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What is Fileless Malware and How it Can Hurt Your Business

Cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated on an almost daily basis. From websites meant to mimic ones you use regularly, like what we saw recently in the WannaCry attack, to the very latest methods meant to rob you or your business of valuable data — fileless malware.

Fileless malware first made its appearance several years ago, but has been gaining in popularity recently. In 2016 it was believed to be used in the attack on the Democratic National Committee during the U.S. Presidential Election. As the name implies, fileless malware does not need a user to download a file to take root in its host. Rather, it infects systems by attaching to users who access infected online applications.

Without going into too much technical detail, fileless malware is much more difficult to detect and to protect against simply because it’s virtually undetectable in how it attacks your system, and it’s also very difficult to find once it’s there. One such recent attack was launched through a shared Word document with a message requiring the user to “enable content.” After connecting to a malicious network, enabling the content launched the malware and allowed the hacker to take command of an entire system through an individual user’s stored data.

A Fileless Future

Because many computer users are becoming more and more attuned to traditional malware and how it’s used, cyber criminals are constantly working to discover new ways to outsmart users and IT professionals. According to IT blog Threat Post, fileless malware is definitely the future of system attacks. In fact, annual incidents of fileless malware attacks will soon outnumber their forefathers.

The government is also taking notice, and in October 2016 the Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin warning of fileless malware and its future potential impacts on individuals and businesses.

Protection Against Fileless Malware

For now, there aren’t many solutions available to protect against fileless malware. Protection companies like Intel do offer some solutions. However, because each case of fileless malware is different, it’s difficult to craft a one-size-fits-all approach.

As certified IT consultants we recommend companies closely monitor outbound traffic and whether end users are accessing outside networks through standard applications like their calculator, Word or Notepad. Security experts also are recommending IT professionals disable the use of Powershell in their Microsoft systems, as it has shown vulnerability to fileless malware.

About Chicago IT Consultant BKS System

If your small to medium size business is having trouble keeping track of the latest in malware, ransomware or cyber security, it’s time you call the experts at BKS Systems in Plainfield, IL. We have over 15 years of experience in managed IT services for the banking, logistics, healthcare and professional services fields. Our objective is to enable clients to concentrate on their core business while we manage the IT systems and any IT requirements to ensure cost effective optimization of networks, servers, and devices with a minimum of service interruptions. Contact us today to discuss our full suite of IT consulting services.

 

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