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F-Secure’s new unit focuses on ‘Goldilocks zone’ of tactical defense

June 2019 by F-Secure

Cyber security provider F-Secure is creating a new unit dedicated to building on the company’s tradition of providing the best protection in the industry. The new team, called the Tactical Defense Unit, comprises of researchers and analysts responsible for operationalizing holistic protection strategies that ensure F-Secure’s award-winning products and services evolve faster than the threats facing people and organizations.

The new unit is headed by F-Secure Vice President Christine Bejerasco, who previously served as F-Secure’s head of consumer security desktop research and development. The unit’s focus is on developing defensive mechanisms and preventative measures that address current and near-future security problems. It’s an area that Bejerasco calls the “Goldilocks zone” because it helps bridge the long and short-term security needs of people and organizations based on what’s already happening in the threat landscape.

“F-Secure does plenty of research around discovering new vulnerabilities that will shape future threats, and has plenty of professionals going head-to-head with attackers in real-time on behalf of the organizations and people that trust us. The Tactical Defense Unit works hand-in-glove with these processes, but primarily focuses on the ‘Goldilocks zone’ between the long-term outlook and more immediate needs,” explains Bejerasco. “We’re building more comprehensive, efficient security mechanisms that help our products and services evolve based on threats we already see developing without depending on constant updates.”

While online threats have been around for longer than most people have been using the internet, they have evolved considerably since the first computer virus was written in 1986. Back then, viruses were rare. Even in the early 2000s the number of malicious files and programs numbered in tens or hundreds per year, making the analytical work manageable for a team of human experts.

But the diversity, scope, and scale of today’s threat landscape is much more dynamic. In addition to hundreds of thousands of malware samples, F-Secure’s systems analyze an average of 7 billion online queries, 6 billion behavioral events, and a million suspicious URLs per day. And attackers are acquiring more sophisticated capabilities and relying more frequently on a diverse range of tactics such as abusing legitimate administrative tools, using in-memory techniques and unique malware variants, and leveraging the ever-expanding number of stolen login credentials available online.

Bejerasco says the Tactical Defense Unit’s focus on understanding the threat landscape and building defenses against current and medium-term threats will help the company create broad protection strategies and technologies that serve as an important complement to threat-specific mitigations.

“Our products are built on security fundamentals honed by our decades of experience, such as the development of generic protection mechanisms that can catch attacks based on their behavior. This is an important complement to more specific prevention and detection mechanisms, as it keeps our products and services from becoming so focused on specifics that they become unable to catch new and emerging threats,” says Bejerasco.




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