Fall of A Hero – Rise and Fall of AV

All IT Security experts surely faced with such situations that anyone who does irrelevant with security, know only AV about computer security. AVs was the hero of our security for long times.


Legendary Times
AVs begin their advanture as signature based protection against known viruses and worms. With the development of the threats; fisrtly with script kiddies, than financially motivated hacker groups, it was enough to update signatures weekly or every few days. Today, things work a little differently. Actually, much more differently. As mentioned in the “A Guide to Choose EDR” blog before, with the explosion of the connectivity between PCs and mobile devices, usage of cloud more day by day, threats have also changed. Attackers now have the ability to bypass signature based detection and protection technologies. For dealing with these situations, heuristics detection skills have been added to AVs. Machine learning and behavior monitoring added for detecting and blocking suspicious behaviors. Also, AV vendors added host based IDS/IPS, hostbase firewall and device control skills, and these features become very useful for admins, to use all of these features within one agent, while this agent is already deployed in all PCs.


Fall of the Hero
Despite all these new features, researches conducted after 2018 say that AV products misses more than %50 of attacks. Besides, false positives caused by constantly updates causes difficult situations fort he IT professionals.
Everyone accepts that there is no any solution providing %100 security. With this approach, speed of response and visibility become the key features against threats. This is the reason SIEMs must be used to complement to AV. Yet there are also caveats that it is not enough and advanced tools like endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions must be implemented alongside AV. That must be true, at least we see that AV vendors are also now developing such solutions beside their AV solutions. You can access to a more detailed review of EDR solutions; what they must include and how to choose them here.


What is next?

Now, AV vendors thich are also developing EDR solution, suggest that the customers must implement these solutions beside the AV. Meanwhile, the vendors developing only EDR solutions, or vendors which entered endpoint field with EDR, say that customers can change their AV with EDR solutions peace of mind. But is it so easy to replace AV with EDR? Or simply, is it easy to change any AV with something else.
As mentioned before, companies are now using their AV agents for device control, host IDS/IPS, host firewall, application control and whitelisting. For replacing the AV, the new product must support these features, even if the solution is very success in detecting and responding. Meanwhile, event if the solution has these features, there are too many policies, rules and exceptions for all. I am sure all IT Professionals will be afraid of this replacement since these policies. Until overcoming these problems, it seems better to use EDR beside AV solution. For now, it is also important to use a vendor that have enough working experience with commonly used AVs.

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