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Six Ways To Protect Against Zero-Day Attacks

In the last year, a series of viruses and worms that caused damage across the Internet in record time has made very clear how vulnerable our computer systems are. The MS Blaster, Slammer, Sasser, and Korgo.W worms have shown that signature-based antivirus software and traditional firewalls are not enough to protect networks. Everyone is worried about a zero-hour attack — an attack based on a previously unknown vulnerability and completely immune to antivirus software. What can you do to protect your network from such an event? Here are a few ideas:

Use file integrity checking.

File integrity checking tells you if the software you think you have installed on your network is actually what it is supposed to be. There are a number of free utilities to do this — Tripwire is the best known among them. Traditionally, file integrity checking is used is to identify recent changes on a PC. That way, when things go desperately wrong you can try to back out of the latest changes. File integrity checking is also useful for discovering spyware and viruses your antivirus software has missed.

Run new or unknown software in a sandbox.
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