Block threats before they target your business

With threats becoming more sophisticated, enterprises are being forced to look at new ways to protect themselves against evasive attacks, says Adeshni Rohit, business unit manager for Cisco at Axiz.

Johannesburg, 22 Jan 2020
Read time 4min 10sec

Not only are today’s threats more complex and sophisticated, the authors behind them are also increasingly cunning and finding new ways to evade detection.

It’s no surprise, then, that security practitioners in businesses of every size are getting rid of their legacy security solutions in favour of ones that offer true breach defence to stop the evasive and determined attacks we see today.

Moreover, the advanced, persistent attacks that are becoming commonplace are more effective than ever before, which is seeing businesses across the board scramble to secure their networks, which are changing at an equally rapid pace. This is creating serious challenges for security teams.

For Adeshni Rohit, business unit manager for Cisco at Axiz, the anti-virus solutions of a decade ago are woefully inadequate weapons in the fight against today’s complex threats. What organisations across the board need is security that evolves along with networks.

This, she says, is where breach defence solutions from Cisco come in. “Cognitive threat analytics, for example, identifies attacks before they have a chance to exfiltrate sensitive business data. The solution analyses Web traffic, network traffic from Cisco Stealthwatch Enterprise, and endpoint data from Cisco Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) for Endpoints, which offers endpoint protection platforms (EPP) and endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools and capabilities in one, single, cloud-based solution.”

Cognitive threat analytics then employs machine learning to identify malicious activity, needing no additional hardware or software. “Today’s businesses need tools that offer advanced and modern capabilities, such as the ability to detect and investigate security incidents, as well as remediate endpoints rapidly. They need solutions that are relentless when it comes to preventing breaches and blocking malicious activity. They need tools that quickly detect, contain and remediate advanced threats that slip through the nets of front-line defences, and they need all of this in a range of solutions that are simple to deploy, and can leverage existing security investments to manage threats beyond the endpoint.

“Using the right combination of security solutions helps to block threats before they target your business,” explains Rohit. “Remember, the business’s ability to protect its endpoints relies on how effective the threat intelligence it receives is. In this way, tools that harness the power of machine learning and automation to rapidly pinpoint any anomalous behaviours that might indicate malicious activity is crucial. Doing this prevents threats such as ransomware, and file-less malware and other exploits are stopped in their tracks before they become an issue.”

She says it is also crucial for the business to have a complete view of its endpoints. “The right solution simplifies the process of investigation and threat hunting, through strong EDR capabilities that automate advanced queries across some or all of the company’s endpoints. Irrespective of whether the business is conducting an investigation as part of an incident response situation, or threat hunting, or even as an IT operations or vulnerability and compliance exercise, the solutions must get them the answers they need to protect the business going forward.”

According to Rohit, even deeper visibility on what has occurred with any particular endpoint at any point in time is gained, by taking a snapshot of the endpoint in question’s current state, so security professionals can see exactly what activity was happening on the device during the time when the malicious activity was taking place.

Moreover, Cisco’s solutions monitor and analyse the behaviour of the company’s endpoints, on an ongoing basis, giving them all the information they need to investigate and respond to even the most severe threats rapidly and decisively. “Consider this too, should any file that seemed to be clean on initial inspection becomes an issue in the future, the solution can give you a complete history of the threat’s activity, to help you catch, isolate, contain and remediate at the very first hint that any malicious behaviour is taking place.”

Finally, she says the days when threats were basic and one-dimensional are long gone. “Defences need to adapt to be multidimensional too. This is why Cisco built all its endpoint solutions to integrate with the rest of its security platform, to work together, and enable companies to handle the full gamut of security needs, from blocking and detecting to investigating and responding. This makes security more effective and quicker, helping businesses get to the root of any security issues instantly, and stop threats before they become a problem.”