Feeds

SecureWave revamps alternative to desktop AV

Gimme Sanctuary in that behaviour-blocking technology

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Intrusion prevention outfit SecureWave is challenging the place of traditional AV software on the desktop with a revamped version of its behaviour-blocking technology, due out next month.

Instead of applying the "black list" logic (if it is registered as bad, deny), that underpins signature-based AV products, SecureWave's Sanctuary product line will allow only known and allowed applications to run. This "white list" approach is far more effective in combating viruses and worms the traditional AV scanners, SecureWave argues.

Sanctuary Application Control and Device Control will allow administrators to create rules on the use of PCs controlling applications and I/O devices, respectively. Unlike SecureWave's previous SecureEXE and SecureNT software technology, Sanctuary also creates a means to allow designated users to run application and executable files they personally know and trust.

Bob Johnson, chief operating officer of SecureWave, said Sanctuary is an alternative to AV software on the desktop. However, he stressed that corporates would still need to have AV software at the gateway and separate firewall defences even after they deploy Sanctuary. "You need AV somewhere in your environment but not necessarily on the desktop," he said.

SecureWave is focused on desktop and server security, so users would need to look elsewhere for network-based intrusion prevention and firewall technology. Web-based email filtering services, which help minimise the bandwidth drain caused by viruses, also fit in with SecureWave's approach.

Time to change

It's becoming increasing evident that fast-spreading worm can bypass AV protection (false negatives), but the behaviour-blocking approach caries with it the possibility of false negatives - the Achilles' Heel of intrusion detection systems. Also, wouldn't adding new applications to a white list create an extra headache for sys admins?

That's not a problem in practice, according to SecureWave, which reports that users of its technology experience a decrease in help-desk inquiries.

SecureWave claims to have solved the management problem of applying white lists into businesses and its impressive roster of clients such as Barclays Bank, Norwich Union, The Metropolitan Police and NATO backs up its assertion that traditional AV vendors should watch their backs.

"We're offering zero day protection, stability and configuration control. Traditional AV vendors - who are attached to an outdated approach that has made them rich - can't match that," said Johnson.

At first, SecureWave will be marketing Sanctuary to corporates but it promises a consumer version of the product by the end of 2004. This marks it out from competitors in the emerging host-based intrusion prevention market such as Cisco who are only interested in the enterprise market. Cisco positions its technology as an extra layer of protection - rather than an alternative - to desktop AV packages. ®

Related Stories

Virus writers outpace traditional AV
The trouble with anti-virus
Cisco combats network worms
Memory sticks are the latest security risk, claims SecureWave

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.