Advanced Threat Protection: Addressing Threats in Real Time
Traditional security solutions like firewalls and legacy antivirus are not effective against advanced threats like zero-day vulnerabilities and advanced persistent threat (APT) attacks. Advanced threats require advanced threat protection, which focuses on real-time response. Advanced threat protection solutions leverage UEBA and AI to reduce false positives and ensure swift and active protection.
Advanced threat protection (ATP) is a set of practices and solutions that you can use to detect and prevent advanced malware or attacks. Generally, ATP solutions include a combination of network devices, malware protection systems, email gateways, endpoint agents, and a centralized management dashboard. You can include solutions as software or as managed services.
Traditional security tooling, such as antivirus and firewalls, relies on signature-based matching of known malware or blacklisting of known threat sources. However, these measures can no longer stop many cyber attacks. Modern attacks use a variety of dynamic attack vectors and methods that can bypass traditional methods.
Advanced threat protection solutions can detect these attacks and adapt protections to stop attacks. These solutions proactively monitor systems to identify possible threats, eliminate attackers, and alert security teams to issues.
Benefits of ATP solutions include:
Dynamic protection with behavior analytics—uses machine learning to differentiate suspicious from normal system behavior. This enables solutions to detect threats even if methods or tools are unknown.
Fast detection and response—proactive analysis ensures that attacks are caught as quickly as possible. Automated response features ensure that attacks are stopped while security teams investigate. For more information about planning your incident response strategy, check out our guide about incident response plans.
Centralized event information—dashboards help security analysts quickly access details about and respond to suspicious events. Aggregation of data and analyses helps reduce false positives by ensuring that events are viewed in context.
Better prioritization and planning—solutions can provide recommended actions in response to threats. This helps teams investigate events efficiently and ensures that the most effective responses are taken.
Advanced threat protection solutions focus on real-time response. Solutions work through the lifecycle of an attack, creating more opportunities for detection. This means more attacks are stopped and faster responses enable you to minimize any damage caused and speed recovery time. Additionally, because attack data is correlated and aggregated, you can use solutions to develop and improve threat intelligence for even greater protection.
How Advanced Threat Protection Works
Advanced threat protection solutions focus on providing detection, protection, and response capabilities. These capabilities help ensure that:
Attacks are stopped or mitigated before systems are damaged
In-progress attacks are disrupted and eliminated as soon as possible
Data from attacks, whether successful or not, is incorporated into future protection mechanisms
To accomplish these capabilities, solutions incorporate the following components:
Real-time visibility—provided by continuous monitoring for real-time detection of threats and suspicious behaviors. Having continuous real-time visibility helps ensure that attacks are brief and cause minimal damage.
Context—data surrounding security threats is aggregated, correlated, and made available to security solutions and teams. This helps ensure that alerts are relevant and enables teams to prioritize responses.
Data awareness—incorporates system data, such as data priority, to evaluate threats and appropriate responses. Additionally, dashboards help ensure that security teams are aware of where data is and who is accessing it.
If you are using a managed ATP service, providers typically provide monitoring, analysis, and response. However, providers may pass along higher-level events or events dealing with high priority data to your in-house team for a more thorough analysis and response.
Advanced Threat Protection Solutions
There are a variety of ATP solutions you can choose from. Below we review three popular ATP products.
Cynet 360 is an APT solution you can use to automate detection and response in your systems. It is made of three components:
Monitoring and Control
Monitoring and Control features are designed to help you automate visibility tasks and reduce your attack surface. Features include file integrity monitoring, system and application vulnerability detection, report export capabilities, and activity log analysis.
Prevention and Detection
Prevention and Detection features are designed to help you apply next-generation tooling to system protections. It enables you to analyze user, endpoint, and network events and correlate data for greater visibility. Tooling that is incorporated includes next-gen antivirus, endpoint detection and response (EDR), deception technologies, user behavior analytics, and network analytics.
Response Orchestration features are designed to help you automate response actions via playbooks. It can help you handle a variety of events, including malware, malicious network traffic, compromised credentials, and infected hosts.
You can incorporate Response Orchestration capabilities into existing protections, such as Active Directory or firewalls. Or, you can use capabilities to respond directly on endpoints.
Endpoint behavioral sensors—sensors are embedded in Windows 10 devices and can collect and process event data. Collected data is then sent to a cloud instance of Microsoft Defender ATP for analysis.
Cloud security analytics—uses big data analytics, machine learning, and proprietary methods to evaluate system data. After analytics are performed, users are provided system insights, alerts to possible suspicious behavior, and recommendations for action.
Threat intelligence—intelligence is produced by Microsoft hunters and security experts. This intelligence is incorporated into Microsoft Defender ATP to help identify attack methods, processes, and tooling.
Mimecast Advanced Threat Protection
Mimecast Advanced Threat Protection is part of a larger Cyber Resilience Platform offered by Mimecast. It primarily focuses on managing and protecting email security to prevent phishing, malware, and other cyber threats that exploit mail systems.
