The bad news for CIOs is that cyber security threats appear to be on the rise, and cyber criminals seem to be stealing mass quantities of sensitive consumer data almost daily. This week’s revelation that cybercriminals hit toymaker VTech and stole the data of nearly five million customers (including children) is further proof that the tactics cyber criminals utilize seem to grow more sophisticated every day.
The good news is, the major tech companies are dedicating significant resources to address the issue and provide tools enterprises can use to ensure better protection.
The need for new solutions
Last month, Dell announced a new partnership with Cylance, a company that specializes in detecting and blocking attacks on endpoint computers. Experts say signature-based malware detection is no longer good enough in today’s threat environment, so Dell wants to change the antivirus game. Dell said it will incorporate Cylance's Protect product in its Data Protection Endpoint Security Suite next year. Security experts say the partnership shows how cybersecurity defenses are evolving and moving away from signature-based detection.
Many antivirus programs rely on systems that require identification of a specific piece of malware or which can detect strange behavior and block malware, but often only after it has already infected a machine.
"Our customers have been telling us the same thing: it is just not working," said Brett Hansen, Dell's executive director of data security solutions.
The Cylance suite includes encryption, authentication and malware detection. Instead of signatures, it uses an algorithm that “analyzes seven million characteristics of files and programs and scores those elements on the likelihood of them being malicious.”
Microsoft doubles efforts around enterprise security
Meanwhile, Microsoft announced last week that it plans to increase its focus on enterprise operational security as part of an effort to help businesses protect their data no matter where it resides. The company is building a holistic security platform that combines the best security features of Windows 10, Office 365, Azure and the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite.
CEO Satya Nadella said the company is spending more than $1 billion a year in research and development to build security into its products. Microsoft is also working with industry partners including Cisco and Trend Micro to integrate third-party apps and services into its products.
Microsoft also created a Cyber Defense Operations Center where security response specialists from all of the company's different divisions can collaborate to resolve security threats and build security intelligence that can then be used in the company's products. The company also created a managed security services division called the Microsoft Enterprise Cybersecurity Group in order to better serve its enterprise customers. The group will “perform security assessments, monitor for threats and respond to cybersecurity incidents.”
“Security has to be core to the operational systems used by enterprises,” said Nadella.
Microsoft’s new focus on operational security, has "been the biggest sea change inside Microsoft to get us to come up with new solutions, new technologies, that in turn help us really secure your environments," Nadella said.