In an interview, Intel CTO Justin Rattner has revealed that Intel will release technology this year that will stop zero-day threats on the device.
He noted that the technology won’t be signature-based, like so much security technology today is. “We’re going to see a quantum jump in the ability of future devices, be them PCs or phones or tablets or smart TVs, to defend themselves against attacks.”
A shift in security thinking needs to happen to keep malware off our devices and away from our critical data. Trying to shut malware out with signature-based security technologies is like herding jelly.
Signature-based security was not designed to protect against the volumes of malware that we are seeing today. If you think that known malware signatures exceed 30,000 each day, the concept of protecting against unidentified malware is more than difficult, especially if you are trying to predict what malware might look like. With this approach, it is of little surprise that malware has a habit of falling through the cracks.
If you flip security on its head and only allow the known good onto a device or a computer network, malware protection is significantly improved. However, this concept is not new. Effective proactive security approaches have been used in limited pockets for critical locked-down systems for some time.
The delay in widespread adoption of this security mechanism has been the perceived agility of this approach. We live in an instant society and we want information at the click of a button. Checking everything before it is allowed onto a device used to slow things down.
Intelligent whitelisting is addressing the agility issue. Its lists can’t be overwhelmed by attack volume and it provides control over exactly what is allowed onto each device – effectively shutting out malware without interrupting user experience. And, most importantly it significantly reduces the cracks in the systems that protect our data.