Sep 6, 2023
The battle between hackers and businesses is an ongoing struggle. As technology continues to evolve, so do the tactics used by malicious hackers looking to compromise security systems. Among the most concerning threats are zero day exploits, which pose significant risks to the digital infrastructure of an organization. In 2023, zero day attacks have become more commonplace than ever before.
Our goal is to shed light on zero day exploits, the increasing damage they are causing across the board, the importance of partnering with organizations that monitor these exploits, and some recommendations to mitigate the risks. The team at Blade Technologies, Inc. is here to help.
What is a Zero Day Exploit?
A zero day exploit, also known as a zero day vulnerability and a zero day attack, refers to security vulnerabilities in software or systems that are unknown to the software vendor or the public. These vulnerabilities provide a hacker or malicious actor with an opportunity to launch attacks before the developers have a chance to release patches or security updates. The name "zero day" has to do with the fact that developers have zero days to address the vulnerability.
Most software contains security weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers. Software developers are always looking for these vulnerabilities so they can prevent them from getting attacked and hacked. It has become commonplace for hackers or malicious individuals to find vulnerabilities before the software developers do. While the vulnerability remains unknown, attackers can take advantage of it.
When attackers find a zero day vulnerability, they need a way to get into the system and data. This is typically done by creating emails that appear to be from a legitimate sender. These fake emails try to persuade users to open a file or visit a malicious website. When the user does this, they download malware or other malicious code, and the hacker can now find confidential data.
Once hackers exploit the vulnerabilities and it is discovered by people outside of the hackers, developers need to develop a patch to stop the issue. Unfortunately, these weaknesses are not always immediately discovered and take several weeks or months to find.
The main concern with these attacks is that there is no way to know about them until after an attack has happened. Detailed information about a zero day exploit is only available after the exploit has been identified.
The Rise of Zero Day Exploits
To put it simply, zero day vulnerabilities and exploits are increasing rapidly. In 2021, the number of zero day exploits increased by over 100% compared to the previous highest record set in 2019. This is according to the Mandiant Threat Intelligence report. This means that approximately 40% of all zero day attacks in the past decade took place in 2021 alone.
To nobody’s surprise, this issue is only getting worse as time goes on. Now that it is 2023, the problem hasn’t improved, and hackers are finding new and more complex ways to infiltrate software and steal private data. Whether you’re a small or large organization and a vulnerability is discovered, you’re at risk no matter what. As tactics have progressed, individuals, hardware devices, small to large businesses and organizations, politicians, and Government agencies are all at risk.
Why You Need to Partner with the Right Organizations
Given the massive increase in these attacks and all the challenges that come with them, businesses must collaborate with organizations that specialize in monitoring and analyzing these vulnerabilities. This is especially important since there is no way to get all of the info you need until the attack happens.
These partners, such as Blade Technologies, Inc., have the necessary expertise to detect and report zero day vulnerabilities to software vendors and organizations quickly. By doing so, they contribute to the development and release of security patches. This decreases the window of opportunity for attacks and eventually fixes the issue.
What You Can Do to Mitigate the Risk of an Attack
While businesses cannot prevent zero day exploits themselves, they can use certain strategies to lower the associated risks. Here are some recommendations:
Make sure that all software and systems within your organization are up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates. Regularly monitor official vendor channels for updates. You should also stay up to date on industry trends so you’re aware of what types of attacks are taking place.
Implement Intrusion Detection Systems
If you don’t already have some in place, intrusion detection systems can help identify suspicious activities and potential attacks. These systems analyze network traffic, detecting patterns that may indicate the presence of zero day exploits or other malicious activities.
Human error is still a big factor when it comes to successful cyber attacks. Conduct regular cybersecurity awareness training sessions to educate employees about software vulnerability and the risks associated with zero day exploits and how to identify potential threats.
Our Team Can Help with Zero Day Attacks
Zero day exploits are a big threat to cybersecurity defenses and are difficult to defend. The increasing use of zero day exploits in damaging cyber attacks proves the need for businesses to adopt proactive measures to mitigate risks. By partnering with an organization like Blade Technologies, Inc., you can detect and proactively defend against emerging threats, including zero day vulnerabilities.
Learn More from Blade Technologies, Inc.
If you want to protect against zero day exploits and learn more about them, contact the Blade team today.