Sandboxes have been touted as the best method to prevent a cyber attack on organizations because they allow you to test everything before it can affect your production environment. But does that come with a cost and are they as effective as vendors would like us to believe?
What Is A Sandbox?
Most of us know a sandbox as a fun place that children play in at the playground. IT professionals also know sandboxes as a safe place to develop and test code before it is launched into production environments. And according to Technopedia the definition of a security sandbox is:
“A sandbox, in computer security, is a security mechanism in which a separate, restricted environment is created and in which certain functions are prohibited. A sandbox is often used when untested code or untrusted programs from third-party sources are being used.”
So, it stands to reason that any IT Security professional and Chief Information Security Officers in particular would want to apply the same strategy for their cyber threat prevention. But is that the best strategy?
3 Reasons To Avoid Sandboxes
While sandboxes do provide a layer of prevention in your cyber threat prevention strategy, they come with a tax that may be too high for most organizations to pay. The three reasons to avoid sandbox technology for your cyber threat prevention strategy include:
- Sandboxes are slow: By definition of how sandboxes operate, all data that enters your network across CPU, operating system, network or application will need to pass through the sandbox and “exploded” to determine if any malware is hidden. This can add significant delays in communication, especially in organizations with tens of thousands to millions of emails and files transferred daily.
- Sandboxes are resource intensive (read it’s expensive): The necessary hardware to create a secure sandbox is directly dependent on your application environment as you will have to duplicate every scenario in order to test for the possibility of a cyber breach. This can be expensive from a hardware and software perspective, but also the human resources necessary to keep those environments current with latest updates is also not insignificant.
- Sandboxes can be spoofed: Sometimes a belief in a fool-proof method to prevent cyber attacks are too good to be true. So much so that hackers even publish methods to crack sandbox vulnerabilities. Check out Michael Mimoso’s article in com titled “Using Kernel Exploits To Bypass Sandboxes For Fun And Profit” for an example.
Today’s Enterprise networks are no longer defined by its perimeters, with services that span public and private environments, diverse infrastructure underlays, and a growing number of application options and sources.
The Sandbox Alternative
SoleGATE™ had been planned with the right degree of flexibility to deliver end-to-end security across a changing threat landscape that could be initiated from different attack vectors such as: email, web, and cloud office applications. It is agnostic to the underlying infrastructure implemented and is able to protect in hybrid environments with a mix of virtual, hardware, and XaaS-consumed infrastructure. Whether on-premise or in the cloud, SoleGATE operates consistently, totally separating environment variables from security logic. Managed centrally, SoleGATE gives customers the flexibility and consistency to have a truly end-to-end security that is not restricted to a certain vertical.
Get Solebit’s whitepaper on a transformative, evasion-proof approach against modern cyber attacks that doesn’t require sandboxing. It will outline how to strengthen your cyber defenses dramatically by preventing attacks before they enter and harm your organization, your customers and your brand. Remediation is costly, prevention is not.