If you have been watching the news lately, then the term 'Zero-Day' probably has surfaced a time or two. So, what exactly is this type of attack and how does RealTime protect your business from them?
ZERO-DAY ATTACKS EXPLAINED
Zero-day attacks affect anyone indiscriminately, but most of the damage is suffered by businesses that are not prepared to face such a cyber threat. And, it's extremely difficult to detect zero-day attacks, especially with traditional cyber defenses.
Traditional security measures focus on malware signatures and URL reputation. However, with zero-day attacks, this information is unknown. Cyber attackers are extraordinarily skilled, and their malware can go undetected on systems for months, and even years, giving them plenty of time to cause irreparable harm.
A ZERO-DAY ATTACK TIMELINE
A Zero-Day attack happens when that flaw (software/hardware vulnerability) is exploited and attackers release malware before a developer has an opportunity to create a patch to fix the vulnerability—hence “zero-day.” Here's a quick timeline to explain the process:
- A company’s developers create software that unknowingly contains a vulnerability.
- The threat actor* spots that vulnerability either before the developer does or acts on it before the developer has a chance to fix it.
- The attacker writes and implements exploit code while the vulnerability is still open and available.
- After releasing the exploit, either the public recognizes it in the form of identity or information theft or the developer catches it and creates a patch to staunch the cyber-bleeding.
Once a patch is written and used, the exploit is no longer called a zero-day exploit. These attacks are rarely discovered right away and that is why it's important to ensure that your business is protected.
HOW IS MY BUSINESS PROTECTED?
How does RealTime protect your business and what are some best practices to keep you safe?
- Install Firewalls with advanced security features - this is your first line of defense.
- Protect yourself with antivirus and antimalware that protects against known and unknown threats.
- Keep software applications and operating systems up-to-date.
- Create and keep backups in the event something can't be "cleaned". This is basically your safety net in case the worst happens.
- Use an Email protection service that filters out junk and spam before it gets to you.
- Practice safe computing practices such as being mindful on what links you click and what websites you are visiting. The 'Human Firewall' is the single biggest factor of whether or not you will get infected.
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*A threat actor, also called a malicious actor, is an entity that is partially or wholly responsible for an incident that impacts – or has the potential to impact -- an organization's security. In threat intelligence, actors are generally categorized as external, internal or partner. - Wikipedia