Microsoft adds AI-driven ransomware protection to Defender for Endpoint customers

silversurfer

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Microsoft has introduced an AI-driven ransomware attack detection system for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint customers that complements existing cloud protection by evaluating risks and blocking actors at the perimeter.

As human-operated ransomware attacks are characterized by a specific set of methods and behaviors, Microsoft believes that they can use a data-driven AI approach to detect these types of attacks.
"In a customer environment, the AI-driven adaptive protection feature was especially successful in helping prevent humans from entering the network by stopping the binary that would grant them access," explained Microsoft about their AI-driven defense system.

"By considering indicators that would otherwise be considered low priority for remediation, adaptive protection stopped the attack chain at an early stage such that the overall impact of the attack was significantly reduced."

"The threat turned out to be Cridex, a banking trojan commonly used for credential theft and data exfiltration, which are also key components in many cyberattacks including human-operated ransomware."

Contrary to cloud protection which admins manually adjust, the new system is adaptive, which means that it can automatically ramp the aggressiveness of cloud-delivered blocking verdicts up and down, based on real-time data and machine learning predictions.

Real-time risk assessment system

Real-time risk assessment system.
Source: Microsoft


Full report by Microsoft: AI-driven adaptive protection against human-operated ransomware - Microsoft Security Blog
 

Andy Ful

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Here is the most important note:
The adaptive protection feature works on top of the existing robust cloud protection, which defends against threats through different next-generation technologies. Compared to the existing cloud protection level feature, which relies on admins to manually adjust the cloud protection level, the adaptive protection is smarter and faster. It can, when queried by a device, automatically ramp the aggressiveness of cloud-delivered blocking verdicts up or down based on real-time machine learning predictions, thus proactively protecting the device.
So, the user can set the default cloud protection level and this feature will use higher levels if something suspicious is lurking around.