Fortune 50 bank takes new approach with Menlo Security Isolation Platform to prevent web risks

Protecting assets and users

With trillions of dollars in assets and operations worldwide, no one takes security more seriously. But the reality of easily compromised web servers and a seemingly unending stream of browser vulnerabilities have made the web the primary threat vector for malware infections. According to a recent report1 , 34% of the top one million websites are considered risky, with 20% running software that is vulnerable to attackers. These percentages escalate dramatically when you consider the vulnerabilities in the software run by third party contributors to sites such as ad networks.

To keep malware out of its networks, the firm deployed a sophisticated layered security solution. A web security gateway provided website categorization; desktop antivirus detected suspicious downloads to endpoints; and a sandbox firewall product added another layer of malware detection.

Frustrated by the declining efcacy of their existing products, they performed an in-house analysis that unearthed an interesting data point. Security administrators found that over 60% of malware infections at the company emanated from uncategorized websites. Uncategorized sites (sites that don’t fall into any category for which a security policy applied) can be a security issue because many malware sites are quickly shuttered when discovered, only to re-emerge hours later under a new name. These new sites are unknown and thus uncategorized. However, there are also many legitimate business sites that do not generate broad amounts of web trafc that are also uncategorized.

A natural response to this finding was to block access to all uncategorized sites. This blocked the malware vector, but also blocked legitimate sites. The resulting storm of user complaints led to thousands of requests to the security team each day from users seeking access to sites that were relevant to their business, but now blocked by the secure web gateway. The customer needed an efcient way to limit its exposure to threats from websites containing malware, and to reduce the costs and headaches associated with remediation. The need to find a better solution became imperative.


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