Menlo Security Inc., a well-funded cybersecurity startup, today debuted two new tools designed to help companies block so-called HEAT attacks.
HEAT stands for highly evasive adaptive threat. The term describes web-borne malware that targets victims’ browsers and uses advanced obfuscation techniques to avoid detection. According to Menlo Security, its two newly announced tools each address such threats in a different way.
The first offering, HEAT Shield, analyzes the URL of every website that a worker visits. It then generates a risk score that indicates whether a URL is likely to host malware. HEAT Shield’s risk scores can help companies determine which websites should be blocked.
In certain cases, URL analysis alone is not enough to block HEAT attacks. The reason is that hackers sometimes breach legitimate websites and use them to spread malware. Such seemingly legitimate websites can mislead traditional URL analysis tools.
To address that challenge, Menlo Security has equipped HEAT Shield with artificial intelligence features. Those AI features can scan the code elements of the websites that a worker visits to find malware. Moreover, the service uses computer vision to detect visual clues that may suggest a website is malicious.
The other new offering Menlo Security debuted today is called HEAT Visibility. It uses AI to scan workers’ web traffic for malicious requests.
HEAT malware can be difficult to spot with traditional traffic scanning tools. The reason is that such malware is often downloaded onto users’ browsers in an encoded, dormant form specifically designed to evade detection. The malicious code only activates once it’s on the user’s computer.
When it detects potential HEAT malware in users’ web traffic, HEAT Visibility automatically sends an alert to administrators. Information technology teams also have access to a feature called HEAT Attack Dashboard. The feature displays detailed technical data about the cyberattacks that its AI algorithms detect.
“Adversaries have placed a massive bullseye on the web browser. It has become the new desktop, where we spend the bulk of our working day,” said Nick Edwards, Menlo Security’s vice president of product management. “The capabilities we are introducing today mark a significant leap forward towards our mission of creating a secure, seamless browsing experience.”
The company says HEAT Shield and HEAT Visibility are built on the same technology foundation as its flagship product, the Menlo Security Platform. The platform allows workers to open webpages in a cloud-based sandbox rather than on their local computers. Webpages’ original code is not downloaded onto users’ machines, which means malware has no way to reach its intended target.
HEAT Shield and HEAT Visibility are generally available today.
Image: Menlo Security
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