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  • Writer's pictureRoman Paylian

What is a Zero-Day Attack (5 Ways to Prevent it From Impacting Your Business)

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

A zero-day attack is a type of cyber attack that exploits a vulnerability in software or hardware that is unknown to the vendor or the developers who created it. This means that the attacker can take advantage of the vulnerability before anyone else knows about it, giving them a head start in their malicious activity.

Hackers Use Zero Day Attacks

How a Zero-Day Attack Works

A hacker identifies a vulnerability in a piece of software, and they create an exploit that takes advantage of that vulnerability. They then use that exploit to infiltrate your network or system and carry out their malicious activities. Because the vulnerability is unknown to the vendor, there is no patch or fix available (yet) to protect against the attack.

How to Minimize Your Risk

Preventing zero-day attacks can be challenging, but there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:

Patches & Updates

Keep your software and operating systems up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Vendors frequently release patches that address newly discovered vulnerabilities, so it's essential to keep your software and systems updated regularly. Proper monitoring and management of a business's devices is critical to ensuring they stay protected.

Use Antivirus Software

Use antivirus and anti-malware software that can detect and prevent zero-day attacks. These applications use heuristic analysis and behavior-based detection to identify suspicious activity and prevent it from causing harm. Most off-the-shelf antivirus programs found at popular department stores and online aren't designed for the needs of businesses and won't have the advanced tools necessary to detect and prevent zero-day attacks.

Control Who Has Access to Critical Information

Implement strong access control policies and procedures to prevent unauthorized access to your network or systems. This includes using strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and limiting access to critical systems and data to only those who need it.

Layer Your Network

There are no guarantees in cybersecurity. Even advanced detection and response applications aren't perfect. Using network segmentation to limit the impact of a zero-day attack is another good option to minimize a zero-day vulnerability's impact on your business. This involves dividing your network into smaller segments and implementing security controls between those segments to limit the spread of an attack. With proper network monitoring and management, zero-day exploits can be limited to a small subset of devices, preventing even larger data loss or downtime.

Work With an Expert

The final and perhaps most efficient method of ensuring your devices, data, and network are protected is to work with an experienced IT service provider. MSPs stay up to date with the latest cybersecurity developments and cutting-edge cybersecurity tools and can engage in regular security assessments and penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers. This can help you proactively identify and address vulnerabilities in your systems and software.

By following these best practices, you can reduce the risk of a zero-day attack impacting your business and protect your systems and data from harm.

About Weblii Managed IT Services

Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Weblii is a different kind of IT support partner. We provide fast and reliable remote IT support and managed IT services to small businesses in Phoenix and nationwide, for one flat, per-user fee. Click or call for a free, no-obligation consultation to see how easy IT support can be.

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