In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, it's crucial to reevaluate how we secure web environments. Traditional antivirus-approach solutions have their merits, but they're reactive. A new report delves into the reasons for embracing proactive web security solutions, ensuring you stay ahead of emerging threats.
To learn more, download the full report here.
The New Paradigm
If you've been relying on the old-style antivirus-based approach to website security up to now, then we could summarize why you need to update to the more proactive approach simply by saying — prevention is always preferable to cure. That's the overarching rationale for adopting a proactive web security solution, but let's break it down into a few more detailed reasons for updating to the newer and more effective proactive approach.
To be clear, we're not denying that an antivirus-approach solution is ideal for detecting and responding to threats, but there's no escaping the fact that it's limited by design: it's reactive. A traditional antivirus-approach solution flags known malicious signatures once they're already in your environment, so it only acts when detections match the signatures in its database.
It may be good at identifying and quarantining known vulnerabilities in client-side code, but it wasn't made for proactive defense. The modern threat landscape contains many more routes of attack than just vulnerabilities in client-side code, so it makes sense to use an approach that is more intelligent and forward-looking.
Research company Gartner has stated in their latest release: "Zero-day vulnerabilities are rarely the primary cause of a breach. The most successful protection approach combines preparation for unknown threats with a risk reduction strategy, emphasizing publicly known vulnerabilities and identified control gaps."
It means that contemporary best practice has shifted towards a more proactive approach to business website security, so either read on to find out why a proactive solution beats the antivirus approach for that particular job, or download the full Proactive Approach Report here.
Most antivirus-approach solutions tend to focus on vulnerabilities in checkout pages. That's understandable because they are such popular magnets for web-skimming and Magecart attackers. But cybercriminals will try plenty of other points of entry too, including login pages, form submission pages, and redirects, for example.
These alternative points of entry are often overlooked, yet they can be just as vulnerable. Login pages, for instance, can be targeted by brute force attacks or credential stuffing. Form submission pages can be exploited through techniques like JS injection or cross-site scripting. Redirects can also be manipulated to lead users to malicious websites.
Moreover, cybercriminals are constantly evolving their tactics and techniques. They're not just limited to exploiting known vulnerabilities; they're also capable of finding and exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities, which are unknown to the software vendor and therefore have no available patches.
A proactive solution monitors all critical and sensitive website pages. It maps privacy risks and identifies misconfigurations before cybercriminals can exploit them to launch attacks. With a solely antivirus-based approach, you can't do this. It can only respond when the malware is already in place. Download the full Proactive Approach Report here to see what superior protection looks like.
Full dynamic inventory
Something else that antivirus software won't do is create an automated inventory of all the assets in your digital supply chain. Modern websites rely on a whole host of external apps to provide additional functionality, things like enhancing the user experience and providing marketing information to the owner.
But when you outsource so many of these functions to third parties, you're effectively trusting your own and your customers' data and security to strangers. Are their security processes watertight? Do they perform regular security updates in response to emerging threats? How do they protect sensitive customer data?
Modern websites rely on dozens or even hundreds of third-party apps and their designers often use code from open-source libraries and frameworks to reduce production time. If your site leans on lots of third-party apps too then you need a system to identify them all and establish what they're doing.
A good-quality proactive solution will have an automated inventory function that comprehensively maps them all. It locates all the tools in your digital supply chain and establishes a baseline for what 'normal' looks like for every bit of code behavior. It can then call your attention to anything that deviates from what's expected. Can an antivirus-approach solution do this? No. It can only react when it detects the malware that's already active in your system. A good example is the Log4J vulnerability, where supply chains were compromised and vulnerability went undetected for weeks. Only proactive approach solutions were able to quickly identify and remediate this critical vulnerability. Download the full Proactive Approach Report to learn more about its automated inventory mapping.
A proactive monitoring platform makes use of multiple data and business intelligence resources to offer precise insights to users. Monitoring thousands of web assets all over the world gives the system a huge and growing database of common code, application, and domain behaviors to reference. Since it knows what common behaviors look like, it's constantly learning what unexpected events look like too. Its advanced identification mechanisms evolve alongside the threats they're monitoring to protect customers from possible attacks.
A proactive system draws on this wealth of information to build a risk profile for your business.
Antivirus-approach solutions can only address script vulnerabilities, but a proactive solution accurately assesses the most important potential risks for your business context.
This leads us to alert fatigue. Some security teams reduce their effectiveness by reacting to everything, including lots of minor alerts that pose little risk to the business. By only flagging meaningful risks and disregarding what can be safely ignored, the proactive system reduces time-wasting false positives and cuts down on alert fatigue.
So, proactive monitoring keeps your security staff focused on the risks that matter most so they can apply their talents where they are most needed.
Validating your security posture
A proactive solution can also validate the security tools you already use, things like WAF, DAST, cookie consent, bot managers, SCA, and more. It can be difficult to maintain a secure web app environment where all these tools work together safely, but with a proactive system, security teams can make sure that everything is correctly configured and working as it should, with no loopholes left open for attackers to exploit. If problems do arise with any of your tools, the proactive system alerts you straight away and guides you to fix the issue.
Again, this is something that the antivirus-approach solution can't address. A proactive approach solution gives you comprehensive oversight of your existing security tools and ensures they are functioning properly.
A proactive system also allows you to set your security baseline in terms of your own level of risk appetite by letting you safely approve or reject the actions it flags for attention. Once this is done your security teams won't be constantly responding to alerts that barely matter, and your business can strike a balanced approach to remaining secure that doesn't unnecessarily restrict its operations. By gaining full visibility into your web exposure you can proactively prioritize which threats are critical to your organizations and which ones are just a waste of your IT resources' time. A reactive antivirus-approach solution doesn't allow you to customize to this degree.
Reflectiz is a leading proactive approach solution provider, with a system that outperforms traditional detection methods to defend your organization's digital environment against unpredictable evolving web threats. The modern threat landscape is one in which cyber attackers can use a seemingly harmless script (which an antivirus-approach solution might miss) to cripple a business overnight. The cost of data breaches and privacy violations is very high, so can you afford to carry on being reactive? Diverse web threats now demand a more vigilant, forward-looking security posture, and a proactive approach system is the right kind to deliver it. Download the full Proactive Approach Report here for the most up-to-date response to next-gen threats to your business.