What are zero-day threats?
Zero-day threats are released into the wild before security vendors can issue protection against them.
Malicious programs can attack by targeting vulnerabilities in your operating system and applications. In cases where a weakness has been identified in commercial software, the vendor will usually write a patch to secure the software against attacks.
Patches take time to write so your system can be compromised before the vulnerability is fixed. Unpatched programs on your network increase your risk of a successful attack by a zero-day threat.
Users of all operating systems - even Vista with its enhanced security features - should be on their guard against zero-day threats. Protection is best tackled on several fronts.
Stopping zero-day threats
Use your firewall wisely
Your firewall is crucial in protecting your system against zero-day threats. You can ensure maximum protection by configuring it to allow only necessary transactions. Sophos Client Firewall combines many strategies to give you the best possible protection.
Use only essential applications
The more software you have, the more vulnerabilities you have. You can reduce the risk to your network by using a minumum of applications.
Keep up to date with patches
Patches fix the vulnerabilities in your software and operating systems, strengthening your resistance to malware.
Choose a good Host Intrusion Protection System (HIPS)
Your anti-virus protection will contain some form of HIPS, but not all protection is the same. Many HIPS only identify threats once they are already running, during time which damage may be done. SophosLabs™ has developed Behavioral Genotype® Protection to prevent this happening. It's an unique method of threat detection which means many threats can be identified without ever running malicious code.