How is it possible that in an industry dominated by advanced performance metrics and benchmarking tests, cybercriminals still manage to release unique malware that remains undetected for weeks by major antivirus vendors?
It’s pretty simple. Cybercrime is innovating much faster than the security industry is.
It used to be that cybercriminals hacked from the fringe, often acting alone and for personal fame. Now, cybercrime is a profitable career. It’s among the top national defense issues; it’s leveraged as a form of political protest; and it’s a relatively easy field to break into.
You might be surprised to how easy it is for anyone to access black markets online, pay a small fee (or nothing at all), and gain access to malicious processes that wreak havoc on company websites, steal financial information, and much more. And their labors are producing countless malware samples each day.
Here’s an up-close look at some of the nasty tactics today’s hackers are using—and why security vendors can’t stop them with yesterday’s approach.
Habit. Security companies have been relying solely on an outdated system, signature-based threat detection, for catching malware and other threats—a system that slows down people’s computers and doesn’t address today’s threat environment.
Signature-based threat detection works like this:
Year after year, the goal for antivirus companies has been to collect the most signatures. This not only slows down your computer because it requires a large amount of space on your hard drive, but it also relies heavily on YOU to update your own antivirus program, which increases the risk for infection
This means that even on the day you purchase most security suites, they are outdated and ill-equipped to protect you against the newest malware. By the time updates are addressed, it’s often too late.
In other words, we’ve been trying to bob for apples in a barrel when we should be dumping the barrel upside down
The future of online security can and should be based on behavior-based blocking techniques, which analyzes files by looking at how they’re acting and what they’re attempting to do, rather than comparing them to a list of known threats. It’s our best option to get a leg up on hackers.
Not only does signature-based threat detection slow your computer down, it also opens a rather large window for new malware to reach your Internet-connected devices while you wait for critical updates. It’s time for the security industry to wake and smell the malware. We did. And that’s why we created Webroot® SecureAnywhere™—an award-winning new approach to behavior-based Internet security.
As a consumer of computer security products, it’s important to know why cybercriminals currently have the upper hand on a fair amount of cyber security companies. We created this article to help you stay informed. If you’d like to learn more about signature-based threat detection on antivirus technology, Wikipedia does a pretty nice job of explaining the subject (click here to go to the article).
To find out what Webroot is doing to continue the fight against hackers, follow us on your favorite social network or check out the Webroot Threat Blog.
By Dancho Danchev