Wyatt Starnes, a Tripwire co-founder, created a new company called SignaCert that tried to address the problem. SignaCert collects the file properties of tens of millions of legitimate files, including operating system files, software programs, driver files, and so on. The product uses that information to determine if a system has only known legitimate files. There's no need to start with a brand-new, clean system. Many other application control programs such as Bit9 Parity and Lumension Application Control have started providing the same service.
Many OEMs, using hidden disk partitions or install disks, have long allowed system administrators to reset PCs to their original delivered states. Infected too badly to clean it up? Just start all over. A "renew" functionality formats the disk, which means the user can end up losing data that isn't backed up ahead of time. Either way, the user has to re-install now missing patches and other software programs and customizations that were added since the beginning. But at least the malicious modification is gone -- that's remediation, not just detection.
Even operating systems are getting into repair and remediation. Windows 8 has new refresh-and-reset functionality. Refresh will reinstall Windows, but keep your files and other important custom data. Reset will take the system back to its original state. iOS and Android users have similar options.
The feature doesn't help a user figure out what the infection was nor where it came from. Still, it's a big improvement over reformatting and reinstalling everything, which can take more than an hour. Now, it's 5 minutes and you're up and running again.
It's an exciting time in the computer security world because more and more remediation options are coming in the near future. The days of detection-only protection schemes will be eventually phased out in favor push-button remediation. It's been a long wait.
This story, "After infection: New schemes to restore your systems," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Keep up on the latest developments in network security and read more of Roger Grimes's Security Adviser blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.