ETEAM Blog How Playing in Sandbox Can Help You Find Effective Ways to Fight Cyber Threats

Many companies and individuals rely on network segmentation, firewalls, and antivirus software as a means of protecting their systems.

As cyber threats are increasingly becoming common and complicated, these methods are not enough anymore. To curb cyber threats effectively, new tools, which can analyze the threats before they penetrate a system, should be in place. Sandboxing comes handy in this context since it enables systems to allow safe files to pass through and to lock down malicious ones.


Understanding Cyber Threats That Organizations Face

The most prevalent type of cybersecurity threats is the zero-day attack. Through this attack, a cybercriminal takes advantage of vulnerabilities or bugs in software programs that don't have a fix. This type of attack aims at compromising an application, a database management system or an operating system.

Advanced persistent threats also fall under cyber threats since they target nations or large organizations. It can take several days, weeks, months or years for this type of cyber threat to materialize. APTs enable hackers to get full access to certain assets owned by an organization by compromising tiny bits of a system.


What is Sandboxing?

If you are speculating how you can prevent the cyber-attacks explained above, then sandboxing is your solution. In IT, a digital sandbox acts as a safe environment for examining and preventing suspicious files. Sandboxing, on the other hand, refers to the act of putting sandbox software into use with an objective of avoiding havoc that malicious files may cause in your systems.  

Sandboxing is also useful in testing unverified software programs, which may contain an embedded malicious code or virus. The objective of this endeavor is to prevent the software programs from causing damage to a host device. Through sandboxing, a secure emulator or virtual machine helps in capturing and opening executable documents or files. A sandbox offers a controlled environment in which you can analyze how an executable file behaves.


Common Application Areas

If you are an average computer user, you may come across different types of sandboxes on web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. In this context, the sandboxes prevent malicious web applications from harming your device. Renowned payment service, PayPal, uses sandbox technology to secure merchants' web transactions. Computer and network forensic experts also rely on this technology to investigate malicious executables.


Sandboxing as a Solution to Cyber Threats

Today, most cyber-attacks target businesses more than consumers. This indicates that attackers focus on bigger scores by developing malware that can penetrate systems of both small and large businesses. There is also an increase in the number of malware files on the worldwide web today as compared to the past. With these facts in mind, here's how sandboxing would help you combat cyber threats.

Detect Malware in Data and Executable Files

The good thing about sandboxes is that they have the best interests of both executable and data files at hand. They proceed quickly to block any suspicious files once they come into contact with your machine. They also record the malicious attempts.

To get a detailed analysis of how the malware is trying to penetrate your system, sandboxes monitor the exploit activity at your device's processor. Sandboxes come handy during the exploitation phase of a cyber threat. They allow you to detect and block any zero-day threats or ATPs that are trying to invade your system.


Integration with Cloud Intelligence Networks

Most sandboxes have a feature that automatically shares data regarding a suspicious file with cloud intelligence networks. This enables connected systems to shield themselves against future malicious attacks. The data can also help you compare past and present attacks and decide on the type of sandbox program suits your machine.

Some sandboxes come with cloud-based correlation engines. These engines focus on gathering event data from business-grade cloud intelligence feeds, host sensors and some add-ons of web browsers. This type of integration is vital in enabling sandboxes to relay information on identified malware to connected devices.

Full Workflow Automation

The workflows you rely on to run your office should grow and change just like your business policies. The good news is that sandboxes offer business owners or entrepreneurs workflow related benefits. For instance, you won't need to run your firewalls or antivirus software every time you download something from the Internet. A sandbox software program will always scan for malicious code or files in anything you obtain from the web through your browser. It's time for you to rely on sandboxing to detect and lock out malware files from your office devices.

Full Visibility into Your Encrypted Traffic

Sandboxes provide you with the convenience of viewing your encrypted traffic. They also provide visibility into your system's inspection and SSL/TLS description capabilities in terms of threat protection and network security. Sandboxes also offer you insights on traffic categorization and current threats. They enable you to preserve your company's compliance and privacy with selective decryption.

To nurture data integrity and improve security encryption, sandboxes usually decrypts traffic and later shares it with the antivirus software in your computer. They focus on protecting the loss of data, which may hugely affect your business. Their objective is to build upon your company's security infrastructure.

Provides API Support

If you are interested in the sandbox technology, the good news to you is that the technology has API support. Basically, Sandbox's API acts as a controlled environment where programmers like you can develop new extensions and features based on the architecture of sandbox. It also allows you to carry out tests on newly released extensions or features. In turn, you won't incur costs on enlisting the service of a third-party company to do the testing.  


Final Thoughts

For you or your company to be consistent in mitigating cybersecurity threats that you face, include sandboxing in your security strategy. The battle between cybersecurity experts and hackers is getting worse day by day as hackers are opting for more sophisticated tools to penetrate systems. Hackers are also on the verge of circumventing traditional sandboxes to make them vulnerable to attacks. You should have deep-inspection and advanced technological tools such as sandboxes in place to counter these hacking efforts.

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