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.

Five Easiest Ways to Get Hacked Part 2
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2015 | 6:11:41 PM
Re: Vulnerability Standpoint

This is a great question and it's something Amit discusses a bit in his Low Hanging Fruits: The Top Five Easiest Ways to Hack or Get Hacked whitepaper (link in blog). In my personal experience, SMB's tend to have almost zero awareness of the threats or their vulnerabilities. They don't really have a geek culture (unless the owner happens to be one) that really participates in the community, that lives and breathes this stuff. I think you can take an affordable approach to achieve SOME level of security. It doesn't take an enterprise-level effort or tool to secure an SMB.

From a purely vulnerability standpoint SMBs would typically look for high value in return for the time and money they invest. My suggestion is to use a scan policy that performs checks only for vulnerabilities, which have an exploit available, or alternatively you can filter the results of a full vulnerability scan to only those which have exploits. This would provide a shorter and more manageable list of actionable items, and you can start with addressing the critical/high risk findings first. Also, for an SMB it will be very valuable to invest in a software for patch management (including non-Microsoft patches), otherwise it becomes too big and discouraging of a problem to solve for most organizations. Lastly, SMBs should use a maturity model based approach to plan where they currently stand and where they would like to go. This would need a thorough understanding of what an organization is trying to protect, and what people, process and technology controls they can put in place to achieve the security level they would like.

Consider the following:

  • Nessus is $1,500/ year, and a very good tool used by almost everyone at all levels of security maturity. It helps find missing patches, default configurations and accounts, etc. For a homogeneous Windows environment (typical for SMB), the "Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer" is a reasonable start, and not so complicated that just a little IT know-how can't handle the tasks.
  • Microsoft now ships with some basic AV and anti-malware protection built-in, but it's not centrally manageable (less of a problem a problem for a small shop).

Some ISP's offer services to help filter e-mail as well so you might be subject fewer attacks on that vector as well. And, don't run or open anything you get that you don't absolutely trust... Also, having someone local (a small consultancy) help with setting baseline configurations for servers and workstations would help, and vendors provide a lot of guidance for both applications and the OS, especially since most small business these days run some version of Windows.


Joe Stanganelli
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
3/2/2015 | 12:11:10 AM
Testing patches
An important yet oft overlooked aspect of a good patch management strategy: implement everything in a testbed first.  Test everything with everything.  Otherwise, you could really screw things up -- especially in a multi-vendor environment.

Verizon learned this lesson (so we might hope) the hard way last summer when its billing system suffered a multi-day outage because of its failure to test updates.
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2015 | 9:25:23 AM
Vulnerability Standpoint
From a vulnerability standpoint, it may be difficult to dedicate the bandwidth required for assessment and remediation.It's an ongoing process and is a multi-team faceted endeavor. What tips do you have for small to medium sized organizations that are trying to increase their security posture through their vulnerability remediation effort?

Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
Exploits Released for As-Yet Unpatched Critical Citrix Flaw
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  1/13/2020
Microsoft to Officially End Support for Windows 7, Server 2008
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/13/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: This comment is waiting for review by our moderators.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
[Just Released] How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A memory usage vulnerability exists in Trend Micro Password Manager 3.8 that could allow an attacker with access and permissions to the victim's memory processes to extract sensitive information.
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A RootCA vulnerability found in Trend Micro Password Manager for Windows and macOS exists where the localhost.key of RootCA.crt might be improperly accessed by an unauthorized party and could be used to create malicious self-signed SSL certificates, allowing an attacker to misdirect a user to phishi...
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
An arbitrary code execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2019 (v15) consumer family of products which could allow an attacker to gain elevated privileges and tamper with protected services by disabling or otherwise preventing them to start. An attacker must already have administr...
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
A Persistent Arbitrary Code Execution vulnerability exists in the Trend Micro Security 2020 (v160 and 2019 (v15) consumer familiy of products which could potentially allow an attacker the ability to create a malicious program to escalate privileges and attain persistence on a vulnerable system.
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-18
An issue was discovered in Amcrest Web Server 2.520.AC00.18.R 2017-06-29 WEB The login page responds with JavaScript when one tries to authenticate. An attacker who changes the result parameter (to true) in this JavaScript code can bypass authentication and achieve limited privileges (...