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March 1, 2017updated 03 Mar 2017 5:24pm

Carbon Black CTO: Why it’s time to kill legacy antivirus

CTO Mike Viscuso says it's OK to replace legacy antivirus - but expect growing pains.

By Tom Ball

Carbon Black is one of the companies at the tip of the cyber security spearhead, with over 7 million endpoints under management and over 2,500 customers, granting them excellent visibility of the changing threat landscape.

That threat landscape has certainly evolved for the worst in recent times, with threats ranging from cheap pre-packaged ransomware sold on the Dark Web, to instances of nation-state hacking that have put time honoured fundamentals of democracy and society into question.

Carbon Black

CTO Michael Viscuso

“It’s clear that cyber security has never been as ubiquitous as it is today. Cyber security’s role in politics is at the forefront of everyone’s consciousness,” Michael Viscuso, CTO at Carbon Black, told CBR.

Nation-state activity in the cyber-threat landscape has been a focal point of late, with a cyber cold war emerging from allegations of hacking, fake news and campaigns of misinformation. For Mr. Viscuso, cyber security has reached a critical tipping point, one which has put cyber security at the front door of governments across the world..

“Cyber security is a global problem that needs to be addressed at a government level. When international law is inconsistent in handling cyberattacks, we will always be handcuffed. With the current system, we can’t better prevent cyberattacks simply because the law is being broken. In the past, international governments have banded together to address security issues. Cyber security should be a top priority in collaboration among governments and private entities.”

The CTO was keen to put his company forward as a willing participant in government-industry discussions, saying that he would be ‘thrilled to participate in discussions to help establish legal standards and mechanisms to enforce those laws.”

Although cyber security at a central government level has dominated recent rhetoric, the Carbon Black CTO was quick to highlight how cyber security has been put front and centre not just in government, but across business too.

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Carbon Black

“Cybersecurity is finally getting the attention it deserves and is no longer an afterthought. As a result, businesses are taking an introspective look at their own defences and coming to the realisation that their legacy AV just isn’t cutting it anymore. While that might initially result in some growing pains, it’s a critical realisation to make and will ultimately better secure critical information at organizations around the world.”

The CTO may be hoping that part of the businesses cyber security epiphany may point them in the direction of Carbon Black, a provider of next-generation endpoint security. The company does have an interesting product coming out in 2017,  an antivirus solution called Cb Defense. This technology utilises Streaming Prevention, which is designed to track and stop cyberattacks before they are able to initiate and do damage. Cb Defense is presented via an agent that combines separate software for detection and prevention and is delivered through the cloud.

Streaming Prevention is a core method Carbon Black offers as protection from current threats, producing data that shows 53% of breaches do not require malware to penetrate defences and access information. Streaming Prevention technology is intended to prevent all types of attacks, regardless of whether the attack is based on malware or not. Carbon Black has designed this technology within Cb Defense as an option that will show vast improvement over legacy antivirus.

Carbon Black

Cb Defense Dashboard.

“As humans, we consistently make context-aware decisions. We should be doing the same thing with cyber security. Until recently, security technology has been limited to point-in-time decisions, allowing attackers to bypass individual checkpoints with ease,” said Mr. Viscuso.

“What’s ground breaking with streaming prevention is contextual awareness. Streaming prevention gives organizations the ability to see how an attack is unfolding and then stop it with a very high degree of confidence. With any decision, context is important. With cyber security, context is critical. Streaming prevention automatically delivers that context.”

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The CTO has a bold plan for the coming year, leading the charge on helping businesses to replace legacy antivirus.

“Our primary goal for 2017 is to empower the mass market with Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV.) To do that, we must harness a prevailing sentiment we are seeing right now –it’s ok to replace legacy antivirus. Two years ago, organizations were shaky about replacing legacy AV.

“Now, these same organizations are much more open to the idea. We want to cut through all the noise and demonstrate that legacy AV’s ineffectiveness is a major problem. With NGAV, businesses will be able to confidently replace legacy antivirus and build stronger, more resilient security postures.”

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