Client goes beyond the endpoint and has built-in synergies with SonicWall next-generation firewalls (NGFW). Although not required, when combined with a SonicWall next-generation firewall, it can enforce use of the client and redirect non-Capture Client users to a download page to update the endpoint.
  5. Easy digital certificate management.
    With more than 5 percent of malware using SSL/TLS encryption today, the inspection of encrypted traffic is vital. Sophos firewalls have limited SSL/TLS decryption capabilities, nor do they offer automated re-signing certificate distribution. Capture Client makes it easy to install and manage re-signing digital certificates required for SSL/TLS decryption, inspection and re-encryption.
  6. Better roadmap.
    In September 2018, SonicWall will add network sandboxing. Capture Client will be able to route suspicious files to the award-winning, multi-engine Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) cloud sandbox service to more forcibly examine code in ways an endpoint can’t (e.g., fast- forward malware into the future). Administrators will be able to query known verdicts for the hashes of their suspicious files without having to upload them for analysis.

If you’d like to see for yourself the difference Capture Client makes over a limited and aging endpoint solution, contact us or ask your SonicWall partner representative for a one-month trial. Existing customers can log in to MySonicWall to begin the trial today.

 

Ready to ditch Sophos?

Strengthen your security posture today. Switch now and receive up to 30 percent* off of SonicWall Capture Client endpoint protection. It’s the smart, cost-effective approach for extending security to endpoints that exist outside of the network.

Inside the Cloud Sandbox: How Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Works

Last year, SonicWall discovered and created protections for more than 56 million new forms of malware.  Because it takes time to create and roll out hundreds of thousands of protections each day, something must be done to discover and stop unknown malware, namely zero-day attacks.

The answer is Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), a cloud sandbox and a core part of the SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform. In order to stop new cyberattacks, this isolated environment — independent from your network — runs suspicious files to understand their objectives.

Because of its effectiveness, SonicWall makes it available on our firewalls, email security solutions, Secure Mobile Access (SMA) and Capture Client Advanced endpoint protection solutions. Each of these use Capture ATP in different ways:

  • For firewalls: In the case of the firewall, a broad range of file types are sent over if they are greylisted, which means 1) they have not been convicted by Gateway Antivirus (blacklisted) and 2) were not previously seen by the firewall in question (whitelisted).
  • For email security: Similarly, email security will automatically send unknown files arriving via email to Capture ATP for analysis before sending them along to inboxes.
  • For mobile access: If someone tries to upload a file to a shared drive (a common malicious attack vector), SMA will test the file to ensure it is clean before being accessible by others in the organization.
  • For endpoint protection: Last, Capture Client is an antivirus solution that continuously monitors the behavior of a system. Since it is common for malware to utilize evasion techniques (such as timing delays), sending suspicious files to Capture ATP is an intelligent way of eliminating malware before it executes.

Now that we have covered a bit of context, we’ll now explain how it works once one of these solution sets has either automatically sent a suspicious file to Capture ATP or an administrator has manually submitted a file for analysis.

Step One: Verdict Check

At the time of writing, the Capture ATP sandbox service receives over 1.5 million requests to test suspicious files each business day.

The first stop for these files is a verdict check. SonicWall summarizes each file (sent via encryption) it sees as a hash and retains a verdict for that hash indefinitely and does not save your files. By keeping a verdict for each hash (for each file), we are able to quickly send a conviction or acquittal back to the submitting solution or administrator within milliseconds. Of the millions of submissions SonicWall sees each week, only around 45 percent are unique, so this step is vital.

Step Two: Community Check

If we have never seen a file before it doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t. We check for convictions for the file’s hash against a pool of over 60 virus scanners to see if they found this file to be malicious.

Note: SonicWall doesn’t send your files to anyone for analysis.

Step Three: Dynamic Processing

If we haven’t seen it before (verdict check) and no one else has seen it before (community check), we run it through multiple engines simultaneously. This is where the fun begins, because we can do so many unique things with the code that a firewall or an endpoint can’t, such as fast-forward it to look for timing delays or break it apart in memory and examine the sequences.

