Zero-Day also mentioned as 0-Day indicates that the vendor or developer has very recently got to know about that flaw. Since the hackers have exploited the flaw before developers can discover & patch it, the Vendor has Zero Days to fix it. Some meaningful terms to understand 0-Day better:
- 0-Day Vulnerability is discovered by hackers before the developers and hence they cannot be patched. However, developers can implement and notify workaround techniques to temporarily address it.
- 0-Day Exploits are the TTPs (Tactics-Techniques-Procedures) used by hackers to attack IT infrastructure.
- 0-Day Attack involves using 0-Day Exploit targetting 0-Day Vulnerability inflicting damage to IT resources.
Cybercriminals and hacktivists with malicious intentions such as espionage and theft, financial gains, cyber warfare, service disruption, and likewise usually carry out such 0-Day attacks. Its victims could be anyone and everyone across the globe ranging from an individual to an organization and even a nation-state. Operating systems and software applications, hardware and firmware, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, household appliances, automobiles are the usual targets. Attacks carried out against potentially valuable targets such as MNCs (Multi-National Companies), government and intelligence agencies, or VVIPs (Very Very Important Persons) are targeted 0-Day attacks. Vulnerable systems-servers or applications and hardware are the usual victims of non-targeted 0-Day attacks. Sometimes the LEAs (Law Enforcement Agencies) are unable to comprehend the collateral damage caused by attackers.
Zero-Day exploits are considered the ultimate cyber weapon to inflict heavy and often irreparable damage. Poor cybersecurity hygiene, ignorance & lethargy of security professionals, inadequate budgets, skill gaps in the availability of skilled and qualified cybersecurity workforce are some of the reasons behind getting victimized by a 0-Day vulnerability. When victims get to know about a 0-Day vulnerability in their environment, it is often too late to mitigate them. The course of action is to either accept the risk and threats of attack(s) or shut down the crucial components/facilities of their operations and services.
So, how would you try to protect yourself, as much as possible, from getting affected by the 0-Day exploits?
Prevention is however almost impossible for 0-Day vulnerabilities but detection and mitigation strategies are still relevant here. 4 proactive and protective best practices might help you and your firm stay resilient against most 0-Day attacks: -
- Educate and be aware against social engineering: Employees and business partners need to understand the bigger picture of business risk. Everyone must take moral ownership to keep the business services and daily operations safe & secure in their individual capacities. User awareness training must be conducted to prevent the staff from getting targeted by social engineering attacks.
- Implement 2FA / MFA with biometrics: Deploy 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) along with biometric locks will keep unauthorized users or hackers at bay. It is advised to periodically change the credentials used to access the various digital resources across your organization. Modify and update the vendor-supplied default security configuration to customize as per the business requirements.
- Strict ACL (Access Control List): Be vigilant when you grant any user the read and/or write access or elevate their privileges from user to admin and likewise. Grant or assign the privileges or access on a Need-to-Know basis only.! Deploying an appropriate IAM (Identity and Access Management) plan prevents accidental information modification from unauthorized employees. It also limits the scope of access for hackers having stolen the employees’ credentials. Implement a systematic de-provisioning process for employees leaving the company so their access to the IT systems, applications, and data is curtailed. Revoking the access rights of someone who has left the organization is very much a crucial security responsibility that must be completed on the LWD (Last Working Day) & not get delayed.
- Depth-in-defense & defense-in-depth approches: Maintaining your organization’s credibility in the market is very important. Comply with various regulatory standards & frameworks to protect highly sensitive business information. The in-house SOC (Security Operations Center) team can monitor the real-time activities of users, services, and applications in your IT environment. Alternatively, to facilitate inadequate budgets & lack of resources, you can hire an MSSP (Managed Security Service Provider). They help you to outsource your security logging & monitoring requirements. They prevent, detect, analyze, & mitigate security risks, threats, vulnerabilities, & incidents for your business. Protect your data & devices with various security solutions such as NGAVs (Next-Gen Anti-Virus), DLP (Data Loss Prevention), XDR (Extended Detection and Response), Honeypot, and likewise. Training and securing your users and employees would give hackers a hard time targeting your IT infrastructure with 0-Day vulnerabilities.
Centex Technologies provides a variety of cybersecurity solutions to companies. For a free audit of your enterprise's IT systems, call (855) 375-9654.