Gartner Research

Comparing Endpoint Techniques for Malware Protection

Published: 21 November 2017

ID: G00337398

Analyst(s): Mario de Boer


Malware protection products bundle multiple techniques. Technical professionals focusing on malware protection must understand common techniques to prevent and detect malware, and to balance the efficacy of techniques against user impact and IT overhead.

Table Of Contents


  • Techniques in Scope
  • A Comparison of Malware Protection Techniques for Client Endpoints
  • Assessment Criteria Used in the Comparison


  • Assessment Scope
  • The Role of Endpoint Security Techniques in Malware Disruption
  • The Importance of Malware Protection on the Endpoint
    • The Endpoint Is the Focus, but the Network Remains an Important Ally
  • Malware Protection Requires an Understanding of Malware Tactics
    • Different Malware Requires Different Defense Techniques
    • Advanced Attacks and Zero-Day Exploits
    • Effective Blocking of Exploit-Based Malware
  • Malware Protection in Modern Operating Systems
    • Basic Endpoint Security Hygiene
  • Common Client Endpoint Security Techniques
    • Application Exploit Protection
    • Signatures and Heuristics
    • Machine Learning for Static File Analysis
    • Intermezzo: Suspicious-File Handling
    • Application Control and Whitelisting
    • Application Containment on the Endpoint
    • Behavioral Analysis: From Behavioral Signatures to End-to-End Behavioral Analysis
    • Endpoint Detection and Response


  • Ensure Basic Hygiene and Make the Most of Current Controls First
  • Categorize Your Endpoints
  • Choose Endpoint Solutions Based on Efficacy and Impact on Users and Operations
  • Select and Test for Interoperability
  • Prefer Endpoint Security Suites Over Stacking Agents Implementing Individual Techniques
  • Plan for Monitoring, Analysis and Remediation Capacity, Expertise and Tools

The Details

  • A New Java Zero Day Through Internet Explorer
  • A New Kernel Zero Day
  • A User Installing a Malicious Program

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