Cisco and McAfee decide users just can’t be trusted not to click on dodgy attachments

Cisco’s adding McAfee’s Advanced Threat Defense to platforms supported by its Email Security Appliance platform.

The alliance is designed to make integration between the two systems easy – the Advanced Threat Defence (ATD) e-mail connector is a single checkbox in the McAfee UI, plus selecting permitted hosts and the file extension types that should be scanned.

If the Email Security Appliance (ESA) spots an incoming e-mail with an attachment it doesn’t recognise, it’ll forward the message to the McAfee ATD system. ATD then checks the attachment against known signatures, and if it comes up blank, it will run the attachment in a sandbox.

In the video below, McAfee’s Stan Golubchik says the pairing offers a solution that’s better at spotting “highly camouflaged” threats, because the sandbox execution can look for malicious behaviour, and in parallel, ATD runs static code analysis.

“This method of analysis can de-obfuscate even the most evasive malware”, he says.

Once ATD’s done with the file, it puts a reputation score in the header and returns the message to ESA.

Cisco’s Andrew Peters writes that the idea is to kill off unsafe attachments, without relying on trying to teach users not to click on links.

At Cisco Live this week Switchzilla has also announced expanded integrations with:

  • Firewall platform partners Algosec and Tuffin, who will update their integration with Cisco’s Firepower REST API;
  • cPacket and CSPi, who provide security event analysis beyond the Snort-based packet capture;
  • Verodin, whose security instrumentation will be connected to Cisco’s Firepower, Stealthwatch, Umbrella, and Advanced Malware Prevention for Endpoints solutions.
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