Zero-Day Malware: How Small Businesses Can Best Defend Their Network

SMB owner working to prevent zero-day malware attacks.

Sometimes the threats that small and medium businesses face are novel and have never been seen before by cybersecurity experts. While these attacks represent a small portion of the potential threats that SMBs face, it is critical that businesses take the right steps to make their network better prepared for unforeseen cybersecurity threats. Zero-day malware is a prime example of a novel threat that SMBs may have to face, but even the worst surprises can be prepared for in order to mitigate potential damages. Here we want to talk about what zero-day malware is and how SMBs can best prepare their network against it!

What is Zero-Day Malware?

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Zero-day malware is a term that generally refers to malware researchers and leading experts have not found, encountered, or researched in the wild yet. This means that zero-day malware will catch everyone by surprise and typically not have unique solutions tailored to its attack strategy available quickly. Often, attackers that use zero-day malware will leverage new vulnerabilities in software or security services that they have found. Additionally, this term can mean that the malware used in these attacks does not have identifying markers or hashes because it is a new threat that has just appeared on the scene. The key fact about zero-day malware is that it is novel and represents an unforeseen threat.

Improving Cybersecurity Policies

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Despite the fact that zero-day malware is new by definition, many of the strategies companies can use to defend against it are well precedented. For example, small businesses can implement new company policies that enforce regular device and application updating. This way, zero-day malware that takes advantage of unpatched systems will immediately not pose a problem to the business. Improving cybersecurity policies that focus on maintaining appropriate account permissions, network access, and device health can dramatically improve a business network’s resiliency to cybersecurity events that involve zero-day malware. SMBs should never underestimate the effectiveness of strong cybersecurity training and tried and true cybersecurity policies.

IT Consultant Solutions

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When it comes to the newest threats on the cybersecurity landscape, small and medium businesses can also benefit from working directly with an IT consultant to figure out how their business can prepare for zero-day malware and other unforeseen threats. An IT consultant can perform a threat assessment before recommending cybersecurity services that will help bolster a business’ weak points. This means that endpoint protection, network detection and response tools, and DNS-layer security solutions can be put in place to monitor and respond to new threats as soon as they appear on your network. IT consultants can also provide the latest threat news to help SMBs change their protection strategies as more information is found out about zero-day malware.

Summary

Zero-day malware can be an intimidating threat because of its novelty and relatively high chance of success on unsuspecting victims. However, with the right preparation and advice from a reliable IT consultant, SMBs can improve their chances of successfully defending against zero-day malware. The Robinett Consulting team recommends that small and medium businesses work with an IT consultant to better understand their current cybersecurity posture and begin planning how they can make their network more resilient. Our security experts are always ready to provide a complimentary consultation to SMBs want to begin improving their cybersecurity today!

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