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Free Series

the 101

Defining endpoint security, one question at a time

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Security is complex. So in order to have a meaningful conversation about it, we need to pull from a common vocabulary.

In this series we'll be looking at your questions week by week to cut through the noise and get good definitions of core concepts and fundamental ideas in endpoint security.

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Episodes

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Episode 1: What is a non-malware attack?

It's a term rising in prominence due its growing danger, but it's still leaving folks scratching their head trying to properly define...

In this episode we provide a clear definition of what a non-malware attack is, along with a quick example to help explain exactly what it can do and why it is so dangerous toda

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Episode 2: What is next-generation antivirus, or NGAV?

We already spoke about an emerging attack without a clear definition; now it's time to tackle an emerging solution in a similar situation...

In this episode we'll be talking about what NGAV is, what problem it is trying to solve and why it's uniquely suited to do so.

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Episode 3: How do different types of antivirus work?

For the past few decades there's really only been one approach, but lately we are seeing new technologies being applied to endpoint security that can address the new challenges we face on a daily basis...

This episode covers the three main approaches - signature, machine-learning and behavioral - and helps define how they work, what they do well and where they may be lacking.

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Episode 4: What are the different types of malware?

So far we’ve talked about NGAV and other types of antivirus, comparing and contrasting how they stop malware and non-malware attacks. We also defined non-malware, but what about malware?

Malware is a big topic, so today we’re going to start our ongoing discussion by asking: What are the different types of malware?

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Episode 5: How does malware actually work?

Last episode we started our discussion about malware by breaking down its major types. These distinctions are important because they help us craft the right strategies for defending ourselves; namely how we prioritize our time, money, and resources...

But when it comes to tactics, we need to have a better sense of how malware works so we know how to defend ourselves. So, to continue our discussion in today’s episode, we ask: “How does malware actually work?”

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Episode 6: Why is malware still successful?

In the past few episodes we’ve spoken about the different types of malware and how they generally work. Yet despite the fact that we have all this knowledge, and have been battling malware for a few decades now, organizations continue to get burned...

As a result, there is a question that keeps bubbling to the surface: “Why is malware still successful?”

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Episode 7: Why is ransomware on the rise?

Much like viruses and adware were top of mind in the nineties when the internet first began to dominate popular culture, you really can’t look far today without hearing about ransomware. That isn’t necessarily the case, however, for other types of malware or high-profile attacks that have occurred over the past couple of years.

To understand what is happening with ransomware, today we ask: “Why is ransomware on the rise?”

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Episode 8: What makes a Trojan... a Trojan?

This week we’re going to profile a type of malware that’s been around for quite awhile and is often one of the main types commonly covered in any “Intro to Malware” class: Trojans. However, unlike their early-day relatives Viruses and Worms, Trojans have really stood the test of time.

In order to understand why that is, today we ask: “What makes a trojan… a trojan?”

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Episode 9: What makes a rootkit so dangerous?

In this week’s episode, we learn more about a malware type that is widely panned as the most dangerous type out there - rootkits.

Now that’s a bold statement, especially in a world where certain types of malware infect millions of machines and cause billions of dollars in monetary damages. So, in order to understand why that is, today we ask: “What makes a rootkit so dangerous?”

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Episode 10: What, exactly, is a botnet?

In this week’s episode, we learn more about a malware type that doesn’t always get the attention is deserves: Botnets.

They, too, are also misunderstood, all the way the way down to their basic terminology. So, to clear things up, today we ask: “What, exactly, is a botnet?”

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Episode 11: What is the difference between commodity and advanced malware?

We’ve talked a lot about different types of malware, understanding how they work and work together, and offered some new ways to think about them. Well we’re going to wrap up our discussion on malware (for now) by taking a step back and looking at malware in yet another way.

Today we ask: “What is the difference between commodity and advanced malware?”

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Episode 12: What is a TTP?

For a while now we’ve been talking about malware - those nasty files that get introduced to your system to wreak havoc. But we’ve also noted that attackers have lots of ways they can wreak havoc that don’t involve any new files at all...

So how do we talk about all the different ways we get owned? I’ll answer your question with another one, and it’s the subject of our episode today: What is a TTP?

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Episode 13: What makes up a cyberattack? (Part 1)

Sometimes in security we find ourselves using certain terms very broadly. We use them correctly, but as we start to get down to it the specifics, the definition can vary a lot, and that puts us at a disadvantage...

So in this episode we take on one of these terms to kick off what will become an ongoing discussion about the number one thing we all worry about.

Today we ask: What makes up a cyberattack?

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Episode 14: What makes up a cyberattack? (Part 2)

Last episode we started answering a pivotal question in endpoint security, and today we’re going to keep on the same topic. It’s a biggie, so let’s get right to it...

Today we (continue to) ask: What makes up a cyberattack?