Many new ASUS routers include a network security technology called AiProtection. ASUS states that the feature “incorporates state-of-the-art, three-pronged security from Trend Micro” and “gives you enterprise-level security in the home.” So what exactly does it do? Does it work? If so, then how? This article will attempt to answer these questions and give you a basic understanding of the feature.
As you can see, AiProtection actually includes four sub-features:
- Router Security Assessment
- Malicious Sites Blocking
- Vulnerability Protection
- Infected Device Prevention and Block
Here is a simple explanation of each feature’s capabilities and how to use them.
Router Security Assessment
The first part of the three-pronged security approach is prevention. The Router Security Assessment will scan your router to determine if your current configuration leaves open the possibility of unauthorized access. You will then be presented with a report showing the current security status of each potential issue.
One of the security related settings that are evaluated is the network’s password strength. This is particularly important, as a weak password allows an intruder easy access, bypassing most security considerations. The test also determines whether you have the other AiProtection features enabled.
When an issue is detected you will have the opportunity to click “No”. This will bring you to the appropriate configuration page so you can solve the problem.
Overall, the Router Security Assessment tool is very useful for getting a bird’s eye view of your router’s security setup. This is important, as it is your first line of defense.
Malicious Sites Block and Vulnerability Protection
The second aspect of AiProtection’s system is protection. These tools will protect your network from dangerous connections and keep your router safe from the latest threats.
Malicious Sites Block
Enabling this option will block connections to badly behaved websites. Anytime you attempt a connection, the server’s address will be checked against Trend Micro’s Web Reputation Services database of malicious sites. If a match is found (meaning that the website has been classified as undesirable), then the connection is refused and a warning is displayed with detailed information.
Among the categories of websites you are protected from are:
Many internet connected devices do not receive security patches when a vulnerability is discovered. This can lead to attackers gaining access to the device by sending malicious commands that exploit the hole.
AiProtection uses Deep Packet Inspection, to detect any attacks, and then prevents them from passing through the router to the targeted device.
Infected Device Prevention and Blocking
The third and final prong is mitigation. What happens when you connect to an unprotected network? If a device is infected on another network and then connects to your protected network, AiProtection will insure that attackers cannot communicate with your already-infected device.
The process is simple. If an infected device attempts to connect to a malicious command and control server, AiProtection will block the connection and alert you via email.
In order for the notification feature to operate, you must click “Alert Preference” and enter the required information. This can also be used for other security alerts.
AiProtection Review and Overview
AiProtection offers real-time network monitoring which it uses to detect malware, viruses and other intrusions before they become a threat.
So, does it work? Well, that depends primarily on Trend Micro’s Web Reputation Services. This is because AiProtection does not on it’s own know whether a certain website is safe or not. It relies on Trend Micro for that. That being said, Trend Micro is a well known and reputable security software company. Obviously, no service can provide perfect security, but AiProtection’s integration with Trend Micro will certainly help keep your network more secure.
AiProtection also includes Parental Controls. This functionality was not discussed, as it is not unique to ASUS routers.