Going real-time in the war against malware


Horrible things lurk on the internet, and they all want to live inside a company’s computer network. Viruses, malware, ransomware and more are out there, and all good people wage war against these threats.

Malwarebytes Inc. is one of the companies on the front lines of this battlefield. It is also in a unique position, as its monitoring software, combined with big data analytics, allows it to see attacks as they happen in real-time.

“Malwarebytes was founded under the principle that everyone is entitled to a malware-free life,” said Darren Chinen (pictured), senior director of data science and engineering at Malwarebytes.

To showcase how Malwarebytes used its data-collecting powers to gain an edge in the endless virus wars, Chinen joined Jeff Frick (@JeffFrick) and George Gilbert (@ggilbert41), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile live-streaming studio, during the BigData SV 2017 conference in San Jose, CA. (Disclosure below.)

Leveraging a stockpile of transactional data

Due to the way Malwarebyte’s software works, the company had a truckload of data to mine even before the era of big data. That’s since become a real strategic advantage, Chinen explained. Before, that data helped the company understand how viruses spread. Now, it allows them to see the battle in real-time.

Traditional anti-virus companies use honeypots to collect their data, capturing and dissecting viruses. The problem with this approach is there are so many nasty things out there that it’s impossible to catch them all in traps. Malwarebytes monitors attacks in the wild, which lets them catch whole virus families.

“That’s our secret sauce,” Chinen said.

Scaling out these monitoring systems has been a challenge. “We had to evaluate where we wanted to spend our time,” Chinen said. The company had to make some strategic decisions in order to quickly get value to its customers. Those decisions involved what to do in open source and what to do with third-party solutions.

There’s also the future with an ever-expanding online world and the incoming Internet of Things. Malwarebytes is a smaller company, with a budget match. Meeting that future will require serious planning, but it must be done, according to Chinen.

“We’re going all-in on positioning ourselves to handle the IoT future,” he concluded.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of BigData SV 2017. (*Disclosure: Some segments on SiliconANGLE Media’s theCUBE are sponsored. Sponsors have no editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE