Feeds

Infosec bods try Big Data in search for better anti-virus mousetrap

It might not be a meaningless marketing term after all...

Security for virtualized datacentres

Infosec house Panda Security is looking to Big Data and application monitoring as a means to achieve better malware detection.

The launch of Panda Advanced Protection Service (PAPS) is a response to the widely known shortcomings of signature-based anti-virus detection as well as a means for Panda to sell extra services. The technology will be marketed to larger firms as well as offered through cloud tech partners, such as Spanish managed security services firm Indra.

PAPS is designed to identify vulnerable apps and block exploits against trusted apps. The latter function differentiates PAPS from whitelisting technologies from the likes of Bit9, according to Josu Franco, veep of corp development at Panda. PAPS work with a lightweight software agent on endpoints that feeds into a Big Data analytics and classification system backend. The system includes a semi-automated process to deal with false positives as well as a means to generate forensics reports and alerts.

The sheer volume of malware production has long outpaced legacy blacklisting techniques based on recognising known bad apps by their signatures. In response security vendors have developed technologies such as heuristics (generic detection of similar malware), whitelisting and cloud-based technologies.

Most modern security scanners incorporate all these technologies despite marketing claims by rival vendors to the contrary. However in the cat and mouse game between defenders and virus writers the bad guys are still consistently able to evade detection. Estimates vary but as even the more optimistic suggest that one in five nasties slip past security defences.

Brian Dye, Symantec's senior vice president for information security, recently declared that "antivirus 'is dead' and no longer a money maker. Dye made the remarks to the Wall Street Journal is advocating that vendors such as Symantec should focus more or detect or respond rather than protection. Such sentiments reflect the thinking of challengers to more established anti-virus firms, such as FireEye and Imperva, but are surprising coming from Symantec - which still pulls in 40 per cent of its revenue from anti-virus.

Panda - like most of its peers - argues that anti-virus technology still has its place as something that's necessary, albeit insufficient.

"Anti-virus is a cost-effective means to detect and stop known attacks," said Luis Corrons, technical director of PandaLabs.

Diego Navarrete, recently appointed Panda chief exec, told El Reg that anti-virus was here to stay, even though it needed to evolve. "The king is dead. Long live the king," he said. Navarrete claimed that Panda was itself big enough to compete with other vendors that might be looking to all-too fashionable Big Data technologies as a tool for containing the malware threat. Other vendors looking to apply Big Data in the fight against malware include Splunk, Symantec and many others. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.