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What is anti-tampering protection and how can it help a company’s cybersecurity?

Cybercriminals are increasingly using new evasion strategies in their attacks in order to disable or alter company security controls. 

This year, there has been a surge in the use of hunter-killer malware that seeks to identify and eliminate enterprise defenses such as firewalls, antivirus, and next-generation EDR technologies. A recent report reveals a massive 333% increase in this type of malware. The trend highlights the need for more robust cybersecurity solutions that incorporate anti-tampering capabilities.

What is anti-tampering protection?

After gaining access to a target system or device, intruders seek to disable or uninstall security measures so that they can move on to the next stage of their attack undetected. Hackers use a number of different methods including the aforementioned hunter-killer malware. This aggressive malware is difficult to detect if the attack has modified security controls, as not all tools constantly monitor activity on the endpoint or are configured to alert you when protective measures are altered. 

This is where anti-tampering protection plays a key role as it enables a series of technologies that block the attacker from altering endpoint security and taking control of the computer. An anti-tampering functionality prevents unauthorized configuration changes to the security solution, which stops the protective level from dropping or from being uninstalled. The main benefits of these technologies are: 

  • Enhanced security: Lowers the risk of hackers disabling or altering security measures which would allow unauthorized access to devices.
  • Faster threat response: Cuts detection time and increases efficiency when responding to attacks, improving overall security.
  • Reduced downtime: Decreases device downtime after an attack or malware infection.

How to strengthen the security of your devices with anti-tampering technologies?

To combat this rising malware trend, it is crucial to implement a comprehensive security strategy that combines different control measures which prevent attacks that would go undetected otherwise. This includes a truly effective endpoint security solution that includes anti-tampering capabilities. All WatchGuard Endpoint Security solutions are based on a robust architecture that includes proprietary tamper-proof technologies to protect your devices, data and infrastructure. These solutions use two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect console access and Windows Safe Mode startup, thus limiting physical access to authorized users. This fends off any unwanted alterations. In addition, systems based on Windows 10 or later versions, include ELAM (Early Launch Anti-Malware) technology, which adds an additional layer of protection against malware from a system startup. This delivers: 

  • Anti-tampering security: 

    Many ransomware attacks will attempt to freeze the protection installed on an endpoint before attempting to spread across the network and encrypt files throughout the organization. Anti-tampering protection combats cybercriminal attempts to stop or suspend services and processes that could affect the security status of systems. 

  • 2FA protection for local console and on-device uninstallation: 

    This restricts access to authorized users, ensuring that only those with the appropriate credentials can access the local console, or perform actions such as configuration changes or uninstall protection.

  • Secure boot mode for Windows with network access: 

    Windows secure boot mode provides a limited environment for running administrative and diagnostic tasks on the operating system. Our protection is active when booting Windows systems in secure mode, blocking cybercriminals from using this environment to further their attacks.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect your devices against the main types of malware, check out the following articles on our blog:

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