The Importance of Layered Security in Protecting Against Modern Cyber Threats

The Importance of Layered Security in Protecting Against Modern Cyber Threats

Every day, 560,000 new pieces of malware are detected, contributing to the staggering total of over 1 billion malware programs currently in existence. Trojans, which represent 58% of all computer malware, continue to be a significant threat, while ransomware remains a persistent menace, impacting four companies every minute. 

This highlights a critical question: How can we effectively safeguard our digital environments against these pervasive and evolving threats? The answer lies in adopting a multi-faceted approach known as layered security.

What is layered security?

Layered security, or defense in depth, is the practice of using multiple security measures to protect the integrity of information. The idea is to create a series of defensive mechanisms that can independently thwart any attempt to breach a system. If one mechanism fails, another steps in immediately to thwart the attack. 

Key components of a robust layered security strategy include:

  1. Anti-virus software: Scans for known threats and removes them.
  2. Anti-executable programs: Only allow approved applications to execute.
  3. Application whitelisting: Explicitly permits only trusted applications to run, blocking all others.


Anti-virus software: Your first line of defense

Anti-virus software is perhaps the most recognized component of cybersecurity strategies. As the primary defense mechanism, it provides real-time scanning to detect and eradicate known viruses and malware. This traditional security tool is critical in protecting systems by continuously monitoring digital environments for signs of malicious activity. 

However, despite its effectiveness against many threats, anti-virus software is inherently limited by its reliance on known virus signatures. This limitation becomes particularly apparent considering the nature of cyber threats, where cybercriminals are constantly devising new methods to exploit vulnerabilities. There is often a critical window of 24 to 72 hours from the release of a new threat until it is detectable by antivirus systems. During this period, security software vendors are tasked with identifying the threat, conducting thorough investigations, and subsequently updating their systems to recognize and mitigate the threat. This delay can leave systems exposed and defenseless against novel attacks.

Given these challenges, it’s clear that anti-virus software alone is insufficient to combat modern cyber threats comprehensively. This is where solutions like Faronics Anti-Virus step in to fortify your cybersecurity posture. Faronics Anti-Virus enhances traditional defenses with advanced features like real-time threat detection and integration with Anti-Executable technology, providing a more robust and adaptive security framework. 

By combining these capabilities, Faronics’ software ensures that your digital assets are protected against known threats and emerging, sophisticated attacks that conventional anti-virus might miss.


Anti-executable programs: Preventing unauthorized access

Anti-executable technology is a vital second layer in your cybersecurity defenses. It works by only allowing approved software to run on your computer. This feature is crucial for guarding against unknown or zero-day threats, which are attacks that exploit new, previously unidentified vulnerabilities.

One effective solution is Faronics Anti-Executable, which blocks unauthorized executables that could harbor potentially devastating zero-day exploits or mutated viruses. This approach is vital because it acts before threats can harm your system. During the time it takes for antivirus updates to catch up to new malware, your systems could be vulnerable to attack. Faronics Anti-Executable mitigates this risk by preventing the execution of any unauthorized software and enhancing your security measures.


Application whitelisting: Only the safe list

Application whitelisting significantly bolsters security by strictly defining which applications are permitted to operate within a network. Unlike traditional anti-virus software that scans for known threats, whitelisting ensures only pre-approved, safe applications can run. This approach effectively prevents malware attacks because it inherently denies any application that hasn’t been explicitly authorized. 

Faronics Anti-Executable also incorporates application whitelisting capabilities, offering an excellent solution that complements its anti-executable features by ensuring that only trustworthy applications are executed.

Here’s how application whitelisting enhances your security setup:


  • Granular control: With application whitelisting, you can set specific criteria tailored to your organization’s unique needs. This level of detail ensures that only applications that meet your stringent security standards are allowed to run, reducing the risk of malware infiltration that could come from less secure software.
  • Policy-based management: Application whitelisting allows for the creation of comprehensive policies that can be centrally managed and uniformly applied across all endpoints within the network. This centralized management capability ensures consistent enforcement of security policies, making it easier to maintain a secure IT environment across multiple departments or locations.

Integrate solutions for comprehensive protection

Why should you consider integrating these solutions? Let’s look at the updated numbers. Every day, the AV-TEST Institute registers over 450,000 new malicious programs (malware) and potentially unwanted applications (PUA). The financial implications of these threats are staggering, with cyber attacks expected to cost the world 8 trillion USD in 2023. This figure is projected to rise to 9.5 trillion USD in 2024 and further to 10.5 trillion USD by 2025. Additionally, IBM’s latest Cost of Data Breach report reveals an all-time high in data breaches, with the average cyber attack now resulting in losses of approximately 4.45 million USD.

The synergy between anti-virus, anti-executable and whitelisting technologies provides a robust, multi-layered defense that enhances your ability to swiftly detect, prevent and respond to cyber threats. Integrating these solutions fortifies your cybersecurity posture and protects your digital environments from evolving threats. This strategic and proactive approach helps minimize potential financial impacts and strengthens your defenses to manage and mitigate risks associated with costly data breaches.

Interested in enhancing your cybersecurity? Contact Faronics today to discover how our integrated solutions can safeguard your digital assets.

About The Author

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape and windows technologies like steady state alternative that change our lives, and what we can expect in the future.

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