Risk
8/11/2010
05:21 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
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
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7298
Published: 2014-10-24
adsetgroups in Centrify Server Suite 2008 through 2014.1 and Centrify DirectControl 3.x through 4.2.0 on Linux and UNIX allows local users to read arbitrary files with root privileges by leveraging improperly protected setuid functionality.

CVE-2014-8346
Published: 2014-10-24
The Remote Controls feature on Samsung mobile devices does not validate the source of lock-code data received over a network, which makes it easier for remote attackers to cause a denial of service (screen locking with an arbitrary code) by triggering unexpected Find My Mobile network traffic.

CVE-2014-0619
Published: 2014-10-23
Untrusted search path vulnerability in Hamster Free ZIP Archiver 2.0.1.7 allows local users to execute arbitrary code and conduct DLL hijacking attacks via a Trojan horse dwmapi.dll that is located in the current working directory.

CVE-2014-2230
Published: 2014-10-23
Open redirect vulnerability in the header function in adclick.php in OpenX 2.8.10 and earlier allows remote attackers to redirect users to arbitrary web sites and conduct phishing attacks via a URL in the (1) dest parameter to adclick.php or (2) _maxdest parameter to ck.php.

CVE-2014-7281
Published: 2014-10-23
Cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerability in Shenzhen Tenda Technology Tenda A32 Router with firmware 5.07.53_CN allows remote attackers to hijack the authentication of administrators for requests that reboot the device via a request to goform/SysToolReboot.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.