Businesses increasingly run on software, which, unbeknownst to its developers, can contain vulnerabilities that attackers often discover and exploit before a patch is available. This makes zero day attacks inevitable, but you can reduce their impact in your network and across your supply chain if you’re prepared to act fast.
With zero-day exploits behind 43% of the biggest vulnerabilities and a surge in headline-grabbing attacks such as SolarWinds, Log4j, and Kaseya, the threat of zero days is an ongoing concern for security teams as they step up their vulnerability management programs.
Follow these zero day remediation tips if you think your organization might be vulnerable to a newly discovered zero day.
What to do if your organization was affected by a zero day
The first thing you need to do when a new zero day is reported is to assess the prevalence of the vulnerability in your organization and within your third-party digital supply chain. In other words, determine if your organization or your vendors are utilizing vulnerable versions of the software in question.
As part of your due diligence and ongoing reassessment processes, you need to make sure that your vendors are enforcing standards that keep your business safe. Should a zero day vulnerability appear, you need to be able to promptly:
- Identify vulnerable third-party vendors in your supply chain
- Ask them how they are planning to react and mitigate the vulnerability
- Update your requirements and request additional assurances
To achieve this, you need a centralized, streamlined third-party risk management process (TPRM) that allows you to respond to major security events at scale, as opposed to chasing vendors via email with spreadsheets.
5 zero day vulnerability remediation tips
1. Patch your systems
Vendors and makers usually act fast to issue a patch once the zero-day vulnerability is discovered. Install it as soon as it becomes available.
2. Assess risk exposure
Identify critical third-party vendors who might be vulnerable and check if your own organization is vulnerable.
3. Update your requirements
Ask your critical third-parties for additional security requirements and assurances, and add them to your upcoming vendor contracts as needed.
4. Strengthen your posture
If you are a vendor to other organizations, share an update of your security posture to let them know you already conducted mitigation efforts.
5. Track, report, and conclude
Vulnerability management includes identifying, analyzing, remediating, and reporting phases; make sure everything is documented.
How Bitsight facilitates zero-day vulnerability detection and response
Bitsight third-party risk management (TPRM) is an end-to-end solution that empowers you to accelerate vendor risk assessments, continuously monitor and uncover blind spots across your digital ecosystem, and take action on exposure swiftly and confidently.
Our third-party vulnerability detection and response capabilities allow you to stay ahead of zero days and major security events, by taking action on high-priority incidents at a moment’s notice. Teams rely on these capabilities to initiate vendor outreach and track responses to critical vulnerabilities through scalable templated questionnaires —with tailored exposure evidence— for more effective remediation. And leverage industry-leading data to prioritize mitigation efforts.
The ability to continuously monitor your vendors’ security posture will raise timely alerts when an indicator goes beyond your security standards. In addition, a comprehensive and categorized third-party inventory will make it easier to understand where to focus your attention when a zero day occurs.
When it comes to zero day response, the ability to rapidly create and distribute a simple questionnaire among your vendors to assess exposure and manage potential threats can make the difference between business as usual and business continuity issues.
If one of your vendors is vulnerable, you can immediately ask them for additional requirements and assurances, and easily track them. You can also update their category or change their classification (i.e. more or less critical, more or less impactful for the business).
With these capabilities, Bitsight empowers you to:
- Remediate risk more quickly with better prioritization of vendor outreach efforts
- Build stronger vendor relationships through timely and trusted collaboration
- Confidently adhere to growing regulatory pressure with easy access to critical vulnerability data