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Intel and Check Point Extend Collaboration for Ransomware Defense | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Cybersecurity company Check Point Software Technologies has extended a pre-existing partnership with chipmaker Intel to provide hardware-level protection from one of the most prevalent security threats today – ransomware.

The collaboration entails Check Point Harmony Endpoint to be integrated with Intel vPro’s artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven Threat Detection Technology. The integration will enable Harmony Endpoint to analyze CPU telemetry and identify ransomware encryption commands early in the attack flow.

Ransomware has emerged as one of the top malware in cryptovirology extensively used in cyberattacks where the end goal is financial gain. 2021 was a standout year in spreading ransomware awareness, thanks to multiple high-profile breaches and ransomware incidents.

In the previous few years, multiple new ransomware strains and groups emerged on the cybersphere giving rise to the discovery and exploitation of additional attack vectors and more data being exfiltrated than ever, an evolution from simple encryption-based attacks.

Threat actors are notably getting more creative with pre- and post-attack operations, seeking external advice in developing or improving respective strains, and offering online avenues such as search engines for compromised data.

According to Emsisoft’s The State of Ransomware in the US: Report and Statistics 2022, more than 200 organizations in the U.S. public sector (government, educational, and healthcare) were targeted. Here’s how 2022 compares to previous years for just these three sectors.

Sector

2022 2021 2020
Local governments 105 77

113

Education

89 88 84
Hospitals ~290 NA

NA

See More: How to Defend Against Deadbolt Ransomware Attacks On NAS Devices

Clearly, the number of attacks isn’t decreasing. However, the scope and impact of a ransomware attack are gauged by the downtime, financial losses and the number of endpoints impacted, not just the number of attempted attacks. Check Point Research’s internal study also revealed that ransomware is the number one threat.

The key is to catch the possibility of an attack early on.  “Prevention-first continues to be the best cyber security strategy, as once an attack happens, it can be challenging to repair the damage to both the company and its reputation,” Check Point noted. As such, Check Point’s collaboration with Intel intends to protect endpoints at the processor-level to minimize the scope.

“Through our collaboration with Intel, customers will benefit from processor level security that starts at the silicon level and provides anti-ransomware capabilities allowing for earlier prevention and expansive attack surface coverage,” said Ofir Israel, VP of Threat Prevention at Check Point Software Technologies.

The upgraded solution will be available to Check Point Harmony customers in early 2023 at no extra cost.

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Image source: Shutterstock

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