Cybersecurity is like a cat and mouse race. Hackers are trying to fulfill their malicious designs while cybersecurity professionals are working hard, day in day out, to prevent that. Both are trying to outdo one another and stay one step ahead of one another. When a new software or app launches, hackers look for openings that they can exploit while security professionals are busy in creating patches that could plug in those holes.
Unfortunately, before they identify the gaps and make the patch available, hackers might have exploited the vulnerability to fulfill their malicious goals. This is known as a zero-day exploit. Although it does not take long for security professionals to fix the bugs, the damage hackers wanted to inflict has already happened. This vulnerability is unknown to, or unaddressed by, those who are responsible for mitigating the vulnerability.
Alright, I get it, but how can I protect my business from zero-day exploits?
Is that what you are thinking? If yes, then you are in the right place.
In this article, you will learn about five effective ways to protect your business from these attacks.
1. Update Your Operating System
Are you using an older operating system?
If so, then you might be at risk of zero-day exploits. Update your operating system before it is too late. Irrespective of which operating system you are using, make sure to check for updates. If the updates are available, install the update.
Hackers take advantage of the lack of security updates, bug fixes and security patches for older operating systems in both computers and affordable dedicated servers and target them. They know that obsolete operating systems have many security loopholes which hackers can easily exploit because their support, security patches, and bug fixes are not available or installed. That is why such operating systems usually become the soft target for zero-day attacks.
2. Install Antivirus Software
Installing the latest operating system or upgrading your operating system to the latest version won’t be enough to save your business from zero-day attacks. You will have to protect it from all types of attacks.
For this purpose, you need to install antivirus software or security suite that combines protection from a wide range of cyber threats such as spyware, malware, and Trojans. It is important to apply filters on emails to prevent spam and phishing attacks. Make sure you keep the antivirus and your security software up to date so it can prevent zero-day exploits with updated virus definitions.
3. Keep Your Apps Up to Date
Zero-day exploits can not only target loopholes in operating systems but it can also exploit vulnerabilities in software and apps. That is why it is important to update your apps and software along with the operating system.
Using outdated software on a newer operating system cannot save you from zero-day exploits. Older version of the software and apps contains many bugs which are fixed in the newer versions. If you are using an older version of the software, hackers can exploit those issues and get access to your system. Update your software as soon as the new version is available.
4. Use Newer, More Secure Browsers
While we are on the topics of software, let’s discuss the most important software we all use to access the web, web browsers. There are instances where hackers have exploited vulnerabilities in the web browsers and launched zero-day attacks.
Irrespective of which web browser you use, you should update it to its latest version. If you are using a web browser which is not secure, switch to a more secure alternative. This will go a long way in helping you keep zero-day attacks at bay. Just because a web browser is popular does not mean that it is also safer.
5. Use a Password Manager
Last but certainly not least is to use strong passwords. Make your password hacker-proof by following the best practices. Avoid using dictionary words in your passwords as hackers can easily guess them with tools. Use a different password for all your accounts and use a password manager, so you don’t need to remember each one.
This will not only keep you safe online but also prevent you from the hassle of memorizing passwords for every account. Use two-factor authentication and make it tough for hackers to get access to your accounts.
How do you protect your business from zero-day attacks? If you’d had a brush with a zero-day attack, then let us know how you dealt with it and how did it affect your operations.