SE Labs

Special Edition
Computer security testing comment and analysis from SE Labs

Testing security from Zero to Neo

Endpoint protection against different types of attacker tested.

Testing security from Zero to Neo

Our reports are based on ‘testing security from zero to Neo’. Their wide scope helps you choose the best anti-malware product, that can protect you from ransomware and other types of attack.

AMTSO-Compliant Test

Targeted attacks come in all levels of sophistication

There seems to be no limit to the powers of cyber criminals. In 2021 the public became aware of the advanced capabilities of the NSO group, now infamous for helping governments spy on dissidents and others.

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Annual Report 2021

The SolarWinds attack compromised some of the largest organisations in the world (and by implication, their customers – and so on, down the supply chain). And the US’ largest oil pipeline company was breached, and its systems held to ransom.

Most analyses of these incidents recognise that endpoint security was attacked. As we alluded to in our annual report, breaches are a process. The initial stages of these famous attacks may not have involved a Windows PC but if your organisation grinds to a halt because everyone’s laptop is showing a red warning and a Bitcoin demand then the endpoint was compromised at some point. It needs protection, regardless of other security layers in play.

Testing security from Zero to Neo

We include targeted attacks in our endpoint protection tests because hackers can use a variety of techniques to attack endpoints. Not all targeted attacks are as sophisticated and focussed as the automatic iPhone exploits used by the NSO Group. Sometimes a targeted attack can be as simple as someone using a basic tool downloaded from the internet. Your adversary might be your neighbour, rather than a government-backed organisation. In fact, that’s possibly more likely.

Attackers can have almost no ability, or nearly unlimited resources: Zero to Neo.

Testing security from Zero to Neo is important. It helps answer questions about the effectiveness of anti-malware software. Can it stop well-known threats that affect everyone? What about more advanced threats, launched by skilled attackers? Zero days, for which there are no fixes? A ‘zero’ attack could be as simple as a social engineering attack, asking the target to send their password. A ‘Neo’ attack would be something previously unseen, extremely advanced and very hard to detect.

Protection is expected

It doesn’t really matter who represents a threat to you: a resourceful cyber ninja or an idiot colleague. When you or your business buys an endpoint protection product you expect it to stop attacks, sophisticated or otherwise. When you read the results in this report, remember that all it takes is one successful attack to ruin your day or your company.

We pride ourselves on a level of transparency that elevates our work above the less open reports available. But don’t just take our word for it. This report has gone through the AMTSO certification process to ensure that we say what we’re going to do; do it; and can prove it. Our results help vendors improve their products and buyers choose the best for their own needs.

Read this SE Labs assessment of world-leading endpoint security products and discover how they handle well-known threats and targeted attacks. SMB ransomware protection tested and reported!

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About

SE Labs Ltd is a private, independently-owned and run testing company that assesses security products and services. The main laboratory is located in Wimbledon, South London. It has excellent local and international travel connections. The lab is open for prearranged client visits.

Contact

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020 3875 5000

info@selabs.uk

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