Cybersecurity professionals need to take a new approach to integrating multiple security layers

The larger an organization gets, the more complex its cybersecurity technology stack generally becomes. Optimizing multiple security solutions such as anti data exfiltration and endpoint detection to work well together remains a critical challenge for cybersecurity executives in every industry and sector.

According to Osterman Research, eight out of ten organizations use at least ten different cybersecurity tools. Larger organizations are more likely to use even more, with a variety of tools managing an increasingly complex attack surface area.

However, the ongoing rise in headline-making cyberattacks make it clear that this approach isn’t working. Enterprise leaders cannot improve their cybersecurity risk profile simply by adding more solutions to their stack. Leaders need to start prioritizing technologies that approach the problem and solution in new ways.

Detection-based Endpoint Solutions Leave Security Gaps

Many popular endpoint security technologies focus on securing end-user devices like laptops, desktops, and mobile phones. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) has evolved from simple anti-virus software to provide AI-powered protection from sophisticated threats.

However, there are significant differences between the services that EDR vendors offer. In May 2021, MITRE Engenuity published EDR attack testing evaluations for many of the industry’s most reputable vendors. Out of 27 vendors, only seven had detection rates above 90%.

Importantly, none of these detection-based tests emulated zero-day attacks. This means it’s unclear how well the best EDR detection algorithms would work against unknown threats and novel vulnerabilities.

Even the best AI-powered algorithms cannot provide a consistent, predictable solution for catching 100% of all cyberattacks. Since cybersecurity professionals have very little visibility into how AI systems work, improving an AI-powered EDR solution’s detection rate is an incredibly challenging technical problem.

Current Solutions Aren’t Stopping Data Exfiltration

Detection-based EDR solutions should give organizations the data they need to identify cybersecurity incidents and respond in ways that prevent data exfiltration from occurring. Yet a surprising number of cyberattacks involving data exfiltration still occur, in fact of the 292 reported ransomware attacks in 2021, over 80% threatened to exfiltrate data.

When it comes to organizations with more than 1000 employees employee mistakes and credential theft are among the most frequent causes of data exfiltration. These are issues that endpoint solutions are poorly equipped to prevent, since they rely on actions taken by authorized user accounts.

For smaller organizations the story is not significantly different. This points to an industry-wide security gap that impacts both small business and large enterprises alike. As a result, most enterprise cybersecurity leaders believe they are poorly prepared to respond to attacks that rely on data exfiltration.

Prevention is Key to Best-in-Class Cybersecurity

Many enterprise cybersecurity professionals believe that prevention-based solutions are too restrictive to use in the modern workplace. It’s common to equate prevention with restrictive policies like prohibiting thumb drives and blacklisting certain applications or web addresses – but that’s no longer the case.

It’s true that traditional prevention-based solutions have a significant impact on usability and workplace productivity. The stricter your prevention policies are, the harder it is for employees to get work done. Newer technologies are changing that paradigm, however.

Next-generation prevention solutions like anti data exfiltration allows users to conduct much of their day-to-day work without interference. By preventing unauthorized data from leaving the network regardless of its origin or associated user credentials, anti data exfiltration protection offers a higher degree of security than EDR, and successfully mitigates its own usability impact in the process.

Use Anti Data Exfiltration (ADX) to Prevent Unknown Threats

Organizations that invest in ADX technology are able to make better use of their existing cybersecurity tech stack. ADX enables cybersecurity professionals to better allocate resources between various cybersecurity solutions and make sure each one is doing what it does best.

ADX operates independently of detection-based EDR solutions, so there is no need to match user activities against a particular policy or event. ADX prevents data exfiltration from occurring across the entire network, allowing detection-based endpoint solutions to do their job better.

This makes ADX an ideal solution for preventing unknown threats and mitigating the risk of destructive zero-day attacks, allowing cybersecurity policies to provide endpoint protection directly to devices, rather than extending network protection to endpoints as an afterthought.

Protecting endpoint devices remains a critical part of a successful multi-layered cybersecurity approach. ADX makes it possible for organizations to put advanced EDR solutions to good use doing what they do best, working in concert with data exfiltration protection to prevent data breaches and cyberattacks as they occur.

Instead of entrusting endpoint security entirely to detection-based security solutions, organizations can actively prevent hackers from stealing their data as attacks occur. This repositions detection-based EDR to collect and synthesize attack data in order to generate threat intelligence.

How ADX Solutions Prevent Data Exfiltration at the Endpoint

Where traditional EDR solutions rely on sensitive data matching algorithms, ADX uses a more sophisticated approach. ADX monitors outbound traffic on endpoints, and restricts data from leaving the network under a specific set of conditions, such as:

  • Attempted communication with command-and-control centers
  • Traffic generated by processes that aren’t supposed to generate network traffic
  • Network traffic being routed to servers located in high-risk territories like Russia
  • The use of Dark Web protocols and direct IP addresses

Any one of these is a tell-tale sign of data exfiltration. By focusing on behavioral characteristics rather than sensitive data matching, ADX is able to act intelligently, synchronizing cybersecurity responses across multiple endpoints in ways that traditional solutions cannot.

Make BlackFog Your Trusted ADX Vendor

Small businesses and enterprises alike need robust data exfiltration solutions that go beyond detecting the use of sensitive data. The key to achieving best-in-class organizational cybersecurity is implementing a compatible suite of detection and prevention solutions that work together without impacting usability.

BlackFog provides organizations with set-and-forget functionality that prevents data from leaving the network. This significantly improves cybersecurity defenses against a wide range of attacks, from credential theft to ransomware, and more. Make BlackFog part of your organization’s cybersecurity tech stack and keep your sensitive data safe from exfiltration.