Network sandboxing solutions are tools used to investigate the behavior of unknown software. A sandbox is an isolated, secure environment where suspicious code can be run. The code’s behavior is then analyzed to decide whether it’s malicious or not. If the code is safe, it can be executed on a user’s device. If, however, it is deemed to be malicious, it will be unable to affect a user as it has been deployed within a secure environment. The code can be deleted, and its signature added to a database to make future identification easier.
Network sandboxing solutions are effective, hands-free tools, that can ensure that organizations do not install or deploy malicious code on their networks. Often deployed as one feature of a wider, more comprehensive network security tool, sandboxes are advanced and complex solutions that conduct detailed analysis of unknown threats.
You may not deal with a lot of code, or not see your organization as a particular target for sophisticated cyberthreats. However, malware doesn’t take much sophistication to deliver; it can be deployed as simply as a user clicking a link in an email or downloading a file from the internet. Therefore, organizations of all sizes should consider investing in a sandboxing solution.
In this article we’ll explore the top network sandboxing solutions, in each case, focusing on the tool’s key features and use cases.
What Is A Sandbox?
A network sandbox is a logically separated network area that is used to run and execute potentially malicious code. It is safe to run code – even malicious code – in a sandbox as, being isolated from the local environment, it’s unable to affect the device.
Whilst the code is being executed, the sandbox tool can monitor the code’s behavior to understand what it is doing and the effect it will have on the device. If this is deemed to be safe, the relevant code can be executed on the user’s device. If, however, the code is shown to be malicious, it can be blocked from being downloaded, thereby protecting the user’s device.
How Do Network Sandboxes Work?
Network sandboxes work by creating an isolated, virtual environment where suspicious code can be deployed. This virtual execution environment allows you to understand exactly how code will behave when deployed. The sandbox solution will contain advanced analysis tools to monitor the code’s behavior and decide whether the code is safe to deploy within your actual network.
Network sandboxes usually also assess signatures to identify malicious code without the need to deploy the sandbox analysis. Signature identification is much quicker, and just as accurate as monitoring the code in a sandbox – however, it’s best used for identifying known malware, rather than unknown or zero-day threats. Zero-day threats can most securely be identified in a sandbox; after using sandbox analysis, the code’s signature can be added to a database to inform other users worldwide.
What Are The Key Benefits Of A Network Sandboxing Solution?
Network sandboxes allow you to understand, in detail, how a piece of code will behave when active on your network. Ultimately, network sandboxes give your organization an invaluable level of security and certainty that code will behave as you expect it to.
Not only is there the primary benefit of protecting your data and accounts from being compromised, but by preventing this software from running, you can save time (through remediation) and money (in lost profits, time, and having to implement additional security infrastructure.
What Are The Key Features Of A Malware Sandbox?
Sandboxing technology has developed a great deal recent years, so much so that we are now in the third generation of this type of technology. It can be difficult to understand and identify third-generation sandboxes from second-generation ones. Third-generation sandboxes should include:
- AI that performs static and dynamic analysis to improve detection rates
- Standard or universal security language – most commonly MITRE ATT&CK framework
- Crowdsourced intelligence, which is gathered and shared to create a fully integrated security architecture