Cyber security zero day attacks occur when attackers exploit software vulnerabilities that remain undetected by developers, enabling them to launch attacks against businesses and organizations before these issues can be rectified.
Combatting zero day threats requires an integrated defense strategy encompassing security patches, endpoint protection and threat response services.
Security patches are software updates designed to detect and defend against cyberattacks on computers, mobile devices and servers. They help defend against some of the most commonly experienced types of cyber attacks as well as helping defend against zero day attacks that often strike before major public disruptions can be expected.
Zero day attacks happen when hackers exploit software vulnerabilities before the vendor has had time to patch it, making security patches an essential component of any company’s security plan.
Zero-day attacks, the most prevalent cyber threat, result from hackers discovering security flaws before patches become available and can be used by sophisticated attackers to compromise systems and acquire sensitive information.
Zero-day vulnerabilities often take days, weeks, or even months to be identified and repaired – during this time hackers have the chance to develop and deploy malware that exploits the vulnerability – this makes zero-day attacks so devastating.
Zero-day attacks present several risks to systems. One such risk is hackers exploiting vulnerabilities before patches become available; during these window of opportunity they can quickly design and launch malware infections that compromise a system and steal important data.
Zero-day vulnerabilities pose a grave danger for enterprises and have been exploited in high-profile security breaches, including Stuxnet (a virus which hacked Iran’s nuclear program and caused widespread disruption) and Sony Pictures Attack, which leveraged an SMB exploit as its vector of attack.
Deploying zero-day patches remains one of the best ways to safeguard against cyber security risks, though implementation can sometimes be cumbersome and time consuming. Automated patch management tools may help shorten attackers’ windows of opportunity for creating zero-day exploits and increase chances of mitigating damage more efficiently.
Zero-day vulnerabilities present a significant threat to organizations that do not have the resources to keep their systems updated, particularly if their resources are scarce. According to the Mandiant 2022 Global Threat Report, 55 zero-day vulnerabilities were exploited in 2022 compared with 27 exploited in 2021; although this number represents less of an ongoing risk than what 81 vulnerabilities presented, but should still be taken seriously and assessed as part of enterprise networks’ risk profile.
Endpoint Protection Platforms
Endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) are designed to shield endpoints against cyber security attacks and detect and respond to any potential threats, making these technologies vitally important in modern enterprises, as they can detect both file-based and fileless malware, malicious scripts and other forms of malice that traditional anti-malware solutions might miss.
Many EPPs can be deployed through cloud technology, using one agent that monitors all endpoints across an enterprise to gather information that allows security teams to respond faster to attacks.
EPPs also often offer data loss prevention features, which can protect your organization against sensitive information leaking onto the internet. This type of technology can be particularly helpful for businesses that store a large volume of sensitive data or depend on remote employees to access their business networks.
EPPs aren’t the only tool available for protecting your company’s endpoints from cyber security zero days; antivirus software, network traffic monitoring systems and next-generation firewalls may all also play a vital role.
An effective endpoint protection platform should integrate multiple technologies into a single, centralized console for control of an organization’s endpoint security stack, making data collection from disparate systems simpler while making investigation simpler for security teams.
Endpoint protection platforms must also include a dashboard displaying real-time data. This data can provide invaluable insight for quickly analyzing and rectifying endpoint security incidents, helping quickly detect threats while revising policies accordingly.
One feature to keep an eye out for when searching for EPPs is Sandboxing and Threat Intelligence integration, both essential for protecting against today’s ever-evolving threat landscape. Sandboxing enables EPPs to quarantine suspicious files safely without harming other parts of your system; Threat Intelligence allows them to identify new malicious elements before they infiltrate endpoints in your organization.
Endpoint Detection and Threat Response
Endpoint detection and threat response (EDR) systems assemble and analyze security-related information from computer workstations and other endpoints, and quickly respond to discovered or potential threats. While EDR solutions often compare with security information and event management (SIEM), EDR solutions tend to provide more comprehensive coverage, including extended detection and response (XDR).
Effective EDR relies on behavioral-based analysis, which means it can detect new and evolving threats more quickly than signature-based approaches can. These threats include ransomware, fileless malware and other threats with code changes intended to bypass detection; AI-driven EDR tools can use data from third-party threat intelligence services to find these attacks and defend against them.
These solutions typically utilize data gathered from telemetry devices and transmit this to a central location – whether cloud-based or on-premises – before employing machine learning algorithms to correlate it and detect suspicious behavior.
Many EDR solutions also include threat intelligence feeds to provide real-world examples of cyberattacks, which can assist security teams in detecting more advanced attacks. Furthermore, these tools often feature advanced forensics capabilities which enable analysts to investigate live system memory, gather artifacts from suspect endpoints and combine historical and current situational data in order to build a comprehensive picture during an incident.
Modern threats have the ability to penetrate networks and exploit vulnerabilities in various ways, from sending phishing emails or drive-by downloads from malicious websites, to taking advantage of employees or vendors with high privileged access who act maliciously. Such threats are especially detrimental when these privileged accounts possessing internal users have access to more sensitive areas or have ulterior motives.
Organizations require an effective, holistic security solution that offers deep visibility into all attack vectors while offering multiple endpoint protection strategies and technologies, including endpoint hardening, device monitoring, privilege management, remote wiping, anti-theft measures, antivirus services and more.
Effective EDR systems combine these endpoint protection strategies with AI-powered investigative capabilities to quickly spot emerging and evolving threats that are difficult to spot using traditional signature-based models, helping prevent cyber security zero day attacks while mitigating their effects and impact.
Cyber security zero days refer to vulnerabilities in an organization’s IT infrastructure that are unpatched, potentially giving access to hackers of sensitive data. They could arise due to bugs in software, middleware, hardware or network devices which haven’t yet been addressed with patches.
Criminal hackers exploit these vulnerabilities, making them one of the fastest-evolved threats; with cloud and mobile technologies becoming increasingly prevalent they’re also becoming more widespread.
While zero-day attacks may be hard to defend against, businesses can take certain steps to help mitigate them. For instance, using an automated software update solution such as the one provided by ServiceNow could greatly decrease their risks of zero-day threats.
An essential step is developing an effective backup and recovery strategy. This requires having multiple copies stored at different locations with regular backups as well as having an action plan ready in case something goes wrong with any of them.
Restoring files to their former state can be essential if your data has been stolen or encrypted, giving you an early headstart on solving any potential issues.
As cybercrime becomes an increasing threat to businesses of all kinds, resilient backups that cannot be destroyed by hackers are essential security layers for protecting business from cybercriminals and one of the most cost-effective means of mitigating this type of threat. They can be implemented using any number of strategies such as air-gapped backups, offline backups or tape libraries which must be disconnected before restores can take place.
Without an adequate backup strategy in place, your business runs the risk of losing crucial data during a ransomware attack, which could take your operations offline for days, or even weeks, and be extremely damaging to its reputation.
As such, all organisations need an effective backup strategy in place in order to protect data loss during attacks and restore it as quickly as possible – thus limiting business disruption and revenue losses.