Cloud-Based Sandboxing

Cloud-based Sandboxing refers to the ability of network security devices such as firewalls to:
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  1. Query a database to see if some content traversing the network exhibits a known signature.
  2. Upload unknown suspicious content up to the sand-boxing cloud to see if it misbehaves.

The devil is in the detail..

How frequently is the cloud updated?devil-details

Most vendors do not like to share; they all create their own repository of signatures. If you want evidence on how purely this works submit a bad piece of Malware to Virus Total. You would be lucky to see more than 3 or 4 out of 54 vendors having a pre-existing signature. So, when a vendor tries to sell you their cloud-based sandbox for top dollars ask yourself: “Do I really want to pay for 1/54 of what I could get if a signed up with a signature sharing service such as Virus Total?”. I would not..

Is this really a Sandbox or more like an autopsy?

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Some vendors will try to sell you a Cloud-based sandbox for $1000s/year; but if you read the fine print, it will actually say that the processing time is 2 hours or more. This means that if you received an unknown email attachment, you would not know what to do with it for 2 hour or more. Some sand-boxing services are better and would give you an answer within minutes.  So be careful what you sign up for..

How is MetaFlows Better?

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For starters,we use Virus Total, so when checking for a content signature, you are using ALL Antivirus systems at once;

all 54 not 1.

Why would you rely on one vendor’s database?

 

Global-Collaboration

Recently, we started our own cloud-based, sand-boxing service. The rationale is that it complements the signature checking system when something is brand new and nobody in the world has seen it before (not even Virus Total!). A best-effort sand-boxing service comes standard with our appliances. Typically the sand-box can execute a sample anywhere from 90 seconds to 10 minutes or so (not 2 hours!). Our customers do not pay for this, because we feed this information back into the community though Virus Total. If we find a new bad email attachment, we notify our customer and block it; but we also help the community by letting the rest of the world know about it (we like sharing).

A paid service guarantees execution within 120 seconds and an on-site, sand-boxing appliance can reduce the time even further to approximately 30-60 seconds. When you pay for these services, we let you decide if you want to share or not; we hope you will share; but it is up to you.

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