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WatchGuard Speeds Zero Day Malware Breach Detection from Months to Minutes

July 2019 by Marc Jacob

WatchGuard® Technologies has announced major updates to its threat correlation and response platform, ThreatSync, with the latest release of Threat Detection and Response (TDR). These enhancements include accelerated breach detection, network process correlation and AI-powered threat analysis, enabling managed service providers (MSPs) and the organisations they support to reduce breach detection and containment timeframes from months to minutes, automate the remediation of zero day malware and better defend against targeted, evasive threats both inside and outside the network perimeter.

According to the Ponemon Institute, the mean time to identification (MTTI) for a security breach is 197 days, while the mean time to containment (MTTC) is another 69 days after initial detection. In Q1 2019 alone, zero day malware capable of escaping traditional antivirus (AV) solutions accounted for a massive 36% of threats, according to WatchGuard’s latest Internet Security Report. With each passing day a security threat goes unnoticed, its potential to inflict both financial and reputational harm on an organisation increases drastically.

The tight correlation between the Firebox appliances, TDR host sensors on endpoints, and WatchGuard’s ThreatSync platform enables MSPs to offer automated mitigation for zero day malware attacks and automated identification of unknown processes connecting to malicious destinations. This means customers can rest easy knowing their trusted IT solution provider can detect breaches and remediate threats in just minutes.

Key ThreatSync features now available via TDR include:

• Host Containment and Automated Response – ThreatSync quickly contains any host machine that’s been compromised, shielding it from the rest of the business network. As soon as a threat is identified, Host Containment automatically takes action to control infections before they spread. Once contained, ThreatSync eliminates the malware by automatically killing processes, quarantining malicious files and deleting associated registry keys.

• Accelerated Breach Detection – ThreatSync immediately identifies malicious files on all protected endpoints and automatically begins remediation. This adds correlation with endpoint security that is not present in most comparable network security solutions. When users download unknown files from the web, the Firebox first submits them to APT Blocker, WatchGuard’s next-generation cloud sandbox, for advanced analysis while host sensors on victim endpoints actively monitor them and the results are correlated with ThreatSync.

• Network Process Correlation – ThreatSync not only identifies and blocks connections to malicious destinations, but it also automatically responds to unknown processes responsible for them. With ThreatSync, malicious outbound connections blocked by WatchGuard’s Firebox appliances are correlated to reveal the initiating endpoint and process, where the process is automatically terminated. This feature provides MSPs and network administrators with detailed contextual information on the network destination, service name, host name and process, allowing them to successfully respond and prevent future instances.

• Artificial Intelligence Analysis – ThreatSync uses new AI capabilities to automatically analyse and triage files, identifying those that possess suspicious characteristics before directing them to APT Blocker for further analysis. This minimises the time IT administrators spend managing alerts and prevents truly suspect files from going undetected, which allows MSPs and midsized organisations to identify and block real threats faster and with more confidence.

Today, ThreatSync is licensed as part of the company’s TDR service, which comes standard in all Total Security Suite deployments.

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