boston zero day vulnerabilityMost technology-driven businesses have at least heard of the term zero day vulnerability. However, if you haven’t attempted to protect your network and business from this type of event, you need to do it right away. Understanding what it is, what it can mean for your company, and how you can protect yourself from it is half the battle. It doesn’t matter if your business is a small “mom and pop” store or a significantly larger organization; you can protect yourself by working with Greater Boston managed services like Synivate. We have a wide range of options available that you can use to safeguard essential data, such as a back-up and recovery system, off-site cloud storage, and other Boston data protection services.

What is Zero Day Vulnerability?

The most simple definition of a zero day vulnerability is that it is an unknown flaw in a piece of software. The deficiency is not known to the programmer, the vendor, nor the end-users of the application. As a result, there is no security update or patch available to fix it. The term “zero day” refers to the days between the time that the vulnerability is discovered by someone outside of the project, someone who wants to exploit the flaw in the programming, and the time of the first attack. Once the weakness becomes known to the masses, it switches from being a zero day vulnerability to what is known as an n-day vulnerability.

A timeline of zero day vulnerability goes something like this:

  • software is created that contains an unknown vulnerability and is distributed to users all over the globe
  • someone discovers the flaw before the programmers, distributors, and end users do
  • this person creates a malicious code designed to exploit the vulnerability
  • they release the exploit to the public, and attacks begin worldwide
  • the programmers and distributors become aware of the flaw and create a patch
  • the vulnerability switches from a “zero day” to an “n-day” vulnerability
  • the patch is released to end-users who are encouraged to install the update

Unfortunately, this timeline does not happen in a matter of days, hours, or minutes. It typically takes several days, weeks, or even months before the vulnerability is discovered by the programmer and distributors so that a patch can be created. In some cases, it can take a while for a patch to be created, leaving end-users open to attack even longer. This is what makes the zero day vulnerability so dangerous. It’s the “not knowing” that is the scariest part and then discovering that someone has exploited the software to attack your network or access essential company data that terrifies IT professionals and CEOs alike.

What Can You Do About It?

As an admin or end-user, there’s not much you can do. You are counting on the software developer and distributor to have tested, checked, evaluated, and re-tested the software before it was released to ensure that it is safe to use. Even if you stay on top of updates and use the most current release version, that does not guarantee that you will be protected. One thing that many Boston data protection experts agree upon is not to install a .0 release of a new version. The .0 release has not been previously released and tested, meaning that there’s a much more significant chance of a zero day vulnerability existing with the new version. There’s no evidence that a .1 version is safer than a .0, but many industry experts agree that this is at least a step closer to avoiding these common vulnerabilities.

Business continuity is a serious concern for many businesses. Even without a zero day vulnerability, there are plenty of things to worry about concerning data and network security. A back-up and recovery system should be put into place, and businesses that rely heavily on technology for their day-to-day operations should consider outsourcing Greater Boston managed services. Synivate offers a wide range of options for our clients, providing 24/7 monitoring, network security, IT services, and much more. Implementing a back-up and recovery system can help you to recover quickly from an attack or another type of loss, allowing you to get your business back up and running without missing a beat. Studies show that more than 50 percent of the companies that lose data in an attack or another event will shut down within six months. Don’t become a statistic. Contact our team to help you get a back-up and recovery plan in place as soon as possible.

IT Disaster Recovery Planning

Greater Boston data protection has become more critical than ever before. Our team can help you to establish a comprehensive data back-up and recovery system along with essential IT management services to help protect your business. When you develop a plan that anticipates recovery, you get ahead of the problem before it ever even happens. Our team of highly trained and experienced technical experts will work with you every step of the way to ensure that every critical area of your business is properly safeguarded and addressed. Give us a call at 617-517-0704 to get a FREE estimate for any of the services that we provide or to perform an initial IT assessment to get started.