Symantec Boosts Endpoint Security With Improved Detection

Multiple product offerings across Symantec's endpoint security product portfolio are getting updates that advance the state of detection, protection and response.

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Symantec is enhancing its endpoint security capabilities with a series of updates across its product portfolio that add new features and services.

Included among the updates is Symantec Endpoint Application Control, which only enables known good applications to run in an effort to help reduce an organization's attack surface. Symantec's updated Endpoint Cloud Connect Defense now provides a policy-based VPN (virtual private network) to help protect connections, while the Endpoint Application Isolation technology is gaining enhanced capabilities to help protect against new classes of attacks. Symantec is also launching a Managed Endpoint Detection and Response (MEDR) service based on its new EDR 4.0 update.

"Symantec MEDR is delivered using our EDR 4.0 product technology, our Cyber Security Services SOC [Security Operations Center] technology platform and threat intelligence fed from our Global Intelligence Network," Sri Sundaralingam, head of product marketing for Enterprise Security Products at Symantec, told eWEEK. "Key benefits include managed threat hunting, remote investigations and endpoint containment that allows our customers to scale their SOC teams."

The EDR 4.0 update includes new detections to help identify and stop advanced attacks. Sundaralingam said EDR 4.0 now has detections for over 300 techniques, covering suspicious activity around process, PowerShell, Microsoft Office and credential theft actions, and attempted thread injection. Symantec is also providing enrichment in EDR 4.0 with the MITRE ATT&CK Framework, which is a standardized knowledge base of attacker tactics and techniques.

"Investigators can quickly filter by ATT&CK phase, technique ID and name to identify stealthy threats and gaps in the attack lifecycle," Sundaralingam said.

The MITRE ATT&CK integration builds on the Targeted Attack Analytics capabilities that prior releases of Symantec EDR had already integrated. The Targeted Attack Analytics capabilities make use of Symantec’s telemetry and AI-driven detection engines to continuously expose emerging threats. 

With EDR 4.0, Symantec is also adding new playbooks to help guide the automated response to specific types of incidents.

"Symantec has added support of MITRE Cyber Analytics Repository [CAR] implemented as automated playbooks," Sundaralingam said. "The playbooks help SOC teams quickly initiate best practices and institute a zero-trust forensic approach for enhanced detections from collected cyber data. " 

Symantec Endpoint Protection Platform Updates

The Symantec Endpoint Application Isolation is also being updated, building on technology that Symantec acquired from Fireglass in 2017 for web isolation. Sundaralingam explained that Endpoint Application Isolation enables users to download and use any application safely by ensuring every application is restricted to safe and authorized behavior. 

"New enhancements in this release include enhanced application discovery and advanced PowerShell protections to ensure authorized or unauthorized applications do not get exploited," he said.

Symantec is now also launching the  Endpoint Threat Defense for Active Directory product, which is based on technology acquired from Javelin Networks in November 2018. The Javelin Networks technology helps protect enterprises from attacks that target the widely deployed Microsoft Active Directory system. 

Looking forward, Sundaralingam said Symantec is continuing to invest in a cloud-first strategy to enable integrated management for endpoint security controls as part of its Integrated Cyber Defense platform strategy. 

"We are continuing to invest in artificial intelligence capabilities in the cloud to help customers assess and improve their security posture," he said. "We plan to introduce these innovations later this year."  

 Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.