What is next-generation antivirus (NGAV)

4 min. read

Traditional signature-based antivirus is ineffective against advanced threats such as script-based, multi-vector and fileless attacks, as well as advanced ransomware. This leads to significant gaps in a company’s security posture. What’s more, virtual endpoints often lack broader contextual intelligence to ensure an effective enterprise security architecture.

Without comprehensive, consistent and coordinated prevention measures, a company cannot successfully detect and respond to potential attacks in time to prevent significant damage. Consequently, relying on traditional antivirus software is not enough to protect companies from unknown malware and threats. Companies have to do more.

The Value and Benefits of NGAV

Advanced endpoint security solutions using machine learning and behavioral protection can offer companies far more sophisticated protection than traditional antivirus solutions. NGAV solutions can proactively detect and identify threats, including never-before-seen malware and ransomware. They can also use predictive analytics and behavioral protection to stop fileless threats like PowerShell abuse. Machine learning models check thousands of attributes of a file to identify both known and unknown threats.

These capabilities enables companies to prevent endpoint attacks and malware proactively, instead of just dealing with security-related incidents after the fact.


What's Next for Next-Gen Antivirus


Why Companies Need to Protect Their Sensitive Data

While NGAV is a major step up from traditional antivirus, the endpoint security market has progressed significantly, and now offers solutions that bundle together NGAV with detection and response capabilities. Leading endpoint protection features are often included in solutions categorized as endpoint detection and response (EDR), or in the more comprehensive extended detection and response (XDR) category, which stitches together data from across sources to improve the fidelity of detections and the ease of investigations.

The reality is that enterprises can’t block 100% of attacks while maintaining business continuity, so they need to be able to detect, investigate and respond to threats as a critical second layer of defense behind their endpoint protection. For companies to get the best endpoint security, they need to fully protect their networks. They should look to deploy capabilities beyond those generally included in NGAV, such as the ability to:

  • Identify and block endpoint attacks at all stages of the attack lifecycle.
  • Gain holistic visibility across the entire organization, including endpoints, network, cloud and cloud assets.
  • Coordinate between detection and prevention capabilities to deliver consistent security across the entire network.
  • Safeguard all endpoints, regardless of operating system, whether an endpoint is on-site or remote, online or offline, connected to the company’s network or not.
  • Protect both virtual and cloud environments.
  • Take a proactive approach to security by combining multiple methods of prevention to automatically identify and stop potential security attacks, the execution of malicious programs and the exploitation of legitimate applications in real time. This includes limiting where executable files can run on an endpoint and customizing settings, if needed.
  • Deliver more accurate security verdicts (e.g., malicious or benign) and minimize the number of false positive alerts.
  • Simplify deployment and management with cloud-based security.

All of this can allow companies to dramatically shorten the time it takes to discover, hunt down, investigate and respond to potential security attacks. While EDR solutions can help organizations stop endpoint threats, cybersecurity teams must think beyond the endpoint and protect their entire organization holistically. That is why organization's should consider market-leading XDR solutions, rather than NGAV and EDR solutions, to protect their endpoints and their data.

For more information on XDR, visit the Cortex XDR product page.

More Next-Generation Antivirus and XDR Resources