What is a zero day exploit? It is a vulnerability that is exploited right away after it’s been discovered. It is a rapid attack that happens before the vendor or security knows about it or has been able to fix it. These kinds of exploits are considered to be the Holy Grail for cybercriminals since they take advantage of the lack of awareness of the vendor as well as the lack of a patch, allowing hackers to cause a lot of problems.
Zero day exploits are usually discovered by hackers who look for vulnerabilities in a specific protocol or product. When they’ve been discovered, zero day exploits are rapidly disseminated usually through Internet Relay Chat channels or the underground Web sites.
Why is zero day threat growing?
Even though there haven’t yet been any significant zero day exploits, it is undeniable that the cybersecurity threat is growing.
Hackers are becoming better at exploiting the vulnerabilities after being discovered. It would usually take months before they can be exploited. But now, it will just take hackers days to exploit the vulnerability following its discovery.
Exploits are becoming faster to propagate and are designed to infect bigger numbers of systems. Exploits are no longer slowly propagating and passive files and micro viruses. They have become more active and self propagating email worms as well as hybrid threats that will only take hours or days to spread. For instance, Flash threats and Warhol will take only a few minutes to spread.
The knowledge of vulnerabilities has been growing and more are being discovered and starting to be exploited.
A general enterprise uses intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and antivirus software to secure its IT infrastructure. These systems provide good first level protection. However, despite their employees’ best efforts, they cannot protect companies against zero day exploits.
Signs Of Zero Day Attacks
- Unexpected possibly legitimate traffic or significant scanning activity coming from a server or a client.
- Unexpected traffic on a legal port.
- Similar behaviour from the server or client that has been compromised even after the latest patches have been rolled out and applied.
During these cases, you should perform an analysis of the phenomenon with the help of the affected vendor to know if the behaviour is because of a zero day exploit. You can also work with an expert in computer security – Fayetteville NC for assistance.
How should you secure your company from zero day exploits?
It is important to set in place good preventive IT security practices such as setting up the firewall and updating the antivirus software. All systems must be patched against common vulnerabilities.
Real time protection is a must and that includes deploying inline intrusion-prevention systems or IPS, which provide comprehensive protection.
It’s also crucial to have a planned incident response measures along with defined roles and methods like prioritizing crucial business processes.
Preventing the spread is essential, too, by limiting the connections to those that are authorized.
Zero day exploits are difficult to handle even for the most well versed and experienced systems administrators. But having the appropriate safeguards in place can help reduce the risks to critical systems and data.
Call SpartanTec, Inc. now for a Free Emergency Support For Your Next Computer Crisis.