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A zero day vulnerability is a type of unknown or unanticipated software flaw or security hole in an IT system that can be exploited by hackers. On a given day, IT professionals may refer to a number of zero day vulnerabilities.
The term relies on the common use of the term "zero day" to describe the first day a specific IT problem is recognized. Zero day also serves as a benchmark for addressing these kinds of software problems. In the tech world, a zero day vulnerability describes the urgency of these types of IT problems.
Typically, IT and security professionals should look for upgrades or patches that resolve zero day vulnerabilities before the fact, or alter systems to tighten data and asset security. In short, when a vendor does not provide security for an issue that is discovered and branded a zero day vulnerability, it is born into the consciousness of developers and security communities, enabling future rapid responses required by organizations for adequate network security.