Zero-day Attack Prevention and Cure
A zero-day attack is a type of cyber attack that targets previously unknown vulnerabilities or weaknesses in software, hardware or systems. Sophisticated zero-day attacks are often designed to bypass traditional security measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detections systems. In this section, we will run through the elements of a sophisticated zero-day attack and discuss how businesses can prevent or recover from such an attack.
Elements of a Sophisticated Zero-Day Attack:
- Reconnaissance: The attacker gathers information about the target, such as network topology, software versions, and potential vulnerabilities.
- Exploitation: The attacker develops and deploys a zero-day exploit to gain access to the target system or network.
- Escalation: The attacker gains administrative privileges or root access to the target system or network, allowing them to move laterally and escalate their attack.
- Data exfiltration: The attacker steals sensitive data, such as login credentials, intellectual property, or customer data.
- Cover-up: The attacker attempts to cover their tracks and avoid detection, by deleting log files, distinguishing their network traffic, or using encryption to hide their activities.
Preventing and Recovering from a Zero-Day Attack:
- Keep software and systems up to date: Regularly patching and updating software and systems can help prevent zero-day attacks by closing known vulnerabilities. 
- Implement intrusion detection and prevention systems: These systems can detect and block zero-day exploits and other types of malicious traffic. 
- Use sandboxing and virtualisation: These techniques can isolate vulnerable applications and prevent zero-day exploits from spreading to other parts of the system or network. 
- Train employees: Educating employees about the risks of zero-day attacks and how to identify and report suspicious activity can help prevent attacks from succeeding. 
- Develop a response plan: Preparing a response plan that outlines the steps to take in the event of a zero-day attack can help minimise the damage and speed up the recovery process, as you have thought through what to do should the worst happen and have communicated it across your business. 
- “How to protect against zero-day attacks” CIO.
- “Intrusion detection and prevention systems” CISA.
- “Sandboxing and virtualisation” NIST.
- “Zero-Day attack prevention: How to protect your network from zero-day attacks” Digital Guardian.
- “Zero-Day response plan: Are you ready for a zero-day attack? The State of Security.