What are Zero-Day Vulnerabilities and How Can Small Businesses Best Defend Themselves?
Small businesses face a variety of threats to their cybersecurity every day, but zero-day vulnerabilities may be one of the biggest threats to watch out for. Often, businesses do not have access to the information they need to know about new zero-day vulnerabilities and exploits, so they are left completely undefended if a malicious actor finds that their network is exploitable. If your small business does not have IT staff dedicated to keeping up with cybersecurity news and information on zero-day vulnerabilities, then you may want to consider working with an IT consultant who can let you know what you need to watch out for and how to best defend your network from exploitation.
What is a Zero-Day Vulnerability?
The term zero-day vulnerability refers to vulnerabilities that have been discovered and disclosed to the public but have not yet been patched. They arise when researchers, bug hunters, or malicious actors discover a new way to exploit software, hardware, or any form of technology before the developer can find the bug. They are sometimes difficult to patch, so developers will announce the zero-day vulnerability and often propose temporary solutions that help businesses and private users keep themselves safe from hackers until an official patch is released.
What are Developers Doing about Zero-Day Bugs?
As soon as zero-day vulnerabilities are found, developers will set to work fixing them. After providing guidance on how to temporarily stay safe from an exploit involving the vulnerability, they will try to get a patch out to fix the problem as soon as possible. Depending on the severity and likelihood of exploitation, the time it takes to patch a zero-day vulnerability can differ. Developers may also choose to not patch the bug under certain circumstances, such as if a piece of hardware is planned to be discontinued. Users will need to keep an eye on developer announcements to determine the best course of action for defending their network if they are affected by a zero-day vulnerability.
How Your Business Stays Secure
Even though zero-day vulnerabilities go unpatched for some time, businesses can take steps to protect themselves from potential exploitation via the vulnerability. First, businesses should follow guidance provided by developers on how to protect their network. Next, the businesses’ IT department or IT consultant can take extra steps to monitor any areas of the business that may be affected by the zero-day vulnerability so that action can be taken quickly if a hacker tries to attack the business. Employees should also receive a notification about the vulnerability so they can take necessary steps to avoid attacks, report any information that could help the business avoid an attack, and patch their devices as soon as possible.
Zero-day vulnerabilities are a serious threat to small and medium businesses because it can be difficult to know they exist until it’s too late. This is why having the latest information on the cybersecurity threat landscape is crucial to small business security posture. If your business does not have an IT department that can keep an eye out for burgeoning zero-day vulnerabilities, then you should consider working with a local IT consultant like Robinett Consulting so that you get the information you need. We believe small businesses deserve the same level of protection as bigger companies, so our team aims to bring enterprise level cybersecurity to your small business!
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