If you go talk to a professional information security expert and ask about “antivirus,” you will most likely get a negative response. Most people in this domain would describe them as ineffective and there is a good reason for that. While antivirus have been in the market for a long time, their efficacy is now being called into question. This is because while earlier they had been able to prevent most attacks, now they are largely ineffective. This has led to the antivirus businesses being discredited with a need for massive industry changes. Nowadays, traditional antivirus using signature and heuristics detect less than 50 percent of all potentially dangerous attacks. Any business that is using conventional antivirus has a 50/50 chance against attacks. Naturally, no business wants to take these odds and so the industry is coming up with NGAVs or New-Gen Antivirus.
What Are Traditional Antiviruses?
The Antivirus industry began with the intent of identifying dangerous programs. To stop them from working and to get rid of them. Most antivirus software programs retain a compendium of malware traits based on which the antivirus would function. Also, this compendium would need to be updated regularly to keep up with growing threats.
The conventional way for antivirus to work is by comparing any data storage with the malware compendium. If matches are found, then those files are marked unsafe and prevented from running automatically. The user is also offered the option of removing them. The premise is that if the user and vendor keep the library updated constantly, then breaches are next to impossible. However, since the malware compendium is based on identification, there is always a gap between the latest malware and the protection.
What Are NGAVs?
The next generation of antivirus or NGAV aims to get rid of the gap between the most recent malware and the relative antivirus. As of now, the term NGAV has many descriptions but none are accepted all over the industry. However, it is widely accepted that NGAVs must go beyond traditional models of anti-malware protection. At the same time, they must use cutting-edge technology to maintain a state of ready protection.
The majority of NGAVs have a more advanced approach to malware detection than via indicators of compromise along with metadata. These include things like file hashes, virus signatures, URLs, and IP addresses. NGAVs use the latest tech like AI, data science, and analytics, machine learning, behavioral patterns to discover tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) and react accordingly.
NGAVs Perform these Major Functions:
- Protect against commodity malware more effectively than traditional AV
- Restrict unidentified malware and complex attack attempts by checking the context of any potential attack.
- Offer clear insight into the attack process and also reveal the breach point of a cyber attack.
- Promptly address attacks while conventional AV just prevents them.
Also, NGAVs can easily be used from the cloud and can be managed effectively. So, in essence, NGAVs are the beefed-up version of conventional AVs. Thus, they offer much better protection than conventional AVs along with latest EDR or endpoint detection and response.
Best NGAV Antivirus
Currently, the NGAV market is in flux as companies are scrambling for the top spot. At the same time, the threats are evolving rapidly and multiple endpoint security measures are coming up. However, out of these, NGAVs appear to hold the most promise. This is because of their advanced infection prevention protocols and endpoint security measures. However, there are some that stand out from the rest. So, here is a look at the most promising NGAV companies:
This company is based in Massachusetts and provides an NGAV called CB Defense. This NGAV is created to focus on the system concerned and provide visibility to malware and malwareless breach attempts. The software makes note of every endpoint action. This helps in tracking potentially dangerous elements and then unravels their methodology. Thus, threat management becomes easier. Carbon Black might be quite popular in coming times.
Crowdstrike has an interesting approach to antivirus measures. The user installs a lightweight software on their systems which then relays detections to the company. This enables real-time protection and virus detection. Recently, the company also upgraded their cloud protection features on the platform. Also, there are talks in the circuit that Crowdstrike might be acquired by VMware. But this might not impact the promising potential it may offer in the future.
Last year was not very profitable for Kaspersky. Despite this, the company still retains its reputation for high-quality protection and innovativeness. This is clear from their actions. They received an endpoint security award by customer choice last year. While there is no particular information on the company’s plans for the future of NGAV, there is a lot of speculation. It is believed that Kaspersky will enhance their endpoint security market capture immensely.
While Morphisec is a recent entrant into the US cybersecurity market, the Israeli company has earned a good reputation. In mid-2017, the company released a software called Morphisec Endpoint Threat Prevention 2.0. This version gave enhanced utility along with threat intelligence and upgraded protection parameters.
All of these boasted of NGAV applications. At the tail end of the year, the company announced 100% protection against all malware in the market. This was based on SE Labs’ Unrelated Advanced Endpoint Protection Test. So it is reliable and impressive, to say the least.
Sentinel made a lot of public declarations late last year. Vigilance, launched in September 2017, offers turnkey options for boosted digital threat detection, segregation and addressing. The company also collaborated with SonicWall to provide enhanced threat detection and remedial response.
What is NGAV – Conclusion
NGAVs are capable of detecting malware that has never been seen before. While old-school antiviruses have lost their market because of sophisticated malware, NGAVs might be the next big thing is cybersecurity. If you already use a VPN and a good firewall to stay protected, make sure you check out some leading NGAVs as well. But conventional antivirus can still keep you safe from several attacks. Here are some top antivirus software providers you might want to check out.