CrowdStrike on Tuesday released its annual Global Threat Report, and for the first time ever, the number of malware-free attacks that the company observed over the previous year exceeded actual malware-based attacks.

The cybersecurity firm, which won Best Security Company at the 2020 SC Awards last week during the RSA Conference, reports that 51 percent of attacks in 2019 used malware-free techniques, versus 49 percent that did rely on malware. By CrowdStrike's definition, malware-less attack occurs when a file or fragment is never written to disk during the initial attack. Such instances include the use of fileless/in-memory malware or the abuse of legitimate software to compromise organizations, aka "living off the land."

By leveraging such techniques, "...adversaries are findings ways to circumnavigate traditional controls -- next-gen AV products as an example -- and that's where we see a lot of issues that lead to a breach," said Michael Sentonas, CTO at CrowdStrike in a video interview with SC Media during the RSA show.

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