Capture ATP was designed to be a multi-engine environment because of the common use of evasion tactics used in malware. Academically, the concept of a sandbox is easy to grasp, but once you understand their inner workings you can design code to slip past what they check for or not activate if you sense that the code is not on a normal system.

Getting past one sandbox is moderately difficult. Evading multiple engines, which in turn have multiple ways to find malware, should be nearly impossible.

In order to find the most evasive malware, Capture ATP runs code with hypervisor-level analysis, full-system emulation, virtualization and with SonicWall’s patent-pending Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM). This is done to see what code wants to do from the application, to the OS, and down to the firmware.

In an ideal world, every piece of malware we find would be detected by all technologies in use, but that is not always the case. Just remember my old adage, “Security doesn’t exist, only speed bumps.” Just like the Great Wall of China was eventually by passed by the Mongol horde, so are digital defenses by digital threats.

The Results

It is after this three-step process that we help deliver clean traffic to endpoints, inboxes, shared drives and servers and ensure endpoints stay secure by eliminating threats before they activate. By applying signature-based defenses in front of behavior-based defenses, we are able to protect the world against an onslaught of cyberattacks.

A good real-world example was the initial set of WannaCry attacks. The ransomware attack became famous for taking out 16 NHS hospitals in the UK (secured by a competitor).

However, the NHS sites protected by SonicWall were running without disruption from the attack. We stopped this attack three weeks in advance because our Capture Labs research team created protections against the SMB vulnerability and the WannaCry variant they found in the wild.

So, when the attacks started, they were stopped by internal defenses (e.g., firewalls). But what about Versions 2, 3, 16 or 18, etc.? These were discovered and stopped by Capture ATP.

To better understand how Capture ATP is protecting organizations against attacks like Meltdown, please read our solution brief on Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection.

Capture Cloud Platform: A Security Ecosystem that Harnesses the Power of the Cloud

We have fantastic advancements in technologies right now. With software-defined everything (SDx) and cloud becoming more accessible and affordable, both large and small organizations can effectively execute their digital business strategies with greater ease and speed.

As new applications, systems and SDx architecture are deployed to advance the digital business, many organizations also find themselves retooling their cyber security model to maintain the health and defense of their networks and services.

Organizations now must have complete knowledge, visibility and control of the security ecosystem, and the capacity to manage and remove cyber risks that can be disruptive and disastrous to the business.

To help make the cloud journey powerful, agile and safe, SonicWall developed its Capture Cloud Platform to address CISOs’ top three cyber security priorities:

  1. Give actionable cyber threat intelligence to help better understand security risks and quickly respond to them
  2. Reduce security silos by consolidating and integrating security technologies
  3. Manage cyber risk with greater visibility and control

Integrated Security, Management & Analytics

The core value of the Capture Cloud Platform is the integration of several key capabilities with our cloud-based centralized management, reporting and analytics services, including the Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) sandbox, which includes Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection (RTDMITM) technologies, and Capture Labs and Capture Threat Network threat intelligence services.

This all-in-one approach enables our complete portfolio of high-performance hardware, virtual appliances and clients to harness the power, agility and scalability of the cloud and allows organizations to:

  • Drive end-to-end visibility and share intelligence across a unified security framework
  • Proactively protect against known and unknown cyberattacks (e.g., zero days)
  • Gain contextual awareness to detect and respond to security risks with greater speed and accuracy
  • Make informed security policy decisions based on real-time and consolidated threat information

SonicWall Capture Cloud Platform service-oriented architecture tightly unifies the current and future SonicWall security and management services organizations needs to run an efficient security operation center (SOC). It eases and, in most cases, automates the governance of their network, endpoints and cloud security services with single-pane-of-glass (SPOG) experience.

10 Components of the Capture Cloud Platform

Organizations are empowered by Capture Cloud Platform to make the shift from the old on-premises world of IT into the new hybrid cloud-as-a-service world by coalescing SonicWall security solutions with simple, common management tools that not only help achieves desired security and operational goals but also real business values.

