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Hidden Threats: Preventing cyberattacks with a layered security approach

Hidden Threats: Preventing cyberattacks with a layered security approach

Posted by ASCEND TECHNICAL TEAM on 8/28/19 7:31 AM

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Advanced attacks are out there.

Advanced malware threats are hiding in software applications many of us use daily and trust.  So much so that legitimate software can be difficult to distinguish.  New attack vectors are continuously being discovered and attackers are finding back doors onto your device to gather you or your company’s information.


Is this a problem for me?

When we say threats are hiding in numerous places, we mean exactly that.

Last year, an update feature of the popular Peer-to-peer application, BitTorrent, was exploited and used as Trojan to hijack numerous PCs.

This is one of countless examples, but the point is that regardless of whether the application is “official”, the most up-to-date, or a trusted fresh-off-the-shelf application, it could still be at risk.  This is why it is vital to use advanced threat protection and machine learning to detect and stop zero-day malware attacks before they have a chance to infect your machine.

Solutions: Malware Prevention, EDR


Even in the Cloud?

Cloud and mobile applications have quickly become profitable avenues for attackers to deliver malware and phish information.

In an analysis of millions of cloud-hosted files, Bitglass and Cylance researchers detected large numbers of infected files in widely-used cloud applications.  In fact, the largest amounts of malware were found on Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and Dropbox clouds.

44% of organizations scanned have some form of malware in at least one of their cloud applications. 54.5% of files in Microsoft’s OneDrive and 42.9% of Google Drive files contained malware. Additionally, 33% of Dropbox and Box cloud-hosted files were infected by malware.”

The popularity of cloud solutions requires a new approach to ensure protection against these advanced threats.

While the performance and prevalence of Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) technology are increasing, it is still important to employ effective malware prevention and detection within your network to catch malware downloaded from cloud locations. After all, most infected files are activated through human error.

Solutions: Malware Prevention



Yes, email was still the leading distribution vector of malware in 2020… and its popularity continues. 

Following the mantra of extreme caution is not enough, and even the most seasoned professionals still fall prey to the clever disguises that malicious emails use today. 

Defense against these threats requires a combination of email security technology and renewed awareness of this evolving threat.  Utilizing a combination of Advanced Threat Protection and Email Sandboxing can help keep unwanted emails out of your inboxes.

Defend against the “human error” factor throughout your organization with customized phishing campaigns and Security Awareness Training.

Solutions: Email Security, Email Sandboxing, Phishing & Security Awareness Training


What happens if threats still get through?

Sometimes, layered protection can’t catch the most sophisticated attacks. Many attackers are now using fileless malware and other fileless techniques to get into a network undetected. And the worst part? Studies show that it has been working.

Currently, there is no software that can actively block an attack that uses legitimate computer programs, command line, Windows Powershell, and lateral movement to enter a network, but there is a way to detect these methods when they are used. With a combination of network log analysis (SIEM) and Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), you can be alerted immediately when a fileless attack takes place.

Solutions: Log Analysis


Sound like a lot to worry about?

Don’t worry. We know.

Luckily, Ascend is a Managed Security Service Provider and we’re here to help. Our platform combines the best-of-the-best cybersecurity solutions for all of these security concerns and more, creating an effective defense-in-depth approach, which is shown through our record of zero data breaches for any of our MSSP Platform customers.

If you want to learn more about how you can consolidate your cybersecurity approach and gain the most comprehensive protection for your organization, schedule your free security consultation today.

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Written by Mike W., Information Security Analyst

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Posted in Phishing and Security Awareness, Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Email Security, Endpoint Security, Detection & Response, Small Business, Log Analysis (SIEM), Cybersecurity