Demystified – Zero-day exploits 

Next in the series of demystifying common types of cyber attack, we look at a form of attack that is the most challenging to defend against – zero-day exploits. A zero-day exploit is a type of cyberattack that takes advantage of a software vulnerability that is unknown to the software developer or vendor. This means that the attack can occur before a patch or update is released to fix the vulnerability, giving the attacker an advantage over the defender. 

Another way to understand how a zero-day exploit works, imagine a thief who discovers a secret entrance to a bank vault that the security guards are unaware of. The thief can enter the vault and steal valuable items without being caught because the security guards don’t know about the secret entrance.  

Similarly, a zero-day exploit is like a secret entrance to a computer system that cybercriminals can use to gain access and steal data or cause damage without being detected, because the software developers don’t know about the vulnerability yet. Just like how the bank can improve security by discovering and closing the secret entrance, software companies can improve security by identifying and fixing the vulnerability through security patches and updates. 


How to prevent a DDoS attack 

Defending against zero-day exploits can be challenging, as these attacks take advantage of unknown vulnerabilities in software or hardware. However, there are several steps that companies can take to mitigate the risk of a zero-day attack: 


  1. Keep software and operating systems up-to-date: Regularly applying security patches and updates can help close known vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of zero-day attacks.

  2. Implement layered security: This involves using multiple layers of security measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, and access controls, to detect and prevent zero-day attacks.

  3. Monitor network traffic: Keeping an eye on network traffic can help detect suspicious activity that may indicate a zero-day attack.

  4. Conduct security testing: Regularly testing for vulnerabilities in software and hardware can help identify and address potential zero-day vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by attackers.

  5. Practice good cybersecurity hygiene: This includes training employees on how to identify and avoid phishing scams and other forms of social engineering, as well as using strong passwords and multifactor authentication to protect against unauthorized access.

  6. Utilize threat intelligence: Staying informed about the latest threats and vulnerabilities can help companies proactively protect against zero-day attacks. 

Get equipped and get involved  

The Arx platform contains a suite of tools to add to your defence such as employee awareness training, guides and resources and automated scanning. 

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