Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for their next big payday. A common exploit used by cyber criminals is looking for vulnerabilities in various software applications. The term zero-day refers to how many days a vendor or developer should take to correct a flaw in their programming. Zero-day attacks happen when cyber criminals exploit the flaw before it has been patched.
Zero-Day Series of Events
- A Zero-Day Vulnerability is discovered by attackers before the vendor is aware of the flaw. Attacks are more likely to succeed until the vendor becomes aware of the issue and can release a patch.
- A Zero-Day Exploit is created by the attackers to force their way in through the security flaw.
- A Zero-Day Attack is successful in causing damage or stealing data due to the security flaw.
Who is the Target of Zero-Day Attacks?
It’s important to understand that there are two types of attacks waged by cyber criminals exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities: targeted and non-targeted. Targeted attacks are aimed at potentially valuable targets such as large organizations, high-profile individuals, or government agencies. Non-targeted attacks are aimed at users of the system that has a vulnerability. This means that everyone is a potential target for zero-day attacks.
How Can I Make Myself Less Vulnerable?
- Install software patches when they are made available.
There’s a long-standing misconception about patching software. Some people are even vehemently against doing any kind of software upgrades. These upgrades are not meant to harm your system but protect you from security vulnerabilities that have been identified by the software developer.
- Only install software that is needed.
Operating systems like Windows and MAC will automatically download their software patches and give you the option for installation. Many other software applications will only prompt for updates as the software is used. But that doesn’t mean that the vulnerability is only accessible while the program is running. Periodically cleaning up unused programs can help keep your risk lower.
Managing patches and software versions for a company is often a daunting task. With our managed service packages, your organization receives a tested patch management system that is rolled out through the organization in a timely manner. Our managed service packages also include DNS filtering and antivirus for every workstation and server in your organization. Reach out to one of our qualified sales representatives by phone or fill out the contact form on this page for more information.