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.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

Most Security Products Don't Initially Work As Intended, Study Says

In certification tests, many products fail in functionality or logging, ICSA/Verizon reports

Nearly 80 percent of security products fail to perform as intended when first tested -- and most require two or more cycles of testing before achieving certification, according to a new report from ICSA Labs, which performs security product testing.

The ICSA Labs Product Assurance Report -- a first-of-its-kind study co-authored by ICSA and the Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report research team -- offers insights from ICSA's tests of thousands of security products from the past 20 years.

According to the report, the main reason why a security product fails during initial testing is that it does not adequately perform as intended. Across seven product categories, core product functionality accounted for 78 percent of initial test failures -- for example, an antivirus product failing to prevent infection or an intrusion prevention system product failing to filter malicious traffic.

The failure of a security product to completely and accurately log data was the second most common reason for test failure, according to the report. Fifty-eight percent of failures were attributed to incomplete or inaccurate logging of who did what -- and when, ICSA said.

The report findings suggest some vendors and enterprise users consider logging a nuisance. According to the report, logging is a particular challenge for firewalls. Almost every network firewall (97 percent) or Web application firewall (80 percent) tested by ICSA experienced at least one logging problem.

The third most significant reason for test failure was inherent security problems in the products themselves, including vulnerabilities that compromise the confidentiality or integrity of the system, ICSA said. The product categories studied were antivirus, network firewall, Web application firewall, network IPS, IPSec VPN, SSL VPN, and custom testing.

"Our goal is to help vendors develop more secure products," said George Japak, managing director of ICSA Labs and a co-author of the report. "When a product fails, we encourage vendors to view that as an opportunity to improve the product before it goes to market."

Only 4 percent of products tested attained ICSA certification during the first testing cycle, the report says. However, 82 percent of products resubmitted for testing eventually earn ICSA Labs certification, the testing service said. Once a vendor earns certification, products are required to undergo ongoing testing to maintain certification.

The study also identified several other issues with the security products tested, including poor product documentation and problems involving patching.

The report recommends that enterprises should be wary of vendor performance claims and numbers, and advises the use of more established products over newer, less-tested security products.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Data Leak Week: Billions of Sensitive Files Exposed Online
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/10/2019
Intel Issues Fix for 'Plundervolt' SGX Flaw
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  12/11/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
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
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-5252
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
There is an improper authentication vulnerability in Huawei smartphones (Y9, Honor 8X, Honor 9 Lite, Honor 9i, Y6 Pro). The applock does not perform a sufficient authentication in a rare condition. Successful exploit could allow the attacker to use the application locked by applock in an instant.
CVE-2019-5235
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-14
Some Huawei smart phones have a null pointer dereference vulnerability. An attacker crafts specific packets and sends to the affected product to exploit this vulnerability. Successful exploitation may cause the affected phone to be abnormal.
CVE-2019-5264
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
There is an information disclosure vulnerability in certain Huawei smartphones (Mate 10;Mate 10 Pro;Honor V10;Changxiang 7S;P-smart;Changxiang 8 Plus;Y9 2018;Honor 9 Lite;Honor 9i;Mate 9). The software does not properly handle certain information of applications locked by applock in a rare condition...
CVE-2019-5277
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Huawei CloudUSM-EUA V600R006C10;V600R019C00 have an information leak vulnerability. Due to improper configuration, the attacker may cause information leak by successful exploitation.
CVE-2019-5254
PUBLISHED: 2019-12-13
Certain Huawei products (AP2000;IPS Module;NGFW Module;NIP6300;NIP6600;NIP6800;S5700;SVN5600;SVN5800;SVN5800-C;SeMG9811;Secospace AntiDDoS8000;Secospace USG6300;Secospace USG6500;Secospace USG6600;USG6000V;eSpace U1981) have an out-of-bounds read vulnerability. An attacker who logs in to the board m...