What is a Zero-Day Attack & How Can It Be Prevented?

You protect your company’s files by making copies in case of compromise, but zero-day attacks hide before execution to corrupt all copies. 

Zero-day attacks exploit vulnerabilities attackers discover before developers do and are delivered by email to infiltrate corporate networks.

When defending against zero-day attacks, knowledge is power, so Guardian Digital educates you on the six phases of a zero-day attack.

Watch: Anatomy of a Zero-Day Attack

Anatomy of a Zero-Day Attack

Phase 1: Looking for Vulnerabilities

Attackers search for vulnerabilities in code, experiment with popular applications, or purchase vulnerabilities on the black market.

Phase 2: Exploit Code Created

Cybercriminals create a malware program or other technical means to exploit the vulnerability they’ve found or bought. 

Poorly written code, unencrypted data or weak password security are examples of exploited vulnerabilities.

Phase 3: Affected Systems Identified

Threat actors identify systems impacted by this vulnerability using methods such as bots or automated scanners.

Some software vulnerabilities may only impact Apple macOS, making Microsoft Windows and Linux users ineffective targets.

Phase 4: Planning

Attackers determine the best way to penetrate vulnerable systems, most often leveraging phishing campaigns to do so.

Phase 5: Infiltration

The malicious actors get through the perimeter defenses of an organization or personal device.

Phase 6: Attack Launched

Attackers are now able to execute code remotely on the compromised machine to steal sensitive data.

How Can I Secure Business Email Against Zero-Day Attacks?

Use an advanced, proactive email security solution

Cyber security systems for business networkTraditional antivirus software is typically only effective in defending against known threats and, as a result, is often ineffective in protecting against zero-day exploits. When it comes to zero-day attack detection and prevention, every second matters! Only the most proactive, intuitive security solutions can prevent zero-day attacks using advanced AI and heuristics techniques to search for anomalous patterns not typically seen from a user or application. These advanced solutions are then able to develop fixes using AI (along with human intervention) and distribute them quickly and efficiently. Invest in a high-quality, comprehensive cloud email security security solution that is capable of protecting against zero-day attacks and has the capacity to rapidly distribute and implement fixes for zero-day vulnerabilities -- it will pay off!

Educate users

Many zero-day attacks capitalize on human error. Thus, user education is imperative in preventing these exploits. Teach employees and users good security habits, tips and best practices that will help keep them safe online and protect your organization from zero-day exploits and other digital threats.

Deploy a web application firewall

Deploying a web application firewall will help your company react to threats in real-time. A web application firewall continually scans incoming data for threats, providing organizations with the information necessary to suppress suspicious activity and stop an impending attack from occurring.

Implement network access control

Network access control is a tool that prevents unauthorized machines from accessing an organization’s network, decreasing the risk of hacks, exploits and breaches. It can also help to contain any damage to a particular network.

Use IPsec

IPsec encrypts and authenticates all network traffic, allowing a system to rapidly identify and isolate non-network traffic and suspicious activity. With this information, organizations stand a better chance of being able to recognize and stop attacks before damage is done.

Our email security solution finds and intercepts zero-day threats, mitigates risk and provides your organization with peace of mind.

Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security’s technology proactively learns and distributes defenses for specific threats targeting you.

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