10:22 AM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell

One Degree Of Vulnerability Separation

No aspect of your business data is more than one degree removed from theft, cybercrime or compromise, and maybe it can't ever be.

No surprise that a survey of more than 250 IT professionals showed zero-day attacks as their number one concern. And even less of one that they identified managing the human element as the major factor complicating zero-day responses.

Just like they complicate everything else.You know what they're talking about -- your employees or co-workers, your off-site staff or on-site visitors, your vendors, maybe your boss.

And maybe... you.

Everyone in your company, in other words, who has a computer, has access to a networked computer, or even those who sit near someone who has access but doesn't have enough sense or discipline to log off when away from the screen. (Look beneath enough employees' desks and it shouldn't take long to find one that has, in addition to gum and God-knows-what-else, a password or two Post-It pasted to its underside.)

Got mobile employees? Got mobile employee security probelms.

Add the spouses, family members, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers and mistresses who get even occasional access to one of your company's computers, the fantasy football teams and NCAA pool members, the porn surfers, the PTOs and church or volunteer groups your staff "helps out" with "just a little" computer time, and...

And you get the picture.

So do the zero-day exploiters, not to mention the hackers (who placed a distant second on the survey's threat concerns), the phishers, the fraudsters, the resurgent e-extortionists.

Don't forget the dishonest, disgruntled or dismissed employees. And don't forget their thumb drives!

Time as well to bear in mind that the cybercrime playing field is increasingly attracting organized online Sopranos/Corleones, and attracting them from across the globe.

Six degrees of Kevin Bacon has nothing on what your company's data's up against. You're at best one degree -- one big flaw in an app, one unpatched machine after the flaw's discovered, one leaked password or untended log-on, one grabbed-and-gone notebook, one ticked-off worker -- away from an annoying intrusion at best, a catastrophe at worst.

One degree.

At most.

I haven't even come close to scratching the surface of the security vulnerabilities faced by your company, your employees, your customers, your family, you-pick-what-comes next.

We'll be scratching deeper in the days, weeks, months ahead, and our scratchings will take us in some interesting, surprising and unsuspected directions.

There's more -- far more -- to computer security than vulnerabilities, patches and passwords, and we'll be exploring all of it.

Because none it is more than one degree removed from you and your business.No aspect of your business data is more than one degree removed from theft, cybercrime or compromise, and maybe it can't ever be.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Post a Comment
Current Issue
Security Operations and IT Operations: Finding the Path to Collaboration
A wide gulf has emerged between SOC and NOC teams that's keeping both of them from assuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of IT systems. Here's how experts think it should be bridged.
Flash Poll
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
New Best Practices for Secure App Development
The transition from DevOps to SecDevOps is combining with the move toward cloud computing to create new challenges - and new opportunities - for the information security team. Download this report, to learn about the new best practices for secure application development.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
Published: 2015-10-15
The Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) subsystem in the Linux kernel through 4.x mishandles requests for Graphics Execution Manager (GEM) objects, which allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (memory consumption) via an application that processes graphics data, as demonstrated b...

Published: 2015-10-15
netstat in IBM AIX 5.3, 6.1, and 7.1 and VIOS 2.2.x, when a fibre channel adapter is used, allows local users to gain privileges via unspecified vectors.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in eXtplorer before 2.1.8 allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of arbitrary users for requests that execute PHP code.

Published: 2015-10-15
Directory traversal vulnerability in QNAP QTS before 4.1.4 build 0910 and 4.2.x before 4.2.0 RC2 build 0910, when AFP is enabled, allows remote attackers to read or write to arbitrary files by leveraging access to an OS X (1) user or (2) guest account.

Published: 2015-10-15
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) 1.1j allows local users to gain privileges via vectors involving addition of an SSH key, aka Bug ID CSCuw46076.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
In past years, security researchers have discovered ways to hack cars, medical devices, automated teller machines, and many other targets. Dark Reading Executive Editor Kelly Jackson Higgins hosts researcher Samy Kamkar and Levi Gundert, vice president of threat intelligence at Recorded Future, to discuss some of 2016's most unusual and creative hacks by white hats, and what these new vulnerabilities might mean for the coming year.