Feeds

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

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

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?