By Mike Nelsey:

Ours is an interconnected world, where every sector relies on a constant flow of information. But as we have all learned, not all digital innovation is benign and there is a thriving industry exploiting system vulnerabilities for unlawful gain.

Last year, ransomware generated almost $1 billion for cyber criminals and without doubt Wannacry is only the latest high-profile example of a new wave of malware based on a set of confidential hacking tools used by the NSA.

The scramble to patch the susceptibility in Windows has underlined a fundamental problem in existing detection methodologies. Secure web gateways, firewalls and intrusion detection systems are limited as they attempt to identify threats – essentially, we will all remain vulnerable if we rely on ‘locking the stable gate once the horse has bolted’.

We need a wholly new approach. Cyberinc built Isla® not to try to identify malware but to isolate it, outside the network and away from all endpoint devices. Isla then transforms content into benign, malware-free formats before delivering it to users.

This matters as ransomware works once users visit a malicious site or receive an e-mail with a malicious link or document.  The system is then redirected to a site containing an exploit kit. But with the browser and content isolated, it ‘breaks the kill chain’ and an attack ends before it can begin.

Anything less than complete isolation leaves us all open to the next evolution in malware.


Mike is UK managing director of enterprise security technology company Cyberinc. Read more about the company’s Isla Malware Isolation appliance family here. Or download the white paper ‘Defeating Ransomware with Isla Web Malware Isolation’ here.