Security Experts:

Cylance Launches Next-Gen Endpoint Security for Consumers

CylancePROTECT Home Edition Will Allow Businesses to Offer Protection to Employee-Owned Devices at Home

The BYOD threat is a known security weakness for most companies that operate an 'own device' policy. While there are endpoint management products that provide a degree of safety, the mere fact that the device is owned outside of the network and used both inside and outside of the corporate environment means that it must be treated as insecure and a potential threat.

“The virtual borders of corporate networks are no longer defined by the corporate firewall," explains Christopher Bray, SVP/GM Consumer at Cylance Inc. "Because of the proliferation of work and personal devices at home, the distinction between the corporate network and employee's home networks has become blurred. CISOs and their security teams have a difficult time controlling their security risk and exposure from cybersecurity threats originating from employees' homes." 

CylancePROTECT Home Edition

While corporate security has received a fillip from the introduction of next-gen AI and machine-learning malware detection, no such solution is available to home users. Home users usually ignore anti-malware, or use one of the free home versions of traditional AV -- which is not the perfect solution for modern malware.

"CylancePROTECT Home Edition," Bray told SecurityWeek, "is the first next-generation antivirus available to consumers and provides families with the only enterprise-class, next generation security software built for home use. We do this by using artificial intelligence to eliminate the need for updates and popups, and with an easy-to-use and elegant interface. We're excited to roll out the Home Edition to customers as the next step in Cylance's mission to protect all devices and people.”

This move is likely to be well-received by corporate CISOs. "I think this is a great idea," said Steven Lentz, CSO and Director of information security at Samsung Research America. "It's good that companies are offering home users protection since I bet a good amount of them are infected, or don't know they have embedded malware/ransomware on their systems. 

"Cylance," he told SecurityWeek, "has a good reputation, so I would believe and hope that their offering should be pretty good. Home users are such a large target area -- and vendors need to be more proactive and protect against all the various malware." Lentz does not believe that 'traditional AV' does a good enough job against modern malware. "I am glad Cylance is doing this for the home user. I hope they offer it for free, like RansomFree [next-gen from Cybereason; but limited to ransomware]. It would also be great if Cylance offered the product for Mac as well as Windows."

Lentz gets half his wishes. It is not free. It "will be sold on an annual basis, paid for by the employer for employees to use on their home systems," Bray told SecurityWeek. "Companies recognize the risk of today's threats combined with the new working environment where employees telecommute and can use personal devices to access company assets." Although used at home, it provides additional security for the business.

It also represents pretty good value. It is priced per household, allowing the employee to protect up to 10 family members' devices no matter where they are in the country. Further, it can be viewed as an employment benefit -- protecting the corporate network while providing a free service to employees and their families.

But Lentz gets his second wish: it is available for both Windows and Mac. "With our company mission to protect every device under the sun," said Bray, "this is the first step in our future plans (which will include iOS and Android)."

One of the traditional problems for any company installing security on employee devices is the privacy pushback; many employees are wary about having company software on their personal device reporting back to the company security team. Users like the freedom of allowing other family members to use their devices, and not having to worry about corporate security policies. There is no issue with CylancePROTECT Home Edition -- it is completely stand-alone and designed to protect the user without reference to the company.

"Home Edition does not send any metrics or reports to the company," explained Bray. "We architected the product very deliberately to ensure complete privacy for the employees. Their deployments are physically separate so it is impossible for the company to have any view into their personal systems. This data, however, is easily accessed by the employee themselves through their own cloud console through which they can manage, configure and view their personal deployments. This also gives the employee the additional benefit of deploying and managing protection across their family's systems irrespective of physical location; kids at college, parents in another city..."

In summary, Home Edition is a complete next-gen anti-malware product, free to the end user (paid for by his employer) and coming with no privacy encumbrances. If Lentz is a good example, it will be welcomed by CISOs -- but they may well wish it were free.

Cylance Inc closed a $100 million Series D funding round in June 2016.

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Kevin Townsend is a Senior Contributor at SecurityWeek. He has been writing about high tech issues since before the birth of Microsoft. For the last 15 years he has specialized in information security; and has had many thousands of articles published in dozens of different magazines – from The Times and the Financial Times to current and long-gone computer magazines.