I am confident in Apex One's capability to defend endpoints against threats like malware, ransomware, and malicious scripts.
Apex One has predictive machine learning and behavior monitoring, which are essential for endpoint security. Our file scan also scans the memory for malware. Behavior monitoring is particularly effective at detecting ransomware attacks because it can check for unusual encryption methods.
I like the way Trend products integrate with each other. The Apex One servers are all tied into Central, which is now integrated into my Vision One console. The on-premises stuff is also integrated with Azure.
We use a single dashboard through Apex Central to view detections, threat hunting, and investigations. The visibility through the single console is important. When we open the dashboard, it tells us what it has found. For example, I am currently looking at the SaaS version. If I go to ApexOne, I can see all of the agents that are currently connected. It takes a few moments for all of the agents to load. We are currently in a downtime during the summer months. We are a school board, so there are fewer staff members on-site, and not all of the schools are open. We have 12,000 employees and 80,000 students. However, not all of the students are online right now as they would be during the school year. Next Friday, we will have more staff members in the office. When school starts after the Labor Day long weekend in Canada in September, everyone will be back online. Currently, the dashboard only shows 9,140 agents. Last week, it showed 6,400 agents. I have the system set up to remove inactive agents so that the system does not have to constantly scan a bunch of systems that are not even there. I have seen up to 17,000 endpoints on our system.
Vision One is now monitoring my Cloud One workload security and My Cloud Central. This means that Vision One is collecting data from both systems and giving me a comprehensive overview of my security posture. When I open Vision One, I will be able to see visibility into my entire organization. I have configured Vision One to send data to our Syslog server and receive data from our Qualys server. The Qualys server scans my servers for vulnerabilities and reports back to Vision One. I have also set up a service gateway and a workload security data centre gateway. The workload security data centre gateway feeds data from my VMware ESX servers into Vision One. This allows Vision One to see the real-time status of our VMs, including which ones are powered on, which ones are running the Deep Security Agent, and which ones are still running on my on-prem Deep Security server. Vision One provides me with a risk overview, an exposure overview, and an attack overview. This information includes details about credential access, lateral movement, collection impact, and suspicious mail forwarding rules.
We have our Azure system for Office 365 and on-premises Azure Active Directory also connected to Vision One. This means that Vision One can see all logins to our Azure system and our on-premises AD. I have agents running on our on-premises directory controllers, so this data is also being fed into Vision One. Vision One can also see our Azure domain controllers and our DMZ. I receive alert emails when something serious happens. I haven't received any of these emails since we started using Vision One. However, I receive emails about endpoints that have had files quarantined. The file on the endpoint was too large to move to the main server quarantine, so Vision One just gave me a small error message. Currently, the endpoint protection dashboard shows that out of 19,678 endpoints, agents have been deployed on 13,675. This includes Macs. The dashboard shows one Linux endpoint, which is my service gateway. There are 882 Mac OS endpoints, which is lower than the usual number of 1,100 because not all of them are turned on. There are 12,792 Windows endpoints. The dashboard also shows that 6,003 endpoints have no security protection. These endpoints likely include network equipment, certain Linux servers that are not running Trend Micro software, and proprietary operating systems that are used by our network team and other IT groups. There are also endpoints that are listed in our Active Directory, but they are either turned off or do not have any active systems. Updates are applied on an hourly basis. If an exploit gets through and an endpoint has not been updated, it will receive the update on the next cycle. The most common reason for an endpoint not receiving an update is a network issue or the endpoint being powered off. Once an endpoint goes online, it is configured to automatically retrieve security updates from the server, or directly from Trend Servers over the internet if the server is unavailable. The first thing the endpoint does when it goes online is update its security patches, signatures, and scan engines. When a detection is made, the endpoint first deletes the file and quarantines it. It then blocks the action of whatever the file was trying to do. The endpoint's virtual patching, behavior monitoring, and predictive machine learning then stop any unusual activity. This may even include an activity that is supposed to happen. We have had members of our ICT department complain that they were unable to install software because the antivirus protection was blocking it. In some cases, we have groups within our organization that are responsible for maintaining their own servers. When they are doing upgrades, they may schedule us to temporarily disable the antivirus protection so that they can complete the upgrade. Even if malware does not get detected by the web reputation system and is downloaded by a user, it may still be detected by the signature-based malware detection system. If it is not detected by either of these systems, it may still be blocked if it tries to contact its master. These master addresses are often common addresses on the internet that are used by bots to communicate with a server that is maintained by the threat actor. If a bot is blocked from contacting its master, it will be unable to function. If we see a large number of bots being blocked, we will investigate the system to see what is causing the issue. In many cases, it turns out to be a legitimate activity that is being blocked by the system. For example, we may have custom scripts running on certain servers that look suspicious to the system. We can manually whitelist these scripts so that they are not blocked. Overall, the system is designed to be overprotective. This is because it is better to block something that is legitimate than to let malware through. We can always fix a false positive, but it is much more difficult to fix a security breach.
I started using Apex One in August 2020. I learned how to move agents, install software, and get the agent onto the server. I also learned from the documentation, knowledge base, forums, and other users. I found Apex One to be more difficult to learn than PaperCut because the terminology and concepts are different. PaperCut is just about printing and monitoring, while Apex One is about cybersecurity. There are also many caveats to consider with Apex One. I found the scan settings to be particularly challenging. Trend Micro has helpful best practices documents, which I used to learn what the normal settings are for servers and workstations. For example, servers don't need to be scanned for office document exploits because they typically don't have Office installed. I also learned that it's important to balance security with performance. We don't want to scan servers so heavily that it slows them down, but we also don't want to skip important security checks. In January 2021, we changed our policy on security settings. We now tell users that if there are any problems, we will fix them. We would rather have a small problem that we can fix quickly than have to restore a server from backup, which can take days.
ApexOne provides virtual patching, also known as vulnerability protection, to protect against vulnerabilities before they are exploited. Deep Security and Workload Security call this feature intrusion prevention, but it is essentially the same thing.