Risk
6/14/2010
02:35 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Vulnerability Scanners Must Be Used Carefully

Automated network and Web app vulnerability scanners can make strengthening your business's defenses a lot simpler -- or a lot more complicated, depending on how much you and your team know about their uses. A new report looks at some of the challenges accompanying vulnerability scanning.

Automated network and Web app vulnerability scanners can make strengthening your business's defenses a lot simpler -- or a lot more complicated, depending on how much you and your team know about their uses. A new report looks at some of the challenges accompanying vulnerability scanning.Automated vulnerability scanners, both for network and Web app scans, have attracted a lot of attention lately, both because of their increasing capabilities and ease of use, as well as the growing role risk assessment plays in a thorough business defense strategy.

But just because vulnerability scanners are increasingly easy to use, that doesn't mean they're easy to use well. As with any tool, preparation, practice and proficiency have as much to do with effective vulnerability scans as the tools themselves.

A good new report exploring "The Truth About Vulnerability Scanners" gives a glimpse of some of the most common -- and most commonly mismanaged -- problem areas associated with vulnerability scanners:

Authentication: As with anti-virus definition list, vulnerability identification is only as good as the scanner's authenticated vulnerability list and the points where that list matches vulnerabilities in your company's systems and apps. Your IT team will need to put in the time studying potential vulnerability scanners' authentication tools.

Custom applications: If you're running custom or non-standard programs, be aware that the vulnerability scanner may not be able to detect problems.

Complex attacks and other security issues: Standardization enhances the automated aspects of scanning, but also renders off-the-shelf scanners unable to recognize complex threats and vulnerabilities. Again, your team will be configuring and tweaking a scanner both before and after using it.

Other potential problems include collisions with legacy hardware and software, interruptions of business traffic patterns and failure to inform key personnel that the scan is being run. Recently I took a look at some of these "Vulnerability Scan Do's And Don'ts" for Dark Reading's Vulnerability Management Center.

The complete "Scanning Reality: Limits Of Automated Vulnerability Scanners" report can be downloaded here. (Registration required.)

Don't Miss: SMB Security: Fight The Right Fight

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-2014-3366
Published: 2014-10-31
SQL injection vulnerability in the administrative web interface in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via a crafted response, aka Bug ID CSCup88089.

CVE-2014-3372
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM reports interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCuq90589.

CVE-2014-3373
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM Dialed Number Analyzer interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCup92550.

CVE-2014-3374
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM admin interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCuq90582.

CVE-2014-3375
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM Service interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCuq90597.

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.