The term “zero-day” is used to describe the threat of unknown or unaddressed security vulnerabilities in software or applications. Thus, attacks that exploit zero-day vulnerabilities often occur without users’ knowledge, and can carry hefty costs for organizations in the form of lost productivity, data theft, system downtime, reputation damage and regulatory actions.

A zero-day attack refers to a scenario in which threat actors exploit a vulnerability before developers have had the opportunity to release a fix for it -- hence the name of this threat. Zero-day attacks are especially dangerous because the only people who know about them are the attackers themselves. Once they have infiltrated a network, criminals can either attack immediately or sit and wait for the optimal time to do so. While zero-day attacks frequently target high-profile businesses and governments, no organization is safe from this type of threat.

Watch: Top Tips to Protect Against Zero-Day Attacks

Use an advanced, proactive email security solution: Traditional 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.

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