If you know anything at all about zero-day exploits, you’ll know they are among the most harmful vulnerabilities IT systems can be exposed to. If you don’t know about them, your IT system could be under attack right now and you wouldn’t even know it.
Zero-day vulnerabilities are software flaws that can be in place for up to a year before they are detected. Very often these flaws are not known to anyone except cyber attackers or black market suppliers who sell them to cyber criminals.
One security report put it this way. “There is almost no defense against a zero-day attack. While the vulnerability remains unknown, the software affected cannot be patched, and anti-virus products cannot detect the attack through signature-based scanning.”
With the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) bringing more stringent regulations for all businesses that store personal information regarding EU residents, it’s imperative to become aware of and familiar with the potential vulnerabilities that exist. It is also important to have a method in place in the event your company is subject to a zero-day exploit.
Many zero-day vulnerabilities have been discovered between 2013 and the present day. reflect several trends that should prompt organizations to reassess their security posture:
Operating system-level safeguards are becoming less effective against zero-day attacks. ASLR and DEP were big steps forward, but attackers are finding ways around them.
n Watering hole attacks are growing more common. By compromising trusted websites that cater to well-defined audiences, attackers can target precise industry or government segments. And rather than having to find ways into targeted systems, attackers can wait for the targets to come to them.
Attacks are growing more sophisticated. Randomware and clumsy, high-volume attacks still occur. But laser-focused attacks against high-value targets are mushrooming. And these attacks are becoming much more adept at bypassing organizations’ defenses.
IBM Watson Looks For Unknown and Unexpected Patterns
Defending your IT assets against zero-day threats requires a fundamentally new approach to cyber security. Yesterday’s signature-based defenses are not built for today’s tidal wave of exploits.
One way True Zero-Day Protection is accomplished is through a protocol analysis (PA) approach to protect enterprises against unreleased exploits. This involves re-combining network traffic into meaningful application data, and analyzing the re-combined data at each step, which lets the IPS detect attacks by looking for strange anomalies in sensitive areas of a transaction. This can not only be used to accurately find and name released exploits, but can also be used to find anomalies that are new and never-before-seen attacks such as zero-day threats.
IBM utilizes a protocol analysis approach through its extensible Protocol Analysis Module (PAM). This enables IBM IPS solutions to detect an extremely wide range of attacks including zero-day exploits.
Zero-day attacks call for the right mix of technology, intelligence, and expertise to quickly detect attacks and respond to them before they cause lasting harm.
Have advanced security expertise on tap for the worst attacks. Industry experts with experience resolving serious incidents can help bolster your security team. And they can be invaluable when resolving well-hidden and complex threats.