Zero-Day Attacks – What Are They & Why Are They So Dangerous?

August 2023

These days, it seems that it’s more complicated than ever to keep your information safe on the web. Threats ranging from spyware and ransomware to phishing attacks and DDoS attacks keep web users on their toes. And when attacks are successful, the aftermath can be devastating for individuals and organizations alike.

One type of concerning attack that we’re beginning to see more of across the web is a zero-day attack. With a better understanding of these attacks, why they’re so dangerous, and what mitigation options are available, you can take steps to keep your data safer.

What is a Zero-Day Attack?

Specifically, a zero-day attack refers to an attack that is carried out by hackers who are aware of a security vulnerability before the software’s developers do. As a result, hackers can do a lot of damage before developers get a chance to pinpoint the vulnerability and come up with a patch or other resolution. The idea is that once this type of attack occurs, developers have “zero days” to come up with a fix. There is a great sense of urgency to address these attacks before too much damage is done.

What Are the Effects of Zero-Day Attacks?

One example of a zero-day attack that has recently taken the Internet by storm is one that originated on Google Chrome browsers. The attack was first discovered in late March of 2022, though it has spread to other browsers, including Microsoft Edge. And with more than three billion Chrome users across the globe, the potential consequences of this type of attack are evident. Specifically, the data of anybody who uses these affected browsers could be at risk until the developers can identify the exploited vulnerability and develop a security update.

Avoiding and Mitigating Zero-Day Attacks

The biggest challenge with a zero-day attack is that they are unpredictable, but it often cannot be stopped right away. That’s because hackers in a zero-day attack take advantage of security vulnerabilities that software developers aren’t aware of.

So, what are some of the best steps web users can take to reduce their own risk? First, it’s essential to frequently check for security patches and updates, especially on web browsers and applications. Likewise, take time to check your passwords and update them regularly, ensuring that they’re strong. Ideally, you should use different passwords for each of your online accounts so that if one is compromised, the rest can remain safe.

Protection Begins With the Right Server

In addition to taking some common-sense security measures to improve protection from zero-day attacks, having the right hosting plan in place can also make a big difference. At ReliableSite, we offer dedicated hosting plans with plenty of built-in security and defenses against zero-day attacks in place. Reach out today to start setting up your dedicated server!