Zero-Day Vulnerability: The Evolving Attacks That Can Threaten Your Data

What is Zero-Day Vulnerability?

A zero-day vulnerability is a security flaw that has yet to be exploited for cyberattacks and no security fixes are available to correct the vulnerability.

Zero-day Attacks

When a security vulnerability is discovered, users will usually report it to the developer. Developers then promptly create a solution to patch up the flaw. However, users may also choose to inform others about the security bug on forums or websites on the dark web, making the information confidential from companies. If software developers are not quick enough, this information can be picked up hackers first, who would launch an attack on the program. And because there is little protection for a newly discovered flaw, this results in a zero-day attack.

The damages zero-day attacks can inflict on organisations is extremely severe and are usually reserved for high-profile targets such as medical and financial companies and governments. Recent attacks include the Sony Pictures zero-day attack, where Sony’s classified data was leaked and Stuxnet, where a worm successfully crippled and ruined part of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges.

Safeguarding from Zero-day Attacks

Presently, there is no available cybersecurity software or service that possesses the technology to detect and prevent zero-day vulnerabilities. Unless developers are immediately informed of the undetected security flaws, this makes your network susceptible to planned attacks.

Organisations can take these preventive measures:

  1. Deploy vulnerability Scanning: Polaris’ automatic web application scanning helps scan your web applications and servers to discover known and some unknown weak spots. This can alert developers of potential security gaps, giving them time to react.
  2. Investing in web application firewalls (WAF): WAFs like Polaris are an effective way to protect your data from zero-day attacks. Acting like a shield between malicious attacks and your web assets, Polaris reviews all incoming traffic and automatically filters out malicious codes that can exploit security vulnerabilities.
  3. Implement patch management: While it cannot prevent zero-day attacks, patch management can significantly reduce the attacks’ impact by cutting down the vulnerability’s exposure window.

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