Cisco and McAfee team up to make sure you don't open that shady attachment

By now, everyone knows that employees are the biggest cyber-security threat to a company. Some are oblivious to the dangers of clicking on shady email attachments, often resulting in large fallouts.

Some security organisations continue warning businesses that they should educate their employees on how to handle email attachments. Others are building solutions to absolutely make sure employees do the right thing.

Cisco and McAfee have teamed up to create a new email security solution that does just that – warns employees if that attachment might be a virus.

How does the solution work? First Cisco's Email Security Appliance (ESA) will look at incoming attachments. If it doesn't recognise it, it will forward it to the McAfee ATD system. ATD will scan it, and if it finds nothing, it will sandbox it. 

So while the sandbox looks for malicious behaviour, ATD is running a static code check.

“This method of analysis can de-obfuscate even the most evasive malware”, said McAfee's Stan Golubchik. After ATD completes its work, it gives the attachment a reputation score and sends it back to the ESA.

According to Cisco's Andrew Peters, the solution can eliminate shady attachments without employees needing to pay closer attention.

"This gives our joint customers a closed-loop email security solution that quickly picks-off unsafe attachments before they get to the end-user,” he writes.

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