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.

Endpoint

7/2/2018
10:30 AM
David DeSanto
David DeSanto
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail vvv
100%
0%

Preparing for Transport Layer Security 1.3

The long-awaited encryption standard update is almost here. Get ready while you can to ensure security, interoperability, and performance.

Despite what may seem like draft after draft of specifications, along with continuous proclamations of "it's almost here!," the latest encryption standard, TLS v1.3, really is almost ready. The Network Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force has pushed to make Draft 28 of TLS v1.3 the final standard.

In addition, OpenSSL added Draft 28 to the pre-release version of its 1.1.1 software library; Google's Chrome browser added support for Draft 28, beginning with version 65; and Draft 28 is already enabled by default when accessing Gmail (using Chrome). Because TLS v1.3 will be here officially before you know it, now is the time to prepare.

Every organization should be focusing on three crucial issues to ensure the appropriate level of security, interoperability, and performance:

  1. How to handle zero round-trip-time resumption (0-RTT)
  2. Preparing for downgrades to TLS v1.2
  3. The need for infrastructure and application testing

Worth the Round Trip?
One highly discussed feature of TLS v1.3 is the 0-RTT option, which has the potential to significantly increase performance during an encrypted session between endpoints. Even without 0-RTT, TLS v1.3 speeds connection time between a client and server with a slimmer handshake protocol. Secure web communications using TLS v1.2 require two round trips between the client and server prior to the client making an HTTP request and the server generating a response. TLS v1.3 reduces the requirement to one round trip — which is only one round trip more than a simple nonencrypted HTTP transaction — and offers the ability to inherit trust to accomplish zero round trips, or 0-RTT.

Although the 0-RTT option potentially provides better performance, it creates a significant security risk. With 0-RTT, a transaction becomes easy prey for a replay attack, in which a threat actor can intercept an encrypted client message and resend it to the server, tricking the server into improperly extending trust to the threat actor and thus potentially granting the threat actor access to sensitive data.

Organizations should therefore be wary of allowing or using 0-RTT in their services and applications, due to the potential security risks. Developers need to be particularly attentive to this issue because it requires proactive configuration to ensure security. Unless your application or access is highly sensitive to latency, the new option is not worth the security risk.

Don't Let the Downgrade Drag Security Down
One of the great benefits of TLS v1.3 is that it eliminates support for legacy encryption standards and cipher suites. It allows backward compatibility to TLS v1.2, which, of course, is essential for transitioning to the new standard and to ensure interoperability. Before allowing a fallback to TLS v1.2, however, it is important to review your security settings. Any TLS v1.2 implementation must be configured to support higher security standards. Select strong cipher suites, including ones that leverage elliptic curve key exchange, use large asymmetric keys, and implement perfect forward secrecy. Disabling the lower cryptographic algorithms will help prevent security breaches such as man-in-the-middle attacks.

Testing 1, 2, 3…
Now is the time to be testing your infrastructure and applications for TLS v1.3 compatibility. Changing to this new encryption standard may be disruptive, and you will want to get ahead of any problems or issues. Test for interoperability, security, and performance in a combined, holistic manner, rather than as a series of separate tests that may encourage undesirable trade-offs in decision-making and implementation. Leverage highly realistic traffic mixes and require them to fully emulate your traffic's characteristics including the appropriate levels of encrypted traffic. Validate how internal and external users will interact with your systems and consider what this change in encryption may mean for an employee, customer, partner, or any other relevant stakeholder.

Test network clients, including mobile devices and tablets. Test servers, including any supporting equipment. Test all components of security equipment, including identity and access management systems, next-generation firewalls and data center firewalls, web proxies and SSL/TLS visibility solutions, IDS/IPS and endpoint security. Test storage and backup, both on-site and cloud-based. Test networking infrastructure, including wireless access points, any cloud resources, and anything else that might be involved with encrypted communication. Consider all applications, including email.

There is much to look forward to with TLS v1.3. New levels of security and performance will benefit everyone and address many issues with current encryption, despite the challenges. If you stay ahead of the process, you can transform changes into opportunities for improvement rather than problems that disrupt your business.

Related Content:

Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable CISOs and IT security experts in a setting that is conducive to interaction and conversation. Register before July 27 and save $700! Click for more info

David DeSanto is a security expert with more than 15 years of security research, software development, and product strategy experience. At Spirent, David focuses on driving innovation by looking holistically at security testing and defining product requirements with the ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
News
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Commentary
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-27734
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
Hirschmann HiOS 07.1.01, 07.1.02, and 08.1.00 through 08.5.xx and HiSecOS 03.3.00 through 03.5.01 allow remote attackers to change the credentials of existing users.
CVE-2021-27342
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
An authentication brute-force protection mechanism bypass in telnetd in D-Link Router model DIR-842 firmware version 3.0.2 allows a remote attacker to circumvent the anti-brute-force cool-down delay period via a timing-based side-channel attack
CVE-2021-31727
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
Incorrect access control in zam64.sys, zam32.sys in MalwareFox AntiMalware 2.74.0.150 where IOCTL's 0x80002014, 0x80002018 expose unrestricted disk read/write capabilities respectively. A non-privileged process can open a handle to \.\ZemanaAntiMalware, register with the driver using IOCTL 0x8000201...
CVE-2021-31728
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
Incorrect access control in zam64.sys, zam32.sys in MalwareFox AntiMalware 2.74.0.150 allows a non-privileged process to open a handle to \.\ZemanaAntiMalware, register itself with the driver by sending IOCTL 0x80002010, allocate executable memory using a flaw in IOCTL 0x80002040, install a hook wit...
CVE-2021-32402
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-17
Intelbras Router RF 301K Firmware 1.1.2 is vulnerable to Cross Site Request Forgery (CSRF) due to lack of validation and insecure configurations in inputs and modules.