Risk
8/11/2010
05:21 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
Repost This

Post Patch Tuesday. Don't Stop There

While you may be well underway testing and deploying this month's hefty batch of patches from Redmond, it's never too soon to ask: how secure do the rest of your applications and servers look?

While you may be well underway testing and deploying this month's hefty batch of patches from Redmond, it's never too soon to ask: how secure do the rest of your applications and servers look?There's no reason to go through all of this trouble month after month deploying all of these Microsoft patches only to leave the rest of your servers and applications porous and open to anyone who has read a beginner's book about Web application hacking. Unfortunately, that's what many medium-sized enterprises tend to do. And there's really no reason for it, beyond not taking the time to cover the security basics.

Here a few steps that can be taken to get your organization headed in the right direction:

Harden Servers. Review your vendor guidance on how to keep the servers secured and establish an acceptable configuration. Test that configuration before deployment into production: turn off unnecessary services, make sure patches are up to date, change manufacture passwords. NIST maintains its 800 series documents, of interest to those responsible for IT security. Check out SP800-123, Guide to General Server Security. Next: make sure they stay hard.

Vulnerability Assessments. Outsource or do-it-yourself: run vulnerability assessments across your infrastructure to: make certain you're aware of all networked devices that are active and to identify and prioritize vulnerabilities that need remediation on those systems. One of the keys to a successful vulnerability management program is repetition: identify vulnerabilities, prioritize, remediate, validate remediation - and repeat.

Review Your Code. In addition to network scans, it's vital to have your application code evaluated for flaws (either by someone trained in-house, or by a consultant familiar with web application security.). The most effective way to build secure applications is to build applications with security as part of the process throughout. That includes from application design through development. With additional careful security testing before moving to production and then throughout maintenance: one wants to build security into the Software Development Life-cycle (SDLC). Microsoft has provided guidance on getting started with what it calls the Secure Development Lifecycle. And the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has plenty of resources on the subject as well.

So while you labor through the pain of patching your systems with these 34 patches, save some energy to test your other applications and to make sure your servers are snug. Otherwise, you're really just wasting your time.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, find me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2012-3946
Published: 2014-04-24
Cisco IOS before 15.3(2)S allows remote attackers to bypass interface ACL restrictions in opportunistic circumstances by sending IPv6 packets in an unspecified scenario in which expected packet drops do not occur for "a small percentage" of the packets, aka Bug ID CSCty73682.

CVE-2012-5723
Published: 2014-04-24
Cisco ASR 1000 devices with software before 3.8S, when BDI routing is enabled, allow remote attackers to cause a denial of service (device reload) via crafted (1) broadcast or (2) multicast ICMP packets with fragmentation, aka Bug ID CSCub55948.

CVE-2013-6738
Published: 2014-04-24
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in IBM SmartCloud Analytics Log Analysis 1.1 and 1.2 before 1.2.0.0-CSI-SCALA-IF0003 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via an invalid query parameter in a response from an OAuth authorization endpoint.

CVE-2014-0188
Published: 2014-04-24
The openshift-origin-broker in Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise 2.0.5, 1.2.7, and earlier does not properly handle authentication requests from the remote-user auth plugin, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication and impersonate arbitrary users via the X-Remote-User header in a request to...

CVE-2014-2391
Published: 2014-04-24
The password recovery service in Open-Xchange AppSuite before 7.2.2-rev20, 7.4.1 before 7.4.1-rev11, and 7.4.2 before 7.4.2-rev13 makes an improper decision about the sensitivity of a string representing a previously used but currently invalid password, which allows remote attackers to obtain potent...

Best of the Web