Mimecast Advanced Threat Protection includes features for:
Secure email gateways with multi-layered detection
Targeted threat protection against malware attachments and false links
Scanning and quarantine capabilities to prevent data leakage
Secure messaging with built-in encryption
Sending large files without needing to use filesharing services
Advanced Threat Detection and Protection with Cynet 360
Cynet 360 is a holistic security platform that provides advanced threat detection and prevention. The platform employs cutting-edge technologies to ensure advanced threats do not slip past your security perimeter. To achieve this goal, Cynet 360 correlates data from endpoints, network analytics and behavioral analytics, and presents findings with near-zero false positives.
Block exploit-like behavior
Cynet monitors endpoints memory to identify behavioral patterns that are readily exploited, such as unusual process handle requests. These behavioral patterns lead to the vast majority of exploits, whether new or known. Cynet is able to provide effective protection against Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attacks and more, by identifying such patterns.
Block exploit-derived malware
Cynet employs multi-layered malware protection, including sandboxing, process behavior monitoring, and ML-based static analysis. Cynet also offers fuzzy hashing and threat intelligence. This makes sure that even if an advanced threat establishes a connection with the attacker, and downloads additional malware, Cynet will stop this malware from running, thus preventing any harm from occurring.
Cynet continuously monitors user behavior, generates a real-time behavioral baseline, and provides alerts when behavior deviation is identified. This deviation in behavior may indicate a compromised user account. Additionally, Cynet provides the ability to define user activity policies, triggering an alert in case of violation.
Cynet supports the use of decoy tokens—data files, passwords, network shares, RDP and others—planted on assets within the protected environment. APT actors are highly skilled and therefore might evade detection. Cynet’s decoys lure such attackers, prompting them to reach out and reveal their presence.
Uncover hidden threats
Cynet uses an adversary-centric methodology to pinpoint threats throughout the attack chain. Cynet thinks like an adversary, identifying indicators and behaviors across endpoints, users, files, and networks. They supply a holistic account of the attack process, regardless of where the attack may try to penetrate.
Accurate and precise
Cynet utilizes a powerful correlation engine and provides its attack findings free from excessive noise and with near-zero false positives. This makes the response for security teams easier so they can attend to pressing incidents.
Choose from manual or automatic remediation. This way, your security teams can have a highly effective yet straight-forward way to disrupt, detect, and respond to advanced threats before they have the chance to do damage.
There’s a lot more to learn about network attacks. To continue your research, take a look at the rest of our blogs on this topic:
Advanced Threat Detection: Stopping Advanced Attacks in their Tracks
Advanced threat detection is a set of tools and methods you can use to detect attacks that evade traditional security measures. The amount of data collected and stored by organizations is constantly increasing. This has encouraged attackers to come up with creative new attacks. Most of these attacks are not detected by traditional tools, such as antivirus, firewalls, or intrusion prevention systems. However, advanced threat detection solutions can help prevent these attacks by using more dynamic methods.
Malware is a general term describing any program created to damage or illegally retrieve information from a computer system. Hackers use malware to invade, damage or disrupt networks, computer systems, and devices. Their goal may be direct financial gain, data exfiltration, corporate espionage, sabotage or revenge (for instance in the case of disgruntled employees), or hacktivism.
Social engineering is a method used by attackers to trick and mislead users into providing confidential information or acting in a way that compromises security. The most popular social engineering attacks include phishing attacks, baiting manipulates, scareware, and pretexting attack. This article explains the concepts of social engineering attacks, including five examples of attacks, and how you can prevent them.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts user data, making it useless to the victim. The attacker demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption of data. Payment is usually demanded in cryptocurrency, and the costs can range between hundreds and thousands of dollars. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that the data will be restored.
This article reviews the targets and types of ransomware attacks and the actions you can take if you are a victim of an attack.
A zero-day exploit is a technique or method hackers can use to attack systems that have an unknown vulnerability. A zero-day attack is the actual use of a zero-day exploit to penetrate, cause damage, or steal data from the affected system. Zero-day attacks are difficult to defend against. But there are many ways to prepare and reduce the effective threat to your organization like patch management or incident response strategy.
We have authored in-depth guides on several other security topics that can also be useful as you explore the world of advanced threat protection.
EDR is a set of tools and practices that you can use to detect and respond to security attacks on your network. EDR defends endpoint devices, including workstations, smart devices, routers, and open ports.
A network attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s network, with the objective of stealing data or perform other malicious activity. Once inside, hackers will combine other types of attacks, for instance compromising an endpoint, spreading malware or exploiting a vulnerability in a system within the network.
Incident response is a growing priority at organizations. Technology platforms are essential for making incident response efficient and effective. Incident response platforms help security teams quickly identify and investigate incidents, manage their work on a case until closure, and automate incident response tasks to provide a faster response.
Incident response services can help you detect and respond to cyber-attacks. These services generally operate based on an incident response retainer that specifies a fixed monthly cost and a certain scope of security services.
See top articles in our incident response services guide: