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Understanding Sandbox Technology For Networks

Sandbox Technology is a means of isolating applications or data in a virtual environment in order to see how it will behave. It also networks security experts to discover whether an application has malware or not. It studies the behaviour of any application in order to uncover any malicious attack. That means if something unusual or malicious happens, it will affect only the sandbox.




Sandbox technology is always managed by the internal security team. Bad actors always explore vulnerabilities in legitimate applications. This is how they can capitalize on that vulnerability in order to infect other devices on the network. They are doing this to launch a Zero Day attack which is the time it takes for Network Security Experts to study an unknown vulnerability.


Before the advent of Sandboxing, there were no effective means to stop a Zero-Day Attack. Firewalls and Antivirus can stop known malware but they were helpless against a Zero-Day Attack. A Sandbox provided an isolated environment that mimics various computer devices, operating systems and applications. It allows the malware to play out in a virtualised environment. If the Sandbox concluded that it is safe, no further action is needed but if it detects a malware, the application will be quarantined.


Many of the Sandbox devices failed to integrate with other devices within the network. While the Sandbox might have identified a Zero-Day attack, the intelligence is not always shared with other devices on the network.


The Sandbox is built on an on-point solution which cannot be integrated with other solutions. It also requires a management console to manage each of the different sandboxing systems.



Therefore any attempt to aggregate threat intelligence data from sandboxes was difficult and time-consuming. The Second Generation Sandbox came about to correct the siloed approach of the first generation sandboxes. It was equipped with more integration tools that allow them to work and integrate with multiple vendors.


As a result, they can share threat intelligence with other security devices such as firewalls, email gateways, endpoints and other devices more effectively.


This now allows Analysts to collate threat intelligence in a central location. Also, in recent times, bad actors are now using machine learning and Artificial intelligence to understand more about networks and release more malware to disrupt networks.


In order for network security administrators to keep up with the new threats, it is imperative that AI and Machine Learning are also added to Sandboxing Technology.



This is what brought about the third generation of Sandbox. It was developed based on the Threat Analysis standard.


They needed to cover the expanding attack surface which is brought about due to the digital transformation of the businesses. Digital transformation can happen due to the movement of business data and applications to the cloud.



There now arose the challenge of categorizing Malware characteristics. There was an organization that proposed the attack framework that describes standard malware characteristics.

The Milder Standard was embraced by many organisations. It become necessary now for a security organization to adopt Milder Standard for security solutions.


It provides security devices with a common language to identify, categorise and describe security threats. This could be shared and understood by all network security devices. As more organisations embraced digital transformations, there are more organisations that are exposed to network security attacks.


One of such organization is the Operation Technology Industries. This includes Security, Oil and Gas and Manufacturing Industries. Most of these organisations kept their operations internal from a corporate business network but increasingly, they access third-party networks. There are also organisations that provide Infrastructure as a Service by hosting other applications. The IaaS vendors make use of Sandboxing in order to ensure that the applications are safe.


Action Point
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I know you might agree with some of the points that I have raised in this article. You might not agree with some of the issues raised. Let me know your views about the topic discussed. We will appreciate it if you can drop your comment. Thanks in anticipation.


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