Modern Protection Techniques
MSP security cannot rely solely on antivirus protocols for endpoint protection. Nowadays, clients will hear “antivirus protection for endpoints,” and they’ll think that means slower endpoints. Upgrading your services as an MSP isn’t just about being able to protect your clients more comprehensively. It’s also about acquiring more clients and providing more services for those you already have. When your clients only think you provide antivirus updates and support, they are running a cost-benefit analysis, which pits decreased speed against increased protection.
You need to demonstrate how the security your IT organization provides does more than this and has to, as different vulnerabilities develop continually. Technology is always advancing. New areas of intrusion open each day.
Why Antivirus Protections Began to Change
What endpoint security used to do was create a database of known malware and scan all incoming files to see if they matched any viruses on that database. Therefore, hackers simply began tweaking their malware. When a new virus was discovered, it would be entered into the database; but then the hacker would just tweak the malware again, and suddenly he still got unfettered access. Obviously, anti-virus protocols were not enough. This becomes especially apparent when you consider that over 300,000 new malware samples are discovered every single day. This has perpetuated the need for new and better protection practices.
Some ways endpoint protection has vamped up in recent years include:
- Nearly Real-Time Threat Intelligence
- Behavioral Analysis
- Specified Whitelist/Blacklist Strategies
- Virtualization – “Sandboxing”
- Expedited Intrusion Detection and Response
- Continuous Endpoint and Server Monitoring
Nearly Real-Time Threat Intelligence
MSP security in many IT organizations has begun to move from within the boundaries of its databases. Threat intelligence expands earlier anti-virus protocols by checking multiple sources for new malware in real time. The difficulty here is that for a new virus to be detected, a victim must be discovered. Sometimes malware will seep through security protocols, as it is not known to any database. The best threat intelligence can certainly prevent more attacks, but it still has its own vulnerability. Still, it would be a professionally strategic move for your MSP to start orchestrating threat intelligence acquisition among diverse sources.
Often times, malware acts a certain way. It is made to do certain things, so it will come into systems in similar ways, and it will hide in databases predictably. It is programmed to do so. Behavioral analysis software can identify attributes and block them from the system, keeping endpoints secure. This is another worthwhile security practice for your MSP to adopt.
A whitelist is a grouping of approved software. A blacklist is a grouping of restricted software. Specific whitelisting can be effective in protecting endpoints, though it will restrict their liberty online, increasing bureaucratic traffic. General white and black lists take a long time to compile. As a result, in conjunction with threat intelligence, these strategies represent a secondary endpoint security solution. Such lists are often used in conjunction with other protection measures.
Virtualization – “Sandboxing”
Malware is allowed to run through its malicious intent in a “safe” digital environment. Sometimes there is no way to tell if the file is good or bad. Still, savvy hackers have found ways to keep malware from acting maliciously in a virtualized “sandbox” environment; so again this method should be available but in conjunction with other methods.
Expedited Intrusion Detection and Response
Another strategy your MSP should employ involves quickly responding and controlling the damage of malware. This requires regular monitoring of operations, but it can counter those viruses, which manage to slip past other security measures.
Continuous Endpoint and Server Monitoring
This one is self-explanatory: it is strategically valuable to monitor operations always. Professional technicians can sometimes spot malware better than programmed software or databases can.
Optimizing Your MSP
An MSP security solution employing continuous monitoring of endpoints and servers, fast intrusion response, virtualization, listing strategies, behavioral analysis, and threat intelligence will have multiple means of securing clients beyond simple anti-virus protocols. It makes sense to adopt these known effective strategies, especially now that cybercrime is definitely on the rise.