Why Antivirus is Not Enough & the Sandbox is Dead: Turning the Corner with Malware Prevention

September 8, 2021

Many organizations think their files are safe because they have antivirus or sandbox security. While these technologies are undoubtedly relevant for threat prevention, each has its gaps that can be exploited by hackers seeking to harm an organization or enterprise. Read on to learn why these two traditional defenses are simply no longer sufficient to keep your network safe and discover how to implement true and comprehensive malware prevention for robust file security.

Why Antivirus is Not Enough

One of the most common cybersecurity technologies used for malware detection is the antivirus solution. Antivirus is a program located at an endpoint on the customer’s machine that continuously checks a library of known threat signatures to identify suspicious or malicious files, in order to quarantine or destroy them before they can cause damage. However, even when antivirus solutions are used correctly and kept up to date, they can only detect known threats. This means that antivirus solutions cannot protect networks against undisclosed or zero-day attacks, which are threats that aren’t yet in a threat database.  This represents a serious failing as 80% of successful breaches are via new or unknown zero-day attacks that traditional signature-based detection solutions do not recognize. Antivirus solutions simply cannot keep up with the ever-changing risk surface.

In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute’s 2020 Annual Study, antivirus products missed an average of 60% of attacks, causing user confidence in traditional antivirus solutions to decrease. In addition to the lack of adequate protection, respondents complain that current antivirus solutions cause machine slowdown and negatively affect business productivity, and often return high levels of false positives and alerts. 

Sandbox Security is Dead

A sandbox is a confined testing environment that is maintained separately from the production environment, where a file or program from untrusted sources can be executed in isolation. This ensures that if a file is malicious, it will be discovered and blocked without compromising the network’s security. However, despite widespread corporate use, sandboxes are not sufficiently effective in keeping up with the increasingly sophisticated techniques deployed by malware developers. Hackers have long figured out how to evade the sandbox’s detection. Simple online searches produce detailed information explaining how hackers can avoid detection within the sandbox – for example, by only executing once inside the production environment or by bypassing the sandbox altogether.

In addition, large file uploads can create slowdowns in the sandbox, causing files and messages to get stuck in lengthy processing times. This may produce bottlenecks in online processes and reduce an organization’s efficiency and productivity. In addition, maintaining a sandbox takes significant IT resources, time, and money, as well as the need to continuously update complex security policies.

Enhance Your Organization’s Security with Malware Prevention 

Research indicates that an average of 13 million new malware threats are recorded per month. It is simply impossible for any antivirus or sandboxing solution to detect and prevent every last threat from wreaking havoc on your organization. And remember, even if one threat in a million manages to get through your defenses, your organization can become the next Colonial Pipeline or JBS meat producer. The time to act is now, with the US Department of Justice declaring 2020 the “worst year ever” for extortion-related cyberattacks.

Taking a Proactive Approach with Votiro

Votiro’s Positive Selection technology is superior to antivirus and sandboxing solutions as it does not rely on the principles of detection. Instead, Votiro’s Secure File Gateway neutralizes every single external content threat – including undisclosed and zero-day exploits. Positive Selection uses template-based reconstruction to re-create files with only the known good content included on new, clean templates, thereby protecting organizations against even the most obscure malware threats that no antivirus or sandbox could possibly detect.

This regenerated, safe version of the file ensures that all the content is retained in its original format while preserving file functionality. All files—suspicious or not—go through this process. As a result, Votiro has never suffered a single breach in seven years, across millions of users and counting. 
Interested in learning more? Book a demo with us to learn how our Positive Selection technology can benefit your organization. Or, to speak with a member of our team directly, contact us today.