A study of 15 vulnerability remediation projects finds only one third of time is actually spent fixing flaws. Here's how to use that extra time more efficiently.
Anonymous: 10 Facts About The Hacktivist Group
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
It takes less than 10 minutes at the keyboard to fix a cross-site scripting vulnerability, but any company that expects a remediation project to follow a simple calculus is in for a surprise.
On average, the actual programming accounts for only a third of the total time in any effort to fix vulnerabilities, application development expert Daniel Cornell told RSA attendees on Thursday. A principal at the Denim Group, a software security consultancy, Cornell tracked 15 vulnerability remediation projects and discovered that fixing the vulnerability accounted for anywhere from 15 to nearly 60 percent of the total development time, with an average of 29 percent.
"It's not just the time spent on the keyboard that you have to watch out for--there is a lot outside of that as well," he says. "The [vulnerability] may only take five minutes to fix, but then there [are] a lot of other hoops to jump through for--in some cases--the other 85 percent of the time."
Setting up the development environment took up to a third of some remediation projects, while confirming the fixes took up to 44 percent of project time. While the data makes up a small sample size, it can help companies take a better approach to fixing vulnerabilities in their code and reduce the time--and thus, the cost--spent on projects.
With more than two-thirds of a remediation project spent off the keyboard, a good way to reduce costs is to make non-programming activities more efficient, Cornell says. Having an automated way to stand up a development environment can cut, on average, one-sixth off the project time, and efficiently confirming fixes can eliminate another quarter of the overhead.
"In some cases, confirming the fixes and doing quality assurance took longer than fixing the actual vulnerability," Cornell says.
InformationWeek is conducting a survey on information security and risk management. Upon completion of our survey, you will be eligible to enter a drawing to receive an 64-GB Apple iPad 2. Take our Alternative Strategic Security Survey now. Survey ends March 9.
Published: 2015-03-02 The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a module name in the salg_name field, a different vulnerability than CVE-2014-9644.
Published: 2015-03-02 net/netfilter/nf_conntrack_proto_generic.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18 generates incorrect conntrack entries during handling of certain iptables rule sets for the SCTP, DCCP, GRE, and UDP-Lite protocols, which allows remote attackers to bypass intended access restrictions via packets with disall...
Published: 2015-03-02 The Crypto API in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5 allows local users to load arbitrary kernel modules via a bind system call for an AF_ALG socket with a parenthesized module template expression in the salg_name field, as demonstrated by the vfat(aes) expression, a different vulnerability than CVE-201...
Published: 2015-03-02 The em_sysenter function in arch/x86/kvm/emulate.c in the Linux kernel before 3.18.5, when the guest OS lacks SYSENTER MSR initialization, allows guest OS users to gain guest OS privileges or cause a denial of service (guest OS crash) by triggering use of a 16-bit code segment for emulation of a SYS...
Published: 2015-03-01 The IBM Notes Traveler Companion application 1.0 and 1.1 before 201411010515 for Window Phone, as distributed in IBM Notes Traveler 9.0.1, does not properly restrict the number of executions of the automatic configuration option, which makes it easier for remote attackers to capture credentials by c...
How can security professionals better engage with their peers, both in person and online? In this Dark Reading Radio show, we will talk to leaders at some of the security industry’s professional organizations about how security pros can get more involved – with their colleagues in the same industry, with their peers in other industries, and with the IT security community as a whole.