If there was a proper word to describe some of the worst kind of cyber-attacks, it would be catastrophic. Businesses that rely on computers daily, from healthcare professionals to banks that people rely on daily are targets of cyber attacks. However, nothing is worse than having an entire system of servers, or computers be exploited by a single flaw within a system. In tech terms, it is called a Zero Day vulnerability and it is capable of exposing weaknesses in security and inner systems to create internal problems for the people that need it the most. Here is what you need to know about a zero-day, how badly it can harm businesses and the steps you can take to avoid the worst-case scenario.
A zero-day is an exploit that targets a flaw in anything. From your personal computer, your favorite program, to even updates. It is important to note that almost all attacks by a zero-day were the result of either outdated programs, lack of anti-virus usage, and even using untrustworthy browsers or software. The victims of zero-day attacks have often been larger corporate groups such as Windows or Java, with one such example in late 2014 with Sony Pictures Entertainment. When a group of hackers targeted a specific vulnerability in Sony’s servers, they released their corporate data and customer information to the public. It was considered one of the worst corporate attacks in history.
When it comes to avoiding the worst-case scenario, it goes without saying that unless your business has integrated with a software that has been the victim of a Zero Day attack then here a few precautions and actions to take during this uneasy time. First off, your business or personal computer should always have an active anti-virus software to prevent issues with your computers. Next, be sure you are only using trusted software and programs that are updated often. In a situation that you may be at risk of an attack, always backup any important, private, or customer information to an external hard drive or server, away from any computer that is at risk, and proceeds to update your at-risk computer. In the case that your business does need that extra bit of help on the technical side, you have the Nerds at TechStarter ready to help.