There’s nothing like the feeling of picking up a new piece of tech. Fresh hardware and software always come with that new toy feeling, even if it is just a new application to keep our workplaces organized as they expand in size and scope. Adding top-of-the-line software to a machine often lends a newfound sense of security to a home office or a workplace. There are, however, unexpected downsides whenever new software or hardware is adopted. One of the most significant breaches of trust is the Day 1 exploit. When a new product or piece of hardware launches, the technology is expected to operate as intended. Unfortunately, hackers and other bad actors enjoy finding the smallest openings in the newest tech. Often a Day 1 exploit will be caught early enough for the developers to patch over the holes, but what happens when they aren’t quick enough to act? What be done as a consumer placing trust in a tech company? How do workplaces protect themselves against these exploits?
What is a Day 1 Exploit
A Day 1 exploit is the closest real-world hacking comes to the hacking we see in the movies. Simply put, a Day 1 exploit is an opening a hacker finds during the first day of a product’s release. These exploits can be as simple as realizing a password input prompt can be bypassed or as sophisticated as finding holes in the code after mining and reading the code that runs the software or device. The thing to realize about Day 1 exploits is that they can happen to any product upon release. These exploits crop up as a result of typical human oversight.
In April of 2022, Apple was forced to rush out a Day 0 patch (a patch pushed out before the release of a product or service) for a potentially disastrous exploit that had been baked into their devices. The exploit in question would have given bad actors kernel access to macOS and iOS devices. Had these exploits not been found in time, then bad actors would have had complete and total control over the devices of Apple users for a distressing amount of time. The malware that could have been born out of this potential Day 1 threat would have wrested the data out of the hands of hundreds of thousands of businesses across the world.
These security holes are found as often as new technology hits the market. What would the tech world look like had Apple not caught its oversight in time? That is the danger of the Day 1 exploit. These exploits typically give bad actors access to the deepest parts of a machine. They are particularly viscous and easy to distribute once discovered. Tech companies dedicate entire workforces to quality testing their code before allowing them to hit the digital shelves of the world because the reputation hits associated with giving hackers unfettered access to a hard drive are usually catastrophic. Day 1 and Day 0 patches are typically required installations before a user is granted permission to use for this reason. Irritating update prompts exist to protect end users from the mistakes tech companies make during development.
How to Protect Your Business From These Exploits
The unfortunate reality of Day 1 exploits is that there is no way to know when an organization will fall short on its research and development. These exploits are a phenomenon that naturally arises as a consequence of the intersection between human failure and human ingenuity. How then, are businesses able to defend against the unknowable? Protecting an organization or personal workspace from day zero exploits is a manner of understanding and implementing strong digital hygiene.
First and foremost is creating a secure data management plan. When a workplace comes into contact with the internet, points of failure are instantly introduced into a system. The internet is a magnificent and dangerous place to work, but that danger can be easily mitigated with a few easy-to-implement best practices. One of the most popular methods of control a hacker will implement these days is the ransomware attack. The goal of a ransomware attack is to deny access to crucial information by locking users out of their own machines, and in some cases, it will involve locking down entire personal networks.
Creating easily accessible secure backups of all of the data required for a workplace is easily the simplest and most secure method of preventing a ransomware attack. Decentralized, encrypted storage spaces are incredibly difficult to breach from the outside. This means a successful attack on a system via a Day 1 exploit will fizzle out regardless of how successful hackers are in locking a machine out of its data. Some of the most security-minded workplaces may want to consider keeping private data off of hard drives entirely. Ransomware and other malware attacks try to pull data directly out of a machine’s memory, the easiest way to prevent this from happening in the case of an exploit is to simply keep data from living locally. Keeping decentralized backups of crucial data will create a cloud of security that is easily accessible no matter where the point of access happens to be located.
Using encrypted methods of communication wherever possible will provide not only privacy but a digital footprint that is nearly impossible to track. Consider for a moment the difference between an email attachment and the secure fetch method provided by AXEL Go. In a workplace seized by bad actors with access to servers ripe with abandoned email attachments, these attachments can be easily cracked open and sucked dry of their private information. Secure fetch methods generate a unique sharing session with a customizable expiration date that is encrypted from end to end and may easily be password protected. Secure fetch is a file sharing method that quickly and easily allows transfer between colleagues while giving every party involved total control over their sharing session.
Try AXEL Go Today
AXEL Go is an incredibly versatile tool in the fight for cyber security. Implementing our decentralized, encrypted storage into a workplace will create a robust bulwark between sensitive workplace data and any clever exploits hackers are able to slip through the cracks.
AXEL Go is a file storage and sharing service designed to revolutionize how we think about security online. Our user experience design is focused on handing top-of-the-line security to any business of any size. Our AES-256 bit encryption and decentralized server structure thwart cyber attacks on big businesses as competently as it protects local operations. No matter how tight the budget for your practice may be, we are the perfect fit for secure, intuitive storage file sharing. You can try AXEL Go premium for free for 14 days. See what security backed by our $10,000 guarantee can do for your business.
“Blog | Day One Exploits: How To Effectively Reduce The Threat”. 2022. CIS. https://www.cisecurity.org/insights/blog/day-one-exploits-how-to-effectively-reduce-the-threat.
“What Is A Zero-Day Exploit | Protecting Against 0Day Vulnerabilities | Imperva”. 2022. Learning Center. https://www.imperva.com/learn/application-security/zero-day-exploit/.
“Apple Rushes Out Patches For 0-Days In Macos, Ios”. 2022. Threatpost.Com. https://threatpost.com/apple-rushes-out-patches-0-days-macos-ios/179222/.
“Top 10 Common Types Of Cybersecurity Attacks | Datto Security Solutions”. 2022. Datto.Com. https://www.datto.com/blog/cybersecurity-101-intro-to-the-top-10-common-types-of-cybersecurity-attacks.