Earlier this month I had the opportunity to visit sunny Orlando, Florida and give two presentations during the (ISC)2 Security Congress 2016. Ntrepid’s history gives us a different way of looking at security, which makes for a refreshing view of things for conference attendees looking for new and innovative ideas. The audiences for both talks were quite engaged and seemed to welcome this different perspective on the threat and security landscape.

In my first talk, “Why Targeting Is the Next Big Trend in Attacks,” I outlined how the growth of targeted attacks is changing the security landscape. Specifically, I touched on the fact that defenses that have been reasonably effective against mass scale attacks provide almost no protection against those that are highly targeted. Attackers are less likely to be noticed, and can therefore use their best tools and techniques, and have plans in place to maximize the impact of their attack. The intent of this presentation was to help security professionals think about this growing kind of threat and understand how their strategies need to adapt to keep their networks and data safe.

This approach laid the foundation for my second talk, “Put Your Vulnerabilities in a Box, then Burn It.” Here the audience and I discussed one of the key next generation security strategies which can be effective against targeted attacks. The technique is often called application isolation or secure virtualization, but I tend to like the description, “Encapsulate and Eradicate.” What it comes down to is that some applications are highly vulnerable to attack simply because of their exposure to the open Internet or their inherent vulnerabilities, and need to be effectively isolated from threats.


Unfortunately, the web browser is leading the way among those exposed and vulnerable applications.


But this is where our unique way of tackling security was appreciated by attendees. By appropriately leveraging virtualization to securely encapsulate the browser, or other vulnerable applications, you ensure that the attacker is extremely limited in the damage they can do. The dedicated environment where the application runs is also very simple, making it easier to lock down and to monitor. Furthermore, it can be quickly destroyed and recreated which absolutely eradicates all infections whether or not they have been detected. This is exactly the kind of capability needed to handle the emerging targeted threats that have been the scourge of businesses over the last few years.

To learn more about how, despite it being one of the leading attack vectors for malicious actors, the web browser can be one of your best tools for thwarting cyber attacks, check out Passages. And if you are interested in knowing what event or venue we will be at next, sign up for our newsletter below.