Combating Malware with Collective Intelligence

Panda Security has integrated its latest security offering with its on-demand Malware Radar.

Panda Security is arming customers with new software—Panda Security for Business Version 4.02SP1—that takes advantage of its "Collective Intelligence" strategy.

The Madrid-based company is bringing the Collective Intelligence approach to bear with integration between the latest version of Panda Security for Business and Malware Radar, an on-demand service that provides an automated malware audit for customers.

The Collective Intelligence approach pushes malware analysis and detection into the cloud by gathering information on the latest malware threats via the Panda Collective Intelligence agent and uploading it to Panda servers. From there, it is processed and classified and ultimately remediated with a signature made available to the entire Collective Intelligence community.

The approach offers organizations the ability to detect and protect against malware while at the same time minimizing the resource and bandwidth consumption of protected systems, company officials said.

Overburdened, many anti-virus labs have trouble detecting and reverse-engineering malware fast enough to keep up with the amount of being produced by hackers, said Gary Leibowitz, general manager of Panda Security USA. The best way to address the problem is to gather as much intelligence from the Internet community as possible, he said.


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Gartner analyst Avivah Litan noted that Panda isn't alone in the market with this type of approach; other vendors have taken a similar tack.

"This approach is somewhat unique, but Cyveillance also has a robust malware detection service that predicts and prevents malware attacks through similar correlations," she said. "Both of their services will be in increasing demand, as malware attacks continue to escalate, and as other security vendors fall behind in being able to proactively detect and prevent them."

A number of other companies have established services to alert or educate their customers about malware threats as well, such as Slovakia-based security vendor ESET with its Virus Radar and Symantec's DeepSight Threat Management System service.

As part of Panda Security's approach, the company strategically placed nodes across the world to act as malware detectors, and customers relay suspicious data back to lab, said Ryan Sherstobitoff, the company's chief corporate evangelist.


Each threat discovered becomes part of Panda Security's planetary database, which now includes more than 2 million samples of malware. The process, company officials said, will hopefully reveal threats not recognized by existing security products through periodic risk assessment audits.

With different vendors offering various services, Forrester Research analyst Paul Stamp observed, at the end of the day, security vendors are only as good as the threats they can remediate.

"However a vendor chooses to get ahead of the attacker, the real differentiator will be how much more effective it is against malware and other attacks—and the only way to prove how effective it is is to provide examples of how its software protected its customers when others didn't," he said.

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