Currently, Capture Cloud Platform is comprised of 10 key SonicWall security and service components:

  1. Capture Security Center
  2. Real-Time Cyber Threat Intelligence
  3. Capture Client
  4. Capture ATP
  5. Cloud App Security
  6. Management & Analytics
  7. NSv Series virtual firewalls
  8. NSa Series hardware firewalls
  9. Web Application Firewall (WAF)
  10. MySonicWall & Licensing (credentials required)

The combination of these services delivers mission-critical layered cyber defense, threat intelligence, analysis and collaboration, and common management, reporting and analytics, that work synchronously together.

This help organizations stay on top of the cyber threat landscape, protect sensitive information, meet compliance, and maintain normal service operations while moving the company’s digital transformation forward safely.

Visit our Capture Cloud Platform to get detailed information on each of the solution values and learn how the platform can securely accelerate your cloud journey.

IoT & Mobile Threats: What Does 2017 Tell Us About 2018?

“SPARTANS! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty. For tonight, WE DINE IN HELL!!”

Remember this passionate line by King Leonidas from the movie “300”? We are at the brink of another war — the modern cyber arms race. You need to gear up and be prepared for the thousands of malicious “arrows” that shoot down on you.

This cyber arms race is aimed against governments, businesses and individuals alike, and it’s comprised of different types and forms of cyber attacks. These attacks grow more sophisticated each year, with over 12,500 new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) reported in 2017 — 78 percent of which were related to network attacks.

It’s critical we learn from the past experiences — successes and failures. So, what can 2017 teach us to be better prepared in 2018? Let’s first look at the hard data.

According to the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report, SonicWall Capture Labs detected 184 million ransomware attacks and a 101.2 percent increase in new ransomware variants from more than 1 million sensors across more than 200 countries. The increase in new variations signifies a shift in attack strategies.

In addition, SonicWall Capture Labs logged 9.32 billion malware attacks. Network attacks using encryption tactics are also on the rise. Without the ability to inspect such traffic, an average organization would have missed over 900 file-based attacks per year hidden by SSL/TLS encryption.

IoT attacks loom

Internet of Things (IoT) threats and memory attacks are also impending challenges that we face across wired and wireless solutions. According to Gartner, by 2020, IoT technology will be in 95 percent of electronics for new product designs.

Recently, Spiceworks performed a survey that resulted in IoT devices being the most vulnerable to Wi-Fi attacks. This makes IoT and chip processors the emerging battlegrounds. IoT was also a big target as “smart” (pun intended) hardware is not updated regularly and is often physically located in unknown or hard-to-reach places, leading to memory attacks and vulnerabilities.

IoT ransomware attacks are alone on the rise and gain control of a device’s functionality. While many of the IoT devices may not hold any valuable data, there is a risk for owners or individuals to be held at ransom for personal data. Gartner also predicts, through 2022, half of all security budgets for IoT will go to fault remediation, recalls and safety failures rather than protection.

There are many smart devices and IoT devices in the market that connect over Wi-Fi, such as cameras, personal and TVs. Imagine an attack on your personal privacy and a hacker gaining control over your device. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks still remain a major threat to these devices. Each compromised device can send up to 30 million packets per second to the target, creating an IoT powered botnet.

In fact, at one point in 2017, SonicWall Capture Labs was recording more than 62,000 IoT Reaper hits each day. Considering there could be an estimated 6 billion mobile devices in circulation by 2020, it wouldn’t be totally surprising if the next wave of ransomware targets mobile devices,

How to secure wired, wireless and mobile networks

It is critical to secure your network, both from a wireless and wired perspective. Total end-to-end security is the key to prevent such attacks from happening in the first place. To survive this cyber war, you can follow certain best practices to ensure your protection:

  • Layer security across your wired, wireless, mobile and cloud network
  • Deploy next-gen firewalls that can provide real-time intrusion detection and mitigation
  • Patch your firewalls and endpoint devices to the latest firmware
  • Secure your IoT devices to prevent device tampering and unauthorized access
  • Educate your employees on the best practices
  • Change default login and passwords across your devices

SonicWall solutions include next-generation firewalls, 802.11ac Wave 2 access points, secure mobile access appliances and the Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) cloud sandbox service, all of which combine to provide an effective zero-day threat protection ecosystem.

