Thanks to technological advances, businesses can be more efficient than ever. From productivity tools and automation software to networks that connect employees from all over the world, implementing technology into your work model is the best way to maintain a competitive edge. However, with every digitized aspect of your business come countless ways in which cybercriminals can infiltrate your network and wreak havoc.
Currently, memory-based attacks, or fileless attacks, are at the forefront of cyberattacks, targeting all industries. Unfortunately, memory-based attacks are one of many modern threats that traditional cybersecurity measures can’t protect you from.
Understanding Memory-based Attacks
Unlike older viruses, like malicious files or software, memory-based attacks are fileless, making them undetectable to firewalls and other traditional antivirus software. Memory-based attacks are commands or scripts that slip through your protection method along with web and data traffic into your system or device. They use the resources already available, repurposing them to achieve the attacker’s goals.
How common are memory-based attacks? 2019 saw a 265 percent increase in fileless attacks from 2018, and this trend will likely continue in the upcoming years. To protect your business from this impending danger, you must understand how the attack strategy works and what options you have for defense.
Refreshing Your Memory on Antivirus Software
Traditional antivirus software detects and prevents viruses and malware attacks by referring to an extensive database of known attacks. That means traditional antivirus can’t recognize a virus on its own if it didn’t already know it. Traditional antivirus is an excellent protection method on a small scale but is nearly useless for targeted fileless attacks. Because memory-based attacks are scripts, not files, traditional antivirus cannot recognize them as malicious and prevent them from executing their purpose.
Also, traditional antivirus falls short on protecting large networks because it works at the individual device level. Besides a lack of communication and coordination in your network, you need to install and configure traditional antivirus for every device in your network. The same applies to installing updates and changing the settings to suit your ever-changing threat model.
A Better Line of Defense
Legacy antivirus software worked wonders when the threats themselves were simple and relatively predictable. But now that the threats have evolved, it’s time to implement a more advanced line of defense to combat the new generation of attacks. The successor of the traditional antivirus is the next-generation antivirus (NGAV). As the name suggests, NGAV takes the concept of antivirus software and improves it by adding new-age technology, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral analysis.
Instead of depending on a database of previously identified attacks, NGAV remembers an attack’s patterns and the events leading up to an attack. This way, NGAV can recognize the sure-signs of an attack even if it can’t directly detect it, which is necessary for anticipating and stopping fileless attacks.
By recognizing suspicious or unsafe behavior that usually occurs before an attack, NGAV can continuously grow through machine learning as hackers develop new attack methods and techniques. NGAV’s behavioral analysis model depends on collecting big data from as many attack-vulnerable sources as possible and analyzing them for trends of attack. The more accurate and relevant data you can provide your software, the better it’ll become at detecting and preventing future attacks.
That’s not to say using next-generation antivirus technology alone will protect your business from attacks. After all, 99 percent of all attacks depend on user error or negligence to succeed. You must invest in staff training the same way you invest in state-of-the-art cybersecurity software. Training employees on how to use said software is essential, but don’t neglect to train them on safe internet behavior, signs of phishing emails and websites, and what to do if they accidentally endanger the network.
A Threat You Can’t Ignore
While memory-based attacks may feel like the most malicious and sneaky type of attacks, all cyberattacks have one goal in common; to get in and grab what they want. Protecting yourself against cyberattacks, memory-based ones or not, is a matter of staying up to date with the news and keeping your staff and software at their best performance. NGAV with machine learning can go a long way in protecting your business from a myriad of attacks, threats, and human error. Follow Techdee for information.