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Why Closing the Threat Window of Vulnerability is Key for Endpoint Security

The typical approach to combat the growing proliferation of viruses, Trojans, spyware and other malware is for threat researchers to create signatures, and then to push those signatures down to the endpoint users.

Why Closing the Threat Window of Vulnerability is Key for Endpoint Security

This approach is flawed because it is reactive rather than proactive. More than 200,000 new sites are launched daily, and over 90 percent of them are associated with suspicious activity. Endpoint users, many times unwittingly, access those sites for what they may believe to be legitimate use, calling for solutions that lead to closing the vulnerability window.

Hackers are targeting many of the newer platforms favored by mobile users. According to the Juniper Networks Malicious Mobile Threats Report 2010/2011, there was a 400 percent increase in Android malware between June 2010 and January 2011. So a proactive security solution is essential. The enterprise needs to slam that window of vulnerability shut before the malware gets to the network, not after.

Once malware hits, it quickly damages systems, compromising sensitive company and consumer data in just moments. According to a report from Infonetics Research, large organizations lose an average of 2.2 percent of their annual revenue because of security attacks. Even if there is good perimeter defense, it’s quickly compromised if an unsecured endpoint accesses the network.

Devising a defense and pushing it to endpoints after a security threat enters the network via a device is, as a popular Baby Boomer saying goes, "closing the barn door after the horse got out." Although a more appropriate saying, particularly with Trojans, would be "closing the barn door after the horse got in."

By the time a patch or signature can be pushed to the network, the damage is already done and growing quickly the longer it takes IT to detect and patch the hole. So it is essential that the enterprise use a system that detects and intercepts malware before it ever gets to the network.

The better security choice
Closing the vulnerability window happens via the cloud. A superior solution, security in the cloud stops threats where they originate. Such a solution enables the enterprise to:

The security solution should provide:

Closing the threat window by adopting a cloud security solution is the only sensible approach as malware attacks are on the rise. This type of proactive security solution keeps the window of vulnerability shut, protecting the enterprise from the costs and downtime of attempting to purge malware from the network after it has entered through an unsecured PC, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, USB drive or other connection.

By Phil Brit