To protect customers against the increasing dangers of zero-day threats, SonicWall’s cloud-based Capture ATP service detects and blocks advanced threats at the gateway until a verdict is returned. In addition, Capture ATP also monitors memory-based exploits via Real-Time Deep Memory InspectionTM (RTDMI). With innovative SonicWall solutions, rest assured your IoT and mobile devices are protected for the cyberwar.

Download the 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report

The cyber arms race is a challenge we face together. And it’s the core reason we’re committed to passing our findings, intelligence, analysis and research to the global public via the SonicWall 2018 Cyber Threat Report.

READ THE FULL REPORT

What is the Difference Between Traditional and Next-Generation Anti-Virus?

In previous webcasts and blogs, I’ve spoken of a woman who was the victim of a terrible ransomware attack as well as an intrusion on her computer. It was her first computer breach in over 25 years of business.

When these happened, she was running traditional anti-virus and minimal network security in front of her endpoints. These two attacks, which she believes cost her around $50,000 in damages, were alarming wakeup calls to the realities of today’s threat landscape.

One of the lessons learned by people like Elizabeth over the past three years of the ransomware age is that traditional signature-based anti-virus solutions are lacking the power to combat today’s flood of evasive malware.

This is why SonicWall is excited to launch our Capture Client, a client security solution that leverages the SentinelOne Endpoint Protection engine, powered by static and behavioral artificial intelligence, to deliver next-generation anti-virus (NGAV) capabilities.

So, what exactly is a NGAV solution, and why does it matter?

No signatures

Traditionally, anti-virus solutions (AVs) have required frequent (daily or weekly) updates of their signature databases to protect against the latest threats. Capture Client uses a static artificial intelligence (AI) engine to determine if new files are threats before they can execute. In addition, it has a behavioral AI engine to protect against file-less threats (e.g., PowerShell scripts, macros within documents, lateral movement, etc.).

No weekly updates

These AI engines do not require daily/weekly updates, as they “degrade” very gracefully over time. This is because the behavior analysis engines do the work instead of matching files to an ever-aging database of file IDs.

Even if customers upgrade their agents only once a year, they will have much greater protection than what traditional AV is able to provide. With the power of SentinelOne’s AI models, today’s zero-day attacks are instantly convicted by models developed in the past. This is the benefit of a mathematical approach to malware prevention, detection and response versus legacy, signature-based approaches.

No recurring scans

Apart from the management overhead of updating signatures, traditional AVs also recommend recurring disk scans to make sure threats did not get in. These recurring scans are a big source of frustration for the end users, as their productivity is impacted during the scans. With Capture Client, these recurring scans are not required at all. End-users get much better performance and, in many cases, do not even know or experience any slowdown caused by the AV.

No performance overhead

Another reason for the poor performance of traditional AVs is that they became bloated by implementing many features, such as endpoint firewall, full-disk encryption, etc. Many of these features are now available on modern operating systems. Capture Client was designed to orchestrate OS functionality instead of replicating it. This also translates into a much better end-user experience.

No cloud dependence

Another limitation of traditional AVs is their reliance on cloud connectivity for best protection. Signature databases have grown so large that it is no longer possible to push the entire database down to the device. So, they keep the vast majority of signatures in the cloud, and only push the most prevalent signatures down to the agent.

Furthermore, end users frequently work in cafés, airports, hotels and other commercial facilities. In most of these cases, the Wi-Fi provider is supported by ad revenues, and encourage users to download the host’s tools (i.e., adware) to get free connectivity. These tools or the Wi-Fi access point can easily block access to the AV cloud, which poses a huge security risk. Capture Client is fully autonomous and protects the user in these situations. The efficacy of the agent isn’t impacted by its connection to the internet.

NGAV for endpoints

I invite you to learn more about Capture Client, which not only provides NGAV capabilities, but also seamlessly integrates with SonicWall firewalls and related capabilities, such as DPI-SSL certificate management, firewall enforcement and firewall-independent, cloud-based reporting.

To learn more, download the “SonicWall Capture Client powered by SentinelOne” data sheet.