Malware, Ransomware Meets Their Match

By Rory J. Thompson

It’s the latest fear to hit the tech industry, but this time the threat is terrifyingly real: Ransomware, and its close cousin, malware.

If you’re hit with either one, you’re in for a world of hurt. In both cases, your systems will be negatively affected for some time, and it will cost you a bundle of money to un-do the damage, providing that option is even offered. What can a savvy CTO do ahead of time to minimize the potential impact?

Meet Percipient Networks, “a developer of sophisticated, cloud-based malware solutions for fast-growing businesses without high cost and complexity,” as the company touts itself. They might be on to something with a new rollout, the commercial launch of its signature product, Strongarm.

“Strongarm is a simple and automated malware solution that aims to give businesses of all sizes the ability to respond to, and protect against, malware threats in real time, regardless of the size of their IT staff or budget,” the company said in making the announcement. “The technology is able to detect and immediately neutralize attacks from malware such as ransomware and botnets, and then automatically take action to prevent damage to a business. When a malware is identified, operators know they’re being notified about a real attack, not a false alarm that can waste time and resources.”

And that’s where this offering is head and shoulders above similar products. Victims will know immediately if the threat is, if fact, real, or if it’s just a “phishing” expedition.

“Incident responders gain a dramatic improvement in time-to-resolution from the black hole capability of Strongarm. The technology maintains an ongoing communication link with the victim system, pulling details about the malware that are typically lost by other solutions that just block and drop,” Percipient Networks says. “By identifying the specific machine that was compromised and pulling details about the attacker, Strongarm can often remediate the malware with a single click. Security personnel also have a better picture of the situation so that they can more effectively protect against future attacks.”

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that adopt Strongarm will gain a high-margin service offering for their customers as well as a capability that opens up additional services such as incident response, forensics, and continuous monitoring. Traditionally, these services could only be delivered by an elite set of security experts. Strongarm’s ability to automatically block malware and pinpoint details about infections can expand service offerings and improve how MSPs perform incident response.

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