Apps and file sharing services have changed the security landscape: Check Point

Apps and file sharing services have changed the security landscape: Check Point

Security vendor finds that traditional approaches to security today’s Internet no longer apply

The Internet has changed and so has the way people share information, according to Check Point president, Amnon Bar-Lev.

In the past browsing was mainly URL-based, but people today are using mobile apps instead.

Social networks such as Facebook are emblematic of this shift, but Bar-Lev points out that traditional publications such as magazines and newspapers have also joined this shift with their own apps.

“A lot of online interaction is being done through these apps,” he said.

The file sharing landscape has also changed, with the security vendor finding that 75 per cent of organisations are using Dropbox to transfer data.

“There is a good reason for that as Dropbox does the task well, but the problem is that we lose control of that data and other people can use it,” Bar-Lev said.

Check Point has also discovered that 61 per cent of organisations have peer-to-peer applications installed.

“While they are a great way to get movies and music, the problem is that you’re sharing your own computer with a community of people you don’t know or trust,” Bar-Lev said.

“Once you do that, you’re opening a back door to the network, letting people put malware on your computer and take data from the organisation.”

The virtual sandbox

The traditional approach by antivirus has been to inspect files, but Bar-Lev said there are a lot of variants that do not get caught by the antivirus.

The approach Check Point is taking is to allow users to open documents in an emulated environment that acts as a sandbox.

“A document is supposed to be a document, and it is not supposed to go into the registry or connect to the Internet,” Bar-Lev said.

All of this is carried out over the vendor’s Cloud service, which Bar-Lev said does not require anything to be installed on the network.

“If the file does something not associated with the document, we’ll block it and prevent it from coming into the organisation," Bar-Lev said.

Once the malware has been detected, Bar-Lev said Check Point will be able to match it to future instances and the user will never encounter it again.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.

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