May 26, 2024

Revolutionary new Acronis EDR solution nixes cyber attacks at the human level

To prevent cybercriminals and spies from stealing, encrypting and selling data across the dark web and via other clandestine means security must move as close as possible to the humans [employees] who are invariably responsible for data breaches at the enterprise level, according to Eric O’Neill, former American FBI counter-terrorism and counterintelligence operative.

Addressing an exclusive Acronis EDR launch webinar for the global cybersecurity media on May 16, 2023, O’Neill also noted that “spear-phishing remains the number-one vector for successful cyber attacks”.

O’Neill was speaking ahead of the official May 17, 2023 global launch of the Acronis Advanced Security + Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) solution for Managed Service Providers (MSPs).

Bundled with the Acronis Cyber Protection Cloud platform that protects 700,000+ businesses globally, the next-generation Acronis EDR platform is an effective threat detection, containment, and remediation package that reduces the complexity that traditional EDR systems are prone to.

(L-R) Tom O’Neill, former FBI counter-terrorism and counterintelligence operative and Candid Wüest, VP of Research, Acronis. Credit: Acronis

Need of the hour

As a leading global provider of data protection and cybersecurity, and commemorating two decades of constant innovation, Acronis found the need to unveil its proprietary new AI-powered EDR solution this month given the unprecedented and fast-rising frequency and sophistication of cyber threats following the migration to remote and hybrid work, rise in endpoint vulnerabilities, to showcase proactive threat detection and incident response, and integrate with security information and event management (SIEM) systems.

Acronis Advanced Security + Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) interface demo. Credit: Acronis

Credited with playing a major role in the arrest, conviction, and 15 consecutive life sentences’ imprisonment of FBI agent Robert Hanssen for spying on behalf of the Soviet Union and Russia in 2001, O’Neill achieved global fame for his role in helping to compromise a Palm Pilot endpoint device containing incriminating encrypted data belonging to Hanssen – who is widely seen as being the most damaging spy in US history.

Dark web has 2.7 million daily users

Advocating the launch of the revolutionary new Acronis EDR solution for MSPs against the background of proliferating malware and ransomware attacks and as Bankless Times reported that the dark web had an alarming 2.7 million daily users as of April 2023, O’Neill said: “Statistically, 25% of humans [employees] – irrespective of the amount of training they have received – will click on a link or an attachment they shouldn’t.

Acronis Advanced Security + Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) interface demo. Credit: Acronis

“Enter [Acronis] EDR. Endpoint Detection & Response; a critical technology to prevent, detect and respond to a cyber attack. Endpoint is crucial as it moves security as close as possible to the humans [employees] who are committing a data breach, right on their device; be it a phone, laptop or tablet they are using to access their data.

“By ensuring the security is as close as possible to the person [Endpoint] who is unknowingly letting the attacker in [Detection], this [Response] triggers an action using advanced AI and analytics to stop the attack at the point of origin, and before it spreads through an enterprise,” said O’Neill.

Jumping into action

Currently an internationally renowned keynote speaker on a range of trending topics, including espionage , national security, cybersecurity, defence, and fraud, O’Neill, 50, noted: “As soon as a person [employee] commits a potentially data-compromising mistake Acronis EDR will identify the possible threat; labelling the threat as being ‘a bad unknown’, they [employee] are doing something that they shouldn’t be doing, or, what they normally don’t do, so, let’s look down the employee, take a hard look at what’s transpiring, and conduct an investigation to ensure it is not a cybercriminal or cyber spy trying to exploit the employee’s data or credentials.”

Acronis Advanced Security + Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) interface demo. Credit: Acronis

Following the onset, and despite the WHO-endorsed end of the Covid-19 pandemic, “over 50% of the global workforce continues to work in a remote or hybrid environment, making for an attractive target for cybercriminals”, said O’Neill, adding, “the acceleration [unforeseen] to cloud-based platforms during the pandemic and when security had no time to prepare”, saw dark web-based cybercriminals and spies “taking advantage of the flaws and vulnerabilities that are innate in the new shift to digital technology that was essentially propelled by the pandemic”.

It is “easy to fool a person when you are not face to face with the person, and the internet is the best place to do that”, added O’Neill.

O’Neill stated: “According to the FBI, cyber attacks have quadrupled in the last few years, and in 2020 alone cyber attacks were worth $4.2 billion in the United States alone, with 800,000+ internet crimes being reported to the FBI – essentially underrepresented as to the true amount of cybercrime.

‘Dark web is third-largest economy on earth’

“In 2021, the value of cybercrime [United States only] rose to $6.9 billion. In 2022, it was $10.3 billion. If the trend holds, by the end of 2023 the figure will be more than $15 billion in losses. This is just the United States. Globally, in 2021, the cost of cybercrime was $7 trillion. This makes the dark web the third-largest economy on earth – after the United States and China. Earlier, it was Germany in third position; this is no longer the case.

“By 2025, the cost of cybercrime globally, will be more than $12 trillion annually – even threatening to rival and bypass China’s GDP. The threat [cybercrime] is real and growing and law enforcement cannot easily enough stop it,” O’Neill pointed out.

Acronis Advanced Security Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) interface demo. Credit: Acronis

Growing ChatGPT threat

During the webinar, Candid Wüest, Vice President of Research, Acronis, also elaborated on the prevailing threat landscape, including how cybercriminals and criminal syndicates have the potential to use trending ChatGPT to compromise systems.

Wüest stated: “Acronis EDR delivers a robust EDR solution that is easy to deploy and use while following industry-established standards like the NIST cybersecurity framework and mapping to the MITRE ATT&CK framework. By rapidly understanding attack analysis and impact, Acronis EDR users can quickly evaluate a potential threat, gain insight into how an attacker gained access, what damage was caused, and how the attack might spread.”

Todd Cramer, Director of Business Development – Security Ecosystems, Intel, also discussed GPU offloading, attack profiles, bypassing traditional signature and behavioural EDR, and Intel’s role in EDR.

Acronis Advanced Security + Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) is designed for MSPs. Credit: Acronis

In addition, James Erby, Acronis Senior Solutions Engineer, presented a brief product demo of the all-new Acronis Advanced Security + EDR platform to showcase its true capabilities for MSPs and their clients across the globe.

Acronis EDR is available through the Acronis Advanced Security + EDR Advanced Pack.

Last Updated on 9 months by Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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