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Exploring the Basics of Zero Day Attacks: We Answer Key Questions

By February 9, 2023February 15th, 2023No Comments
protect your business against zero day attacks

Navigating the complex world of cyber security can be challenging, with its own set of jargon and technical terms. In an effort to make things simpler for our clients, we’ve decided to break down and explain the basics of zero day attacks. Keep reading to learn more about this important topic.

What Is A Zero-Day Attack?

A zero-day attack is a type of cyber attack that occurs on the same day that a weakness or vulnerability is discovered in a computer system, software, or network. These attacks can be particularly dangerous because they exploit unknown vulnerabilities, meaning that the system or software has had zero days to patch or fix the issue.

The term “zero day” refers to the fact that the vulnerability has not yet been publicly disclosed or patched. Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly on the lookout for zero-day vulnerabilities because they know that they can exploit them before the victim is aware of the issue.

How Do These Attacks Happen?

Zero day attacks can happen in a variety of ways. In some cases, hackers actively search for vulnerabilities in a system or software and then exploit them. In other cases, the vulnerability may be discovered by accident, such as when a researcher or security expert stumbles upon it while testing the system.

Once a zero-day vulnerability is discovered, the attacker has a limited window of time in which to exploit it before the victim becomes aware of the issue and takes steps to fix it. This is why zero day attacks can be so successful – the attacker has a temporary advantage due to the lack of knowledge about the vulnerability on the part of the victim.

How Long Does It Take Most Organisations to Discover A Zero Day Attack?

According to a report by IBM, the average time it takes to discover a cyber breach is 287 days and the average time it takes to contain a breach once it has been discovered is 80 days.

However, it is difficult to accurately determine the average time it takes to discover a zero day attack because it can vary widely depending on the specific circumstances of the attack. Some zero day vulnerabilities are discovered almost immediately after they are introduced, while others may go undetected for months or even years.

There are several factors that can influence the time it takes to discover a zero-day attack, including:

  • The complexity of the vulnerability: More complex vulnerabilities may take longer to discover because they are harder to detect.
  • The skill level of the attacker: Highly skilled attackers may be able to cover their tracks more effectively, making it harder to detect a zero-day attack.
  • The level of security measures in place: Organisations with strong security measures in place may be more likely to discover a zero day attack more quickly because they have systems in place to detect and prevent them.
  • The level of resources dedicated to security: Organisations that allocate more resources to security, such as outsourcing to an MSSP or investing in advanced security tools, may be more likely to discover a zero-day attack more quickly.

How Can An MSSP Protect Your Organisation Against Zero Day Attacks?

As a MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider) Infosec Partners employs highly skilled security professionals who are well-versed in the latest cyber threats and can provide valuable guidance on how to mitigate the risk of zero-day attacks. In addition, we work with the leading suppliers of security platforms, such as Fortinet, to provide comprehensive security solutions that help to prevent, detect, and respond to zero day attacks:

  • Continuous monitoring: we continuously monitor clients’ networks and systems for suspicious activity, helping to identify and respond to potential zero day attacks in real-time.
  • Security updates: we ensure that their clients’ systems and applications, such as firewalls, are kept up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates, which can help prevent zero day vulnerabilities from being exploited.
  • Threat intelligence: we have access to a wealth of threat intelligence data, which can use to identify and protect against emerging zero day threats.
  • Security testing: we can perform regular security testing on their clients’ systems to identify any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by zero day attacks.
  • Incident response: In the event that a zero day attack does occur, we can provide expert support to help their clients quickly contain and mitigate the attack, minimise damage, and restore systems to normal operation.
  • Security training: we provide training to our clients’ employees on how to recognise and report suspicious activity, which can help prevent zero day attacks from being successful.

For more information on protecting your organisation from the latest cyber attacks, and a demo of the cyber solutions we work with, please get in touch with the Infosec Partners team.

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