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Turn Microsoft Defender into an Unbeatable Security Solution

Posted by Bill Reed on February 23, 2022
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Morphisec Three Steps to Ensure Microsoft Defender Can Stop Ransomware _LinkedIn- 640X360 px - CTAFew executives doubt their organizations must pay more attention to cybersecurity. Cybercrime costs were estimated at $6 trillion globally in the last year alone, a figure that is forecast to double by 2025. Assessed annually, this equates to roughly 15 percent growth in the cost of cybercrime each year. No organization can afford to ignore this risk.

While cybercrime damage is snowballing, organizations are increasing their investment to prevent it. Security investment is forecast to increase by at least 12.5 percent annually over the next four years, reaching $316 billion by 2022. The link between security and spending has been anything but clear-cut however—so far, at least. 

So organizations are investing more money and deploying more security solutions than ever. But they still appear to be falling victim to threats at record rates. Ransomware attacks on organizations ranging from Colonial Pipeline to the Irish Health Service (HSE) have been huge news stories in the past 12 months. And despite record security spending last year, the frequency of attacks and the average amount of damage done by threats like ransomware is soaring. Breached organizations are frequently left with bills in the millions of dollars. 

The solution to this problem is not to spend less money on security solutions. It’s to spend it more wisely. This requires sorting out what works from what doesn't and leveraging best-in-breed endpoint security with prevention technologies like Morphisec’s Moving Target Defense (MTD) technology, an emerging technology according to Gartner.  

Gartner Tech Radar - Emerging Technologies - Moving Target Defense

Focus on Security ROI

Organizations do need to invest more in cybersecurity solutions and processes. But the ultimate benefactor of security spending thus far may be the cybersecurity solutions industry. 

As security staff are burdened with more responsibilities, vendors are developing increasingly expensive and labor-intensive solutions to aid them. This is great for vendor revenue models, but it can harm real-world security. 

The cost of ransomware

A typical scenario sees a small security team tasked with remedying hundreds of alerts from their disparate endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution. Most of them are false and meaningless. Overstretched security professionals often turn down alert sensitivity in response, which lets real threats get through. 

In such situations, an increase in security expenditure can end up decreasing security effectiveness. Fortunately, organizations can counter this destructive trend by reassessing which tools actually give you security ROI. An excellent place to start is considering better value alternatives to vendor-provided solutions.

Best in Class Antivirus Protection at Little to No Cost

One example of a better value solution is Microsoft Windows Defender. Its initial iterations left much to be desired. But Defender has evolved to become a market-leading security platform over the past few years.

Microsoft has made a multi-billion dollar investment into cybersecurity. And today's versions of Defender now enjoy advanced features such as next generation antivirus (NGAV), device control, cloud malware detection, and threat sandboxing. Microsoft Windows Defender For Endpoint is now a leader in the Gartner Endpoint Protection segment, and the only leader in the recent IDC endpoint security report for small to medium businesses (SMBs).

Microsoft Defender ComparativesUnlike expensive third-party alternatives, Defender Plan 1 (endpoint protection) and 2 (endpoint detection and response) come included with Microsoft A3/E3 and A5/E5 licenses, respectively. This means most organizations have access to a best-of-breed, OS native antivirus solution at effectively no extra cost. Organizations using Defender can consequently free up budget and equip security teams with solutions like Moving Target Defense. This protects against threats no EPP or EDR solution can effectively defend against.

Augmenting Defender with Morphisec Guard

Microsoft Defender is one of the most effective antivirus solutions available today. However, no NGAV, EPP, or EDR solution can reliably or efficiently stop the latest ransomware attacks that often use fileless, in-memory, runtime, and other advanced persistent threats (APTs). Predictably, threat actors now focus most of their attention on this common security weak point. 

Malicious use of in-memory tools like Cobalt Strike has grown by over 161 percent in the last 12 months alone. And ransomware strains like Conti, responsible for last year's HSE attack, enable malicious payloads to hide in-memory and evade detection in threat intelligence feeds. In response, organizations need a way of protecting endpoint memory during runtime to stop threats like ransomware. This is exactly what Morphisec’s patented MTD technology does, providing an extra layer of protection against advanced threats. 

Morphisec Guard Request a DemoIntegrating seamlessly with Defender, Morphisec Guard is a proactive, prevention-focused solution that automatically protects endpoints from advanced threats. It doesn’t wait to receive an alert after an attack before acting. Instead, Morphisec Guard utilizes MTD to continuously morph device memory, making it impossible for threats to find their mark. Crucially, Morphisec Guard does this without compromising device usability. And—critically for teams struggling with visibility, it provides additional threat intelligence to help remedy security weaknesses.

Combined with Windows Defender, Morphisec Guard offers a highly cost-effective one-two punch against known and unknown zero-day threats. It keeps endpoints safe and organizations out of news headlines. 


Would you like to learn more about combining Microsoft Defender with Moving Target Defense?  Sign up for Morphisec’s webinar: Three Steps to Ensure Microsoft Defender Can Stop Ransomware. Microsoft Defender expert and host of ITProTV Adam Gordon explains how to use Defender as the bedrock of an unbeatable security posture.

Three Steps to Ensure Microsoft Defender Can Stop Ransomware _Email- 650 X 200 -  CTA

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