Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


01:00 AM

Security Treadmill

Despite rapid change, many old security problems just keep coming back around

9:00 AM -- When you a work on a news site like Dark Reading, everything seems to be in a rapid state of change. There's news happening every hour. Threats evolve, trends change, paradigms shift. Calling the IT security industry "dynamic" is like calling Bill Gates "well off."

This week, however, we were reminded that many of IT security's biggest problems are not so new. In fact, many of them have been around for years, yet they are not much closer to being resolved than they were a decade ago. Some old nuts, it seems, aren't any easier to crack.

Take, for example, the problems with IPv6, which has been a "next generation" technology since the early 90s. Although IPv6 networks and products have been available for years, researchers are only just now identifying some of the key security problems associated with the technology, and many U.S. enterprises are just beginning to wrestle with the problem. (See Five Security Flaws in IPv6.)

Portable device theft is another old tune, as old as -- well, portable computers themselves. Yet just this week, the Transportation Security Administration bought itself a lawsuit when it lost a hard drive containing personal information on more than 100,000 employees. (See TSA Loses 100,000 Employee Records.) And IT professionals still rank portable device security as one of their top concerns of the year. (See Security's Top Five Priorities.)

Want another old saw? How about intrusion prevention systems? IPS technology has been criticized for falling short of the mark since it first came on the market more than a decade ago. Yet many users continue to rely on IPS for key security functions, and IPS vendors continue to try to put a new face on the technology. (See IPS: Still Playing Catch Up.)

And it's not just a technology problem. Despite reams of Best Practices offering advice on how to administer security, companies are still making the same mistakes, such as allowing a single administrator to completely control the data that goes into an application. Just last week, the SEC reported that such a mistake cost Wireless Facilities more than $7.7 million. (See SEC: WFI Insider Stole $7.7M.)

Hackers, on the other hand, love the fact that users continue to make the same mistakes. Phishers, for example, are using many of the same techniques that coined the term years ago. But according to RSnake's fascinating interview with the phisher known as "lithium," it's still good business. (See The Phisher King.)

With so much change flying around, is security stuck in a rut? It's hard to believe, but at least when it comes to these issues, it certainly seems so. And despite years of new technology and development, some of these problems show no signs of going away.

Are things happening fast in the security industry? You bet. But let's not forget that some of the "latest" problems have been around for years. Otherwise, we'll continue to repeat them.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Firms Improve Threat Detection but Face Increasingly Disruptive Attacks
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  2/20/2020
Ransomware Damage Hit $11.5B in 2019
Dark Reading Staff 2/20/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
Moxa ioLogik 2542-HSPA Series Controllers and IOs, and IOxpress Configuration Utility ioLogik 2500 series firmware, Version 3.0 or lower IOxpress configuration utility, Version 2.3.0 or lower. Sensitive information is stored in configuration files without encryption, which may allow an attacker to a...
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
NetApp FAS 8300/8700 and AFF A400 Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) firmware versions 13.x prior to 13.1P1 were shipped with a default account enabled that could allow unauthorized arbitrary command execution via local access.
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
OnCommand Cloud Manager versions prior to 3.8.0 are susceptible to arbitrary code execution by remote attackers.
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
A vulnerability in the CLI of Cisco FXOS Software could allow an authenticated, local attacker to execute arbitrary commands on the underlying Linux operating system with a privilege level of root on an affected device. The vulnerability is due to insufficient validation of arguments passed to a spe...
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-26
A vulnerability in the NX-API feature of Cisco NX-OS Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause an NX-API system process to unexpectedly restart. The vulnerability is due to incorrect validation of the HTTP header of a request that is sent to the NX-API. An attacker could expl...