How To Prevent Zero-Day Attacks

January 11, 2021

What Is A Zero-Day Attack?

Have you been hearing the term 'Zero-day' more often these days?

When a business, organization, or individual experiences a hardware or software vulnerability that has been exploited by a cybercriminal, we call this a zero-day attack.

Here's a quick run-through of how zero-day attacks occur:

  • A company, organization, or individual has an unknown vulnerability in their system

  • A cybercriminal finds this vulnerability and creates an exploit

  • The cybercriminal will launch a cyberattack

  • It is termed a zero-day attack because the vendor had no time or zero days to have discovered the exploit

  • The vendor under attack must find a patch to the vulnerability, but this takes time, and sometimes it is not possible to fully patch it.

Typically, zero-day attacks have high success rates for the cybercriminal as the vendors have little to no security in place which results in delayed detection and failed prevention. It may take months or years for a business or individual to even notice they've been breached; this gives attackers a lot of time to partake in malicious activity while staying undetected.

The most common zero-day attacks surround vulnerabilities on different web browsers and system networks. We do also see these attacks occur through email attachments and malicious applications. Most zero-day attacks tend to target larger companies and organizations such as senior executives and governments, but there are still many that target system hardware and IoT devices.

In 2020, we saw upward trends of 'zero-day' attacks, and as a result, software developers were forced to be more vigilant and active in trying to find solutions to these breaches. In 2021, look out for further increases in zero-day attacks.

How To Prevent Zero-Day Attacks

Once a zero-day attack vulnerability is discovered, it is crucial to create a patch for the vulnerability. The longer it takes developers to create a patch for zero-day attacks, the more risk the vendor will have for being further exploited. This takes a lot of time and therefore showcases the importance of prevention.

Cyber Unit protects businesses and individuals of any size from zero-day attacks and we do this through on-going monitoring, detection, mitigation, and education. Our top level protection observes and scans for any potential vulnerabilities within your systems and we work to patch those up before an attack can happen. Alongside this, it is our mission to educated businesses and individuals on safe cybersecurity practices to further prevent future breaches.

Quick tip: remember to always keep your own and your business's devices, software, and apps up to date for fixes on vulnerabilities that come up.

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