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July 16, 2021

Why are Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Becoming More Common?

by Brett Muscio in Security

Cybersecurity and ethical hacking have come a long way in the past decade. However, the gap between security solutions and hackers is still very transparent. Even with the best security practices and modern analysis tools, we’re seeing many zero-day vulnerabilities being discovered every day. Zero-day vulnerabilities are those that weren’t previously known to the manufacturer or the client.

There are several reasons for which zero-day vulnerabilities are becoming more and more common every day. This article will explore why these vulnerabilities still exist and what we can do to reduce them.

Primary Reasons for Seeing an Increase in the Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

1. Availability of Resources

As cybersecurity is gaining more and more heat in the IT space, the number of resources available in the field is also increasing. The issue with the increasing resources is that most cybersecurity resources are not entirely focused on defense. Ethical hacking is a part of cybersecurity. However, since there is no way to monitor these resources, hackers gain access to these resources and improve their skills.

Even though the abundant availability of resources is a major issue, we cannot take down any of them because they’re not illegal. It just depends on how the learner chooses to implement them.

2. Skill Gap in the Cybersecurity Industry

Currently, there is a significant skill gap in the cybersecurity industry. IBM estimated that there would be more than 6 million unfilled security jobs by the end of 2022. Since most of the Zero Day vulnerabilities are found in modern tools and software, it may not be possible to counter the zero-day vulnerabilities without closing the skill gap.

The dynamic nature of the security field is not helping freshers much in the field. Most companies require the applicants to have some sort of security certification which may not be easy for early professionals.

3. Secure Designs

Secure designs, or rather the lack of them, is another primary reason for the increasing number of zero-day vulnerabilities. New apps and software programs are being released every day all over the world. However, not a lot of these apps are securely designed to prevent any exploits. The lack of a secure design is leading to a lot of undiscovered vulnerabilities in thousands of applications.

What Can We do to Counter Zero-Day Vulnerabilities?

The one thing that we can do to mitigate zero-day vulnerabilities is to follow safe design practices. Wrong implementations are one of the major causes of the discovery of zero-day vulnerabilities. If we manage to cover that gap, we can reduce a lot of zero-day vulnerabilities.

We can do a few more things to prevent zero-day vulnerabilities, like promoting cyber defense instead of offense, starting bug bounty programs, etc.

However, we may continue to see more zero-day vulnerabilities unless the skill gap in the industry is closed.

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