The best course for enterprises to prevent the risk of malware and ransomware is security awareness training. The next best course is to use tools that can detect, isolate and remove ransomware threats.
Ransomware protection, prevention and removal tools come in many forms. These features are included in most antimalware tools, endpoint detection and response (EDR) products and other security tool suites.
Let's examine how antimalware tools work and look at 10 leading products that integrate well with enterprise IT infrastructures.
What are antimalware tools?
Antimalware is software engineered to scan devices and monitor network traffic for malware signatures and traffic anomalies. It is deployed on endpoints, networks and other systems.
Antimalware differs from traditional antivirus software that relies on traditional signature-based methods. Antimalware and antivirus software are sometimes deployed as a single application. In some cases, data is transferred to an antimalware sandbox for further analysis before sending the traffic to its destination.
Generally speaking, antimalware tools focus on the following coverage areas -- some more so than others -- to identify and remediate attacks that might occur:
- Email servers.
- Web traffic.
- Endpoint scanning.
- Network traffic signature and anomaly detection.
Such tools track malware from the entry point, across the network and to endpoints where infections could have occurred. When an event occurs, security teams can streamline their investigations and response. Compromised devices can be quarantined quickly from the rest of the corporate network to reduce further exposure.
Top 10 antimalware tools
Note that ransomware is a type of malware that can be detected by antimalware tools. Vendors might label specific tools as "anti-ransomware" or "ransomware protection, detection or removal," but the industry standard is to group them as "antimalware."
The following list is a sample of the types of enterprise-grade antimalware available today that include ransomware protection. While there are plenty of other options, these tools are widely deployed by businesses small and large. Tools are listed in alphabetical order.
1. Bitdefender: GravityZone Business Security Enterprise
Bitdefender offers several antivirus and antimalware options for home and business use. Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security Enterprise is often the preferred choice for enterprises. The product provides endpoint protection, along with EDR capabilities. This layered architecture helps ensure malware does not slip through.
- GravityZone includes an intuitive risk analysis engine that protects against malware attacks and ensures that corporate policies -- such as patch management, disk encryption and device control -- are followed.
- Complex administration.
- Protection of Linux-based systems is not as comprehensive.
2. Cisco Secure Endpoint
Cisco Secure Endpoint provides network-centric malware protection tools that identify and block malware, from a single endpoint device to multiple affected devices across an entire corporate network. Features and tools include EDR, extended detection response (XDR), secure DNS and, through its Talos service, advanced malware threat intelligence.
Secure Endpoint is offered in three packages: Essentials, Advantage and Premier.
- Comprehensive oversight.
- Centralized view for continuous malware threat monitoring, file analysis, infected device isolation, and threat behavioral analysis and alerting.
- The complex UI could require additional training.
- The cost of putting together a comprehensive suite of tools to combat malware across the entire network could escalate quickly.
3. ESET Protect
ESET Protect offers defense against malware through a combination of advanced threat intelligence feeds and malware behavioral analysis. Among devices protected are email systems, Microsoft SharePoint deployments, endpoints -- including smartphones and tablets -- and file servers.
- Single unified management dashboard.
- Real-time file scanning.
- Insightful alerting.
- Low resource utilization.
- Licensing challenges.
- UI confusion.
- Lacks alert grouping.
- False flag issues when working with other network and network security components.
4. F-Secure Total
F-Secure Total provides endpoint software to protect against known malware signatures in the form of ransomware, spyware, Trojans, bots and other threats. It monitors web browsing traffic to identify malware-infected websites and domains.
- It protects a range of endpoint devices, including Windows and MacOS PCs and Android and iOS-based endpoints.
- The monitoring tool works well and quickly alerts security teams about any breaches for fast remediation.
- F-Secure's behavioral analysis capabilities rank behind similar products.
- The endpoint software has been found to be bypassed, removing critical protections.
5. Kaspersky Premium
Kaspersky Premium is considered an easy-to-deploy, no-nonsense option. It provides endpoint antivirus and antimalware protection, automated threat removal, identity protection, private browsing, VPN services and global 24/7 support.
- Multilayered architecture protects devices as well as Wi-Fi networks.
- The user-friendly interface offers streamlined alerting and remediation functions.
- It can be challenging to create complex security policies -- a must-have for enterprise operations.
- Customer service response times can be frustrating.
6. Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection and EDR
Malwarebytes' enterprise versions include endpoint (including servers) protection only or endpoint protection combined with EDR. The combined security portfolio offers multilayered defense against malware, including built-in AI-backed analysis, automated remediation processes and malware removal and rollback features.
- It provides users with a unified endpoint and EDR dashboard for improved threat visibility.
- It generates insightful reports for tracking and monitoring threats.
- The "quick scan" feature sometimes misses advanced and difficult-to-detect threats.
- Suite licensing pricing has risen sharply in recent years.
7. Sophos Intercept X with XDR and MDR
Sophos offers two malware prevention products: Intercept X with XDR and Intercept X with MDR (managed detection and response). Intercept X with XDR protects against targeted malware using machine learning techniques. Intercept X with MDR is a managed security tool that offers network-wide incident response and remediation tools for use by security operations center (SOC) technicians.
- Easy to use.
- Advanced content filtering and zero-day malware protection capabilities.
- Intercept X with MDR offers comprehensive logging and alerting capabilities that assist security teams in identifying true positives that should be acted upon immediately.
- Intercept X with MDR can be complicated to deploy without proper training.
- Intercept X with MDR's reporting can be overly complex for those without an IT security background.
8. Symantec Enterprise Cloud
Symantec Enterprise Cloud offers endpoint protection software, network-centric security, email-derived malware defense and global threat intelligence.
- Easy integration with third-party security tools that businesses likely already have in place.
- Enterprise Cloud not only protects endpoints from malware threats, but also network, data center and cloud infrastructures.
- Some features, including internet content filtering, are overly strict and confusing to remediate.
- The endpoint software is resource-intensive and can hinder end-user work on lower-end desktops.
9. Trend Micro Cloud One
Trend Micro Cloud One protects endpoints and networks in private data centers and clouds, as well as various service workloads, containers and file storage.
- Software protects against threats across the entire enterprise network footprint.
- Centralized visibility within SOCs enables control of security policy groups.
- Advanced endpoint malware prevention software for Windows and Linux-based servers.
- Management dashboards can be confusing.
- Reporting and alerting features are overly complex.
- Threats can go unnoticed if SOC technicians aren't properly trained and skilled.
10. Webroot MDR
Webroot offers a suite of security products for endpoints, email, DNS, data center and cloud. The company's MDR product provides 24/7 threat intelligence that pushes information to endpoint systems to quickly respond to evolving threats.
- Unified dashboard features enable rapid malware identification, alerting and remediation.
- Easy-to-understand reporting capabilities.
- Endpoint management can be complicated for seemingly easy tasks, such as deactivating software and licensing from end-of-use devices.
- Advanced threat detection may block business applications, requiring immediate attention from security engineers to resolve.