What Is Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV)?

Introduction

30 percent of computers in the U.S. are infected with some kind of malware and for organizations with a hybrid workforce, malware is no joke. It can  take up valuable time and resources from IT teams, pose serious security risks, ,and so much more.

Here’s everything you need to know about Next-Generation Antivirus.

What Is Next-Generation AntiVirus? 

In contrast to legacy antivirus technology, next generation antivirus (NGAV) advances threat detection by finding all symptoms of malicious behavior rather than focusing on looking only for known malware file attributes.

Traditional anti-virus software, while sometimes effective, doesn’t track and inspect a potential virus. Instead, traditional AVs use signature-based detection methods, which threat actors have learned, a long time ago, how to evade.

To combat evolving threats, Nex-Generation Antivirus employs machine learning and predictive modeling techniques to establish predictive analytics that identify malware and malicious behavior before it has the chance to compromise your security protocols.

How NGAV Works

Next-Generation Antivirus uses a combination of artificial intelligence, behavioral detection, and machine learning algorithms to identify threats. NGAV is cloud-based and doesn’t require integration into organizations’ tech stacks which simplifies deployment and management, while maintaining to-the-minute updates that combat the quickly evolving techniques and tools employed by hackers, scammers, and other types of cyber criminals.

Why Traditional/Legacy Anitvirus no longer works

Traditional antivirus software is based on a reactive model to known threats. NGAV gives companies a proactive approach to security and the ability to anticipate attacks and keep systems updated so that new types of attacks are prevented, even if the system has not previously identified these risks.

Why Today’s Companies Need NGAV Capabilities

Today’s companies need NGAV capabilities for many reasons. Firstly, NGAV proactively prevents attacks before they have a chance to infiltrate networks.. Secondly, NGAV reduces the human burden of managing wide ranging, and often cumbersome, security software platforms with the use of AI.

The Values and Benefits of NGAV

Next-Generation Antivirus provides organizations with numerous values and benefits.

  • Easy installation and management: With NGAV, organizations can provision and deploy agents quicker and easier with better remote management.
  • Proactive security augmented by artificial intelligence: With the use of behavioural AI, next-gen av analyses files, applications, and network connections, and builds up and continuously develops the picture of any given network environment and can easily notice a change in said environment.
  • More productivity for organizations: Traditional antivirus agents perform repeated scans of end-users’ (employees) data. These recurring scans often become painful for employees and hinders productivity in the form of computer updates and higher CPU usage.

New Threats 

Some of the new threats out there right now are memory-based attacks, remote logins, script-based attacks, and macro-based attacks. Many of these attacks are multi-stage and have caused major consequences.

Endpoints — while small on their own — are high-priority targets for cybercriminals. They can be used as an access-point for high-value assets, a way-in to much more important information.

This leaves people who work online in a uniquely vulnerable position. For a comparison, imagine a business that has a high amount of security at the front end of their building keeps all of its important documents in the back. Now imagine that their building is connected to a deli that has little to no protection; if you were a criminal, would you try to break into the businesses with high security or sneak in through the little deli?

The New Deal

Next-Generation Anti-Virus endpoint security focuses on protecting these endpoints. Though they’re small on their own, all roads on the internet are connected. Next-Gen AVs use one or more advanced features — such as artificial intelligence — to detect potential threats.

Artificial intelligence is particularly important because it can identify malware that’s never even been seen before. It doesn’t need to be told which codes look suspicious (signature-based methods); it starts looking on its own. This is one of the main benefits of Next-Generation Anti-Virus.

Traditional anti-virus software doesn’t catch viruses until they’re already in endpoints. However, with new threats crawling their way to the valuable information, this just isn’t fast enough.

NGAV isn’t just fast; it’s proactive. It identifies what the problem is and where the attack is coming from, so a business can learn where to fortify its defenses.

You can think of Next-Generation Anti-Virus technologies as a highly-trained employee you work with. It has a personality of its own. It will not only tell you when it identifies a threat but when it sees something suspicious.

This is an extra important advantage of next-gen antivirus. Much older computer software simply does its jobs without thinking. The NGAV will not just let you know when it sees malware but will help you get better at identifying new threats yourself.

Smooth Running

One of the most infamous things about old-school antivirus software is the amount of space it took up on a computer. Protecting your computer could mean slowing it down in a major way. Not only that, but it could take months to implement and would consume high amounts of resources.

Many of these problems have been solved with Next-Generation Antivirus software.

In the contemporary world, more powerful doesn’t necessarily mean more clunky. Next-Gen AVs are easy to implement and manage. They’re generally cloud-based, so they do not impact endpoint performance. There is no additional hardware or software required to keep NGAV going.

Next Gen AV vs. Legacy AV

Legacy AV responds only to known threats. It is based on a reactive approach where prescribed responses are built into large software platforms. Legacy AV relies upon developers to implement new functionality to respond to attacks – creating lag between the roll out of new types of attacks and your system’s ability to respond to those types of attacks. NGAV, on the other hand, is proactive and updates processes to prevent these new attacks before they are used against you or your company. NGAV is cloud-based rather than software based, meaning deployment of updates are instantaneous and the platform is ever evolving based on back-end analytics.

What to Look For in an NGAV Solution

Factor 1 of 5

When considering a NGAV solution, known malware prevention is the first factor to consider. Does this platform offer the basic functionality of legacy antivirus software?

Factor 2 of 5

NGAV platforms should offer clear, easily understood, indicators that an attack took place or an attempt to compromise your systems was made. These indicators should enable organizations to determine endpoint events and understand what malicious activity took place, and how it may show up downstream within your systems.

Factor 3 of 5

When malicious activity is detected, NGAV platforms mitigate the efforts of these attacks – stopping attempts to compromise your data before they start.

Factor 4 of 5

NGAV systems utilize machine learning. Be sure that any system you are considering has a proven track record of learning from past attacks. Machine learning and advanced analytics driven by your NGAV’s back-end allow your organization to detect and prevent both unknown and known malware, and even detect whether malicious activity originated from external or internal sources.

Factor 5 of 5

Finally, NGAV platforms should allow whitelisting and blacklisting of IP addresses – this ensures that members of your organization are unencumbered by the platform and known bad actors are prevented from getting to square one.

The Growing Threat

All of this software isn’t created in a vacuum. More and more businesses are being found to have serious vulnerabilities. Cybercriminal gangs are getting smarter and have even started negotiating with police in some areas.

These criminals are learning that if they withhold on their promises, they can crush law enforcement under their foot. While American law enforcement might be good at smashing through physical problems, unfortunately, cybercriminals rule the land online. They know more than we can even tell, and they’re only getting smarter.

Next-Generation Anti-Virus is important because, in 2021, we live in an age of next-generation criminals.

Protect Your Endpoints (Replace Your Outdated Antivirus per outline)

Computer viruses are extremely common and can cause everything from an inconvenience to serious loss of data and money. But it’s nothing in comparison to what cybercriminals gangs can do if they get a hold of major information.

In a world of growing cyber-threats, Next-Generation Anti-Virus is the best line of defense for its intelligence, quick implementation, and efficiency.

For more information, contact us today.