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9/11/2017
12:30 PM
Jai Vijayan
Jai Vijayan
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7 Takeaways From The Equifax Data Breach

The exposure of PII belonging to 143 million US consumers raises questions about the continued use of SSNs as identifiers, breach liability and app sec spending.
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Application Vulnerabilities Remain The Achilles Heel

Application-level vulnerabilities have caused far more data breaches in recent years than any other vector. Equifax too blamed its intrusion on an application security issue but the company has not specified what exactly it was. But Baird Equity Research identified the issue as a known security flaw in the open-source Apache Struts framework for Java apps.

If accurate, the report would confirm the consensus opinion among most security analysts that the application vulnerability was something that Equifax should certainly have known about and have been protected against.

The dangers posed by buggy web applications - and the sheer number of vulnerable applications out there - are both well understood. The Open Web Application Security Project's (OWASP's) list of top web application security vulnerabilities have included more or less the same issues for the past several years - meaning that people have had enough time to address them.

Yet, as breaches like the one at Equifax have kept highlighting over the years, clearly many are not paying heed.

(Image Source: Stuart Miles via Shutterstock)

Application Vulnerabilities Remain The Achilles Heel

Application-level vulnerabilities have caused far more data breaches in recent years than any other vector. Equifax too blamed its intrusion on an application security issue but the company has not specified what exactly it was. But Baird Equity Research identified the issue as a known security flaw in the open-source Apache Struts framework for Java apps.

If accurate, the report would confirm the consensus opinion among most security analysts that the application vulnerability was something that Equifax should certainly have known about and have been protected against.

The dangers posed by buggy web applications - and the sheer number of vulnerable applications out there - are both well understood. The Open Web Application Security Project's (OWASP's) list of top web application security vulnerabilities have included more or less the same issues for the past several years - meaning that people have had enough time to address them.

Yet, as breaches like the one at Equifax have kept highlighting over the years, clearly many are not paying heed.

(Image Source: Stuart Miles via Shutterstock)

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REISEN1955
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REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
9/20/2017 | 1:11:19 PM
New Discoveries
Perhaps I am a broken record, but I am amazed at the NEW IT SECURITY PROTOCOL discoveries that are made after every epic event - Delta, Merck, Equifax.  Such concepts are stunning - wow, like nobody thought of education for your user base (email basics) ----- power backup batteries in the bottom of a 42U server rack and a generator farm outside if needed ..... having on and offsite backups that are tested ---  patching applications and patching operating systems.  And always the management view that IT is just JUST an expense line item, so fire all the techs who know something and farm it all out to outsourcing firms that ONLY care about THEIR INVOICING.  Incredible how we shoot ourselves in the feet every single time. 
lunny
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lunny,
User Rank: Strategist
9/20/2017 | 11:55:04 AM
Simplify the Mess
The app vulnerability was just the ingress point.  There are many open windows and unlocked doors that allowed the intruders to move about laterally and vertically throughout the environment.  We'll know more details eventually, as the litigation is sure to push much of the story into the public record.  The intruders got in, hid, obtained privileged credentials, and subsequently enjoyed free reign.  It wasn't hard.

We've got to stop treating servers like pets.  They are cattle.  They should all be standardized and we should build them all at the touch of a button from a single image that is fully patched.  You should be able to do this at any time and in just a few minutes.  It's called orchestration.  We're using orchestration to push out new code, but we are too timid to use it to bake security into the mix.  Despite all of the virtualization and cloud implementatinos, we're still patching servers as if they were all special and physical.  This is insane!  This is why companies cannot realistically patch all of their servers.  They are afraid it will be hard, complex, and things will break.  They're right.  Because every systems administrator, application owner, IT executive, business executive thinks their systems are special.  Well-designed network segmentation and a strong privileged access management regime is critical.

Equifax was simply whistling past the graveyard.  What will be written on their tombstone now?
mrgorle@yahoo.com
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50%
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
9/13/2017 | 9:34:21 AM
Excellent and well written article
Excellent Article Jay.  content and quality of the material is worth spending time eventhough 8 times clicking the clicking the arrow....
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