Top 4 Cybersecurity tools

This article will explore four of the best cybersecurity tools available in the market today. It will cover NGAV, SAST, EDR, NGFW.

What are Cybersecurity Tools? 

Cybersecurity tools enable organizations to protect their digital assets, endpoints and tools, intellectual property, sensitive and financial information the organization stores, processes, and uses, and the human operators using this data and technology.

There are various cybersecurity tools, each providing unique features to protect different areas of the attack surface. In today’s chaotic cybersecurity landscape, security has become a top priority. Lack of proper security can result in a breach, compliance violations, data leaks, fines, loss of customers, loss of revenue, and more.

Cybersecurity tools help protect organizations, developers, and end-users and use technology and data securely. Ideally, security should start with secure coding practices, a network’s security architecture, and security training. Firewalls, application scanners, and antivirus software are basic tools in a broader cybersecurity strategy.

Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) 

NGAV technology employs advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), behavioral detection, and exploit mitigation, to identify and immediately respond to known and unknown threats. 

NGAV tools use ML algorithms to stop today’s rapidly-evolving threats. These tools employ innovative technologies to block the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) adversaries use when attempting to breach organizations, such as zero-day malware, commodity malware, and sophisticated malware-free attacks.

NGAV solutions are cloud-based to facilitate quick deployment—in hours rather than months. Additionally, cloud-based solutions eliminate the need to maintain software, manage the infrastructure, and update signature databases in-house. The vendor performs these tasks.

Static Application Security Testing (SAST)

SAST tools analyze application source code to find security vulnerabilities and weaknesses that can potentially allow threat actors to attack the application. Software developers use SAST to find and remediate flaws in application source code during early phases of the software development life cycle (SDLC). SAST tools can also check code in embedded systems.

SAST is a white box testing approach that analyzes applications from the inside by examining source code, binaries, design flaws, and byte code while the application is inactive. You can perform a SAST scan early in the SDLC because it does not check deployed code or a working application.

Performing SAST early in the SDLC provides development teams with real-time feedback to resolve code issues before passing it on to the next phase of the SDLC. However, SAST tools are truly effective when used regularly to catch vulnerabilities whenever the application undergoes a daily or monthly build or its code is released or checked.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) 

EDR is a layered approach to endpoint protection that employs a combination of real-time continuous monitoring and data analytics with automated responses based on rules. Organizations leverage EDR to facilitate secure remote work, protecting the remote worker and the organization against cyber threats.

EDR goes beyond detection-based, reactive protection. It provides tools that facilitate proactive threat identification. Here are the core features of EDR:

  • Improved visibility—EDR solutions continuously collect and analyze endpoint data, reporting to one centralized system. This functionality provides full visibility into the security state of endpoints on the network, displayed on one console.
  • Rapid investigations—organizations can leverage EDR to automate data collection, processing, and response activities. This functionality provides context on potential security incidents, enabling teams to remediate them quickly.
  • Remediation automation—EDR tools can automatically perform specific incident response activities according to predefined rules. This functionality enables the tool to rapidly block or remediate certain incidents, reducing the load on security analysts.
  • Contextualized threat hunting—performing continuous data collection and analysis enables EDR solutions to provide deep visibility into each endpoint’s security state. Threat hunters can use this information to identify and investigate potential signs of existing infections.

Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW)

A next-generation firewall (NGFW) is an advanced network firewall technology that can run on hardware or software. It enforces security policies at the protocol, application, and port to detect and block sophisticated attacks.

Packet filtering

Data traversing the Internet or a network is broken down into small pieces called packets. Firewalls inspect packets because they contain the content entering a network. Depending on the inspection result, the firewall either blocks or allows the packet to enter. The goal is to prevent malicious content, like malware, from entering the network. 

This functionality is called packet filtering. It works by inspecting the source and destination IP addresses, protocols, and ports associated with all packets, determining where packets come from, where they are going, and how they attempt to get there. This assessment determines whether the firewall allows or blocks the packet. All firewalls perform this inspection.

Deep packet inspection (DPI)

NGFWs improve the basic packet filtering functionality by performing deep packet inspection (DPI). DPI technology inspects each packet to identify the source and destination IP address and port, just like regular packet filtering. This information exists in the layer 3 and layer 4 headers of each packet.

In addition to inspecting the headers, DPI inspects each packet’s body. It checks packet bodies for various potential threats, like malware signatures, and compares identified contents to the contents of known malicious attacks.

Intrusion prevention

NGFW technology employs intrusion prevention as part of the DPI functionality. An intrusion prevention system (IPS) analyzes incoming traffic to identify and block known and potential threats. Here are the core features of IPSes:

  • Signature detection—the technology scans the information in incoming packets and compares it to the signatures of known threats.
  • Statistical anomaly detection—IPSes scan traffic to identify abnormal behaviors compared to a preestablished baseline.
  • Stateful protocol analysis detection—the tool scans network protocols in usage and compares them to a baseline of normal protocol usage.

Threat intelligence

NGFWs can receive and act on threat intelligence feeds from various external sources. Threat intelligence provides insights into potential attacks, ensuring tools and human operators have up-to-date information on new and evolving attack techniques and malware strains. 


In this article, I covered 5 essential cybersecurity tool every organization should be familiar with:

  • Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV) – anti-malware solution powered by machine learning, which can detect unknown, fileless, and zero day threats.
  • Static Application Security Testing (SAST) – smart source code scanner that can identify a large variety of secure coding issues and software vulnerabilities.
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) – endpoint agent that detects suspicious activity on an endpoint and allows security teams to immediately respond.
  • Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) – the future firewall, able to dynamically inspect and filter traffic for known and unknown threats.

I hope this will be useful as you expand your stack of cybersecurity tooling.


What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity tools help protect organizations, developers, and end-users and use technology and data securely.

What are four of the best cybersecurity tools?


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