Traditional endpoint security tools have played a critical role in defending organizations, but they are increasingly limited against today’s threat landscape. The challenge is perhaps best highlighted by the success of ransomware attacks that often start with a phishing attack and evolve as the ransomware slips through anti-virus defenses.
Older defensive security technologies often fail to protect endpoints because of their limited ability to change as attacks change. What’s needed is a way for endpoint security defenses to adapt to evolving attack techniques.
That’s where context-sensitive endpoint defense comes into play.
How context-sensitive endpoint defense works
Context-sensitive endpoint defense aims to overcome the inherent limitations of traditional endpoint security solutions. One of these challenges is the inability of conventional approaches to capture and effectively utilize all relevant data available and provide the rapid and precise containment of a threat. This limitation, the failure to use appropriate data, isn’t a new issue. Context-sensitive defense seeks to rectify this by using available sources and automating the threat response process to the extent possible.
Essentially, context-sensitive defense is designed to adapt and automate endpoint security response. It achieves this by aggregating and analyzing data from available telemetries, including but not limited to endpoints, firewalls, authentication systems, SIEMs, threat databases, network logs, as well as anti-malware and anti-ransomware systems. By drawing upon these data sources, the system is able to generate a contextually rich threat response in real time at the moment an attack is unfolding. This enables security teams to respond to threats with a higher degree of accuracy and speed.
Benefits of context-sensitive endpoint defense
Context-sensitive defense provides several key benefits to organizations. First, it applies proactive protection by bringing differing data sources to bear as soon as an endpoint is identified as being under attack. This rapid threat containment is much quicker and more effective than traditional security technologies. When implemented properly, a context-sensitive system immediately issues critical attack warnings to relevant stakeholders. These alerts contain detailed, relevant information on the next steps that need to be taken to neutralize the threat.
Context-sensitive defense also helps to solve a number of other longstanding security challenges, such as security tool sprawl. In the hopes of stopping attacks, enterprises deploy an array of security tools, with each addressing a specific aspect of endpoint security. This leads to a complex security architecture that hinders effective incident response, not to mention increased operational and management costs. Additionally, security tools are not configured to operate effectively. This deployment of tools that are not managed adequately throughout the environment can lead to a false sense of security.
The continued rise in attacks against endpoints -- including successful phishing and ransomware attacks -- shows how challenged traditional security tools are when it comes to adequately stopping threat actors. It is why enterprises continue to look for new ways to adapt and successfully stop attacks as they’re in process and before they can do damage.
Context-sensitive endpoint defense uses the security data already within the enterprise to protect endpoints better and adapt as threat actor tactics adapt. And by automating the response as much as possible, based on that data — a context-sensitive endpoint defense gives enterprises a better chance to defend against the most advanced endpoint attack techniques.