Risk
8/11/2010
05:21 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

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
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: So...are we supposed to be the elves or the reindeer?
Current Issue
Five Things Every Business Executive Should Know About Cybersecurity
Don't get lost in security's technical minutiae - a clearer picture of what's at stake can help align business imperatives with technology execution.
Flash Poll
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Dark Reading Strategic Security Report: The Impact of Enterprise Data Breaches
Social engineering, ransomware, and other sophisticated exploits are leading to new IT security compromises every day. Dark Reading's 2016 Strategic Security Survey polled 300 IT and security professionals to get information on breach incidents, the fallout they caused, and how recent events are shaping preparations for inevitable attacks in the coming year. Download this report to get a look at data from the survey and to find out what a breach might mean for your organization.
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-7445
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...

CVE-2015-4948
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.

CVE-2015-5660
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.

CVE-2015-6003
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.

CVE-2015-6333
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
Security researchers are finding that there's a growing market for the vulnerabilities they discover and persistent conundrum as to the right way to disclose them. Dark Reading editors will speak to experts -- Veracode CTO and co-founder Chris Wysopal and HackerOne co-founder and CTO Alex Rice -- about bug bounties and the expanding market for zero-day security vulnerabilities.