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Thwarting Fileless Malware with the Help of an IT Consultant in New York City

IT consultant New York cityWhile most virus attacks can be detected and remedied with the use of standard anti-virus programs, fileless malware cannot. However, an IT consultant in New York City provides sophisticated tools for their mitigation.

While ransomware attacks are the most notable strain of malware facing businesses today, malicious actors are focusing on fileless attacks, which utilize tools built-in Windows, especially PowerShell and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). By incorporating fileless techniques, such attacks have become the prevalent method of launching security breaches in the past year (2017), as reported by the Ponemon Institute.

As new virus strains surface, it is essential to up your IT defenses to counter the efforts of hackers attempting to penetrate your security defenses.

Here’s how an IT consultant in New York City can help you defend against fileless malware:

Behavioral Analysis

Since fileless attacks are immune to standard endpoint security solutions, you need to run system scanning to determine instances of malicious code, which are executed through remote code scripting.

Script-based attacks have no signatures and hard to detect. For example, JavaScript, VBScript, and PowerShell scripts are all embedded into the core of Microsoft Office applications coded in VBA. Thus, hackers will embed malicious code in these scripts to make them undetectable with the traditional file scanning approach.

However, running a behavioral and statistical analysis of system tools, such as PowerShell, helps you trace malicious scripts. Ideally, custom solutions from an IT consultant will automate behavioral analysis and the blocking of all malicious items.

Enforce User Privilege Controls

IT consultants bemoan the lack of strict user permissions on core tools such as PowerShell and Windows User Account Control (UAC) as the enabler of fileless attacks. For an attacker to execute fileless malware, they need administrator privileges to access the core of a machine or network.

If a hacker preys on a machine with unlimited UAC permissions, they can escalate authorization to access more resources and compromise your systems.

However, running strict user access policies to limit the permissions for advancing user privileges resolves the problem. Doing so limits a hacker’s ability to execute scripts on PowerShell since administrator’s approval is required to escalate user privileges and access the core functions such as Microsoft-signed binaries and Windows Task Scheduler.

Also, setting the top security level control in UAC, “Always notify”, enabling the Admin Approval Mode, and removing users from the local administrators group is an effective way to defend against fileless malware.

Collaborate with an IT consultant in New York City to guide you more on how to take the necessary steps to prevent fileless malware. Contact us now at HOCS Consulting for more information.

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