The evolution of PC Virus 7

How to choose nonsignature protection
Currently, most security solutions combine several different technologies. Classic antivirus programs often use signature detection in combination with some form of system event monitoring, an emulator and a sandbox. So what should you look for in order to find protection that best suits your specific needs?
First of all, keep in mind that there is no such thing as a universal solution or a ‘best’ solution. Each technology has advantages and drawbacks. For example, monitoring system events constantly takes up a lot of processor time, but this method is the toughest to trick. Malware can circumvent the emulation process by using certain commands in its code, but if those commands are used, the malicious code will be detected preemptively i.e. the system remains untouched. Another example: simple decision-making rules require too much input from the user, who will be required to answer a multitude of questions, whereas more complex decision-making rules, which do not require so much user input, give rise to multiple false positives.
Selecting technologies means choosing the golden mean; that is, picking a solution by taking specific demands and conditions into account. For example, those who work in vulnerable conditions (with an unpatched system, no restrictions on using browser add-ons, scripts, etc.) will be very concerned about security and will have sufficient resources to implement appropriate security measures. A sandbox-type system with a quality analytical component will best suit this kind of user. This type of system offers maximum security, but given current conditions, it will eat up a lot of RAM and processor time, which could slow the operating system beyond acceptable levels. On the other hand, an expert who wants to control all critical system events and protect him/ herself from unknown malicious programs will do well with a real-time system monitor. This kind of system works steadily, but does not overload the operating system, and it requires user input to create rules and exceptions. Finally, a user who either has limited resources or does not want to overload his system with constant monitoring, and who does want the option to create rules, will be best served by simple heuristics. Ultimately, it’s not a single component that ensures quality detection of unknown malicious programs, but the security solution as a whole. A sophisticated decision making method can compensate for more simple technologies.
Nonsignature systems used to detect previously unknown malicious code fall into two categories. The first include stand-alone HIPS systems, such as Prevx and Cyberhawk. The second group includes leading antivirus products, which in their continued evolution towards greater effectiveness have come to use nonsignature technologies. The advantages of one over the other are obvious: the first category offers a highly dedicated solution which has unlimited potential for improvement in terms of quality. The second makes use of the wealth of experience stemming from the multi-faceted battle against malicious programs.
In choosing a new product, the best recommendation is to trust personal impressions and independent test results.

1 comment:

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