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Best Practices to Prevent Zero-Day Attacks

A Zero-Day Attack refers to a cyber security attack launched by exploiting a security vulnerability that has not yet been discovered by IT team yet. Zero-day attacks have emerged as a major cyber security challenge as there has been a significant increase in the number of zero-day attacks recently. 

Why Have Zero-Day Cyber Attacks Increased?

There are many reasons that contribute to an increase in the number of zero-day attacks.

  1. Zero-day attacks can exploit security vulnerabilities at multiple levels such as in the code, configuration settings, and hardware. This widens the attack surface for the cyber criminals.
  2. A global proliferation of available hacking tools is another major reason. Hacking tools are now easily available in the form of Software-as-a-Service package. This has facilitated cyber criminals to launch attacks at a rapid pace as soon as a vulnerability is detected without the need to code or fabricate attacking software.
  3. Once a vulnerability is detected, the software developer has to review the code and replace the defective piece of code. This is time consuming which gives the cyber criminals an opportunity to exploit the vulnerability in the meantime.
  4. After the software developer issues an update to patch the vulnerability, the users generally take time to download and install the updates. This allows hackers to exploit devices running on vulnerable software.

These technical challenges make it difficult to cope up with zero-day attacks. However, adopting some best practices in cyber security strategy can help prevent zero-day attacks.

Zero-Day Attack Prevention Best Practices

  1. Well-Defined Perimeters: Identifying all the end-points connected to your organization’s network is the first step towards preventing vulnerability attacks on the devices. Now implement Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) and Endpoint detection and threat response (EDR) solutions to monitor/record user-behavior, identify malware, and block malicious scripts. To ensure efficiency of EPP and EDR solutions, it is important to lay down well-defined perimeters. 
  2. Use Web Application Firewall: A Web Application Firewall (WAF) monitors and reviews all the traffic directed toward the web applications. When configurated efficiently, WAF plays a vital role in blocking malicious traffic by filtering it out and preventing the malware from exploiting any vulnerabilities. It ensures a quick response as WAF can be trained to adapt to real-time threats.
  3. Deploy Multiple Security Controls: The vulnerabilities exploited by the zero-day attacks can expose devices and networks to multiple security breaches. Thus, it is important to deploy security controls which may include malware detection & prevention controls, firewalls, traffic filtering software, patch management, password & access management, and identity management solutions. 
  4. Segmentize The Network: An organization uses multiple networks to perform its functions. Segmenting the networks allows the IT team to define different security controls suitable for the defined network. It also helps in containing the impact of an attack, if any, to a single network.
  5. Anti-Bot Strategy: The majority of modern attacks rely on botnets. Botnets are networks of compromised machines connected to a hacker’s server by malware. If any vulnerability arises in the organization’s network, the compromised machines report it to the hacker’s server and hackers exploit the vulnerability to launch an attack. Implement an anti-bot strategy as a part of your cyber security routine. Make sure to inspect all machines or devices connected to the network to check if any of the devices have been compromised. Remove all the compromised machines from the network to mitigate the risk of an attack.

In addition to above mentioned best practices, make sure to follow cyber security hygiene including a regular update of software and hardware, password ethics, regular security inspection, etc.

You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 - 4740, Dallas (972) 375 - 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 - 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454 for advanced cybersecurity solutions for businesses.