What is a Zero Day Attack and How to Prevent It

What is a Zero Day Attack and How to Prevent It

One of the biggest threats in cybersecurity in Miami and worldwide is the zero-day attack. Even if you work to strengthen your business’s security and follow best practices carefully, there are significant threats that you cannot protect against 100% of the time.

What is a Zero-Day Attack?

A staggering 29% of an IT budget is spent on software and licensing by business owners. If you want to be competitive, you must have applications to streamline your workflow and collaborate with other employees.

Zero-day attacks happen on the software level, and there is often little that can be done about these attacks because:

  • The vulnerability is unknown
  • Systems have no defense against them
  • No patches exist

Hackers spend their time reviewing new software releases for an introduction of a vulnerability. Perhaps one developer left the team and didn’t secure the code they were working on, or it’s possible that oversight occurred before the version of the software was pushed live.

The problem with a zero-day attack is that it occurs before the software vendor knows that there’s a security hole.

Imagine if you wanted to rob a bank, walk up to the door and realize that the door was left open, and the security alarm was never enabled. A zero-day exploit is similar because it allows the hacker to cause maximum damage before anyone even knows there’s a risk.

Zero-day attacks often result in:

  • Stolen data
  • System access

How Do You Prevent a Zero-Day Attack?

Software vendors often have an in-house cybersecurity expert who will:

  • Discover the exploit
  • Disclose the exploit
  • Release a patch for the exploit

In most cases, if the attacker decides to use the attack to spread malware or viruses, anti-virus vendors will identify the signature and update their platform to protect against the threat. Anti-virus vendors can react faster than most software vendors.

Businesses can begin protecting against zero-day attacks in a few ways:

  • Next-generation antivirus software may help protect against attacks by looking for certain software behaviors and blocking suspicious files from being executed. These solutions are not guaranteed to stop zero-day exploitation, but they may block an attack or stop it from spreading.
  • Strict patch management policies and guidelines must be incorporated to lower the time that threatening software remains on the system.
  • Put an incident response team and plan in place if an attack does occur so that you can identify and contain the attack to stop its spread and then take steps to recover.
  • Incorporate stronger firewalls into your organization.
  • Use browser isolation techniques to keep any malicious code on a separate system.
  • Install advanced monitoring systems that will analyze software behavior, monitor systems for configuration changes, verify signatures and also use stat-based detection to find potential attacks.

If you’re a business owner who wants to lower the risk of a zero-day attack, working with a cybersecurity expert to implement the safety measures above is recommended. Proper setup and configuration of these measures are 100% necessary to maximize your business’s security.

These professionals can also analyze your system and make recommendations based on your current setup.