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

8/23/2013
05:39 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Nearly One-Fifth Of Enterprise Operating Systems Not Fully Patched

Less than half of organizations run malicious code execution prevention tools, Rapid7 survey finds

One in five IT professionals say they either have not fully patched their organizations' endpoint operating systems -- or they aren't sure whether the machines are up-to-date.

A fully patched operating system is the "minimum bar" for any organization, says Matt Hathaway, senior product manager with Rapid7, which today released results of a survey of 600 IT pros on their enterprises' endpoint security practices. Some 83 percent say their endpoint OSes are fully patched.

"Seventeen percent [with unpatched OSes] is unsettling as we really consider patching your OS to be the minimum bar for an organization's patching process," Hathaway says. "Our assumption is that this can be explained by the challenge of getting broad organizational buy-in for a consistent patching process and a disconnect between the security and IT teams. In some cases, availability is prioritized over patching: for example in the healthcare sector, where treatment is 24/7."

Another red flag from the survey: Fifty-four percent don't or don't know whether they run code execution prevention tools on their machines (think Microsoft's Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit). Of that group, 30 percent don't run these tools, and 24 percent don't know if they do.

Even though Microsoft regularly mentions EMET in its security blog, security pros still don't seem to be in the know much about it or its benefits, Hathaway says. "Additionally, a lot of our customers have stated that they never bothered implementing [EMET] 3.5 tech preview or the 4.0 beta because they were waiting for a final release. So the long lull may very well explain why our survey results show that EMET is not broadly used only a few months after the 4.0 final release."

The good news is that 96 percent of organizations run antivirus on their endpoints, and 90 percent say their email systems are configured to block suspicious attachments. That means a large number of businesses are employing tools to stop malware from hitting their endpoints, Hathaway says.

Around 16 percent don't require their users to select complex passwords that expire at regular intervals, and 2 percent don't know whether their organizations have this policy. "The fact that only 81 percent of respondents enforce complex, expiring passwords makes us question whether the industry debate over the effectiveness of passwords is being misconstrued to mean they are a waste of time," Rapid7's Hathaway says.

The full Rapid7 endpoint security survey is available here (PDF) for download.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Add Your Comment" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message.

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
plutoisgone
50%
50%
plutoisgone,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/28/2013 | 3:00:35 PM
re: Nearly One-Fifth Of Enterprise Operating Systems Not Fully Patched
I am surprised of the high number of people who say they are patched. I
believe some are not telling the whole truth because another recent
study by a MUCH larger and more trusted organization said that over 50%
of their studied results found organizations were still using the JAVA
release from over a year ago (which has known toolkits). And we all know that JAVA and Adobe are the nemesis of our lives. Maybe this study should be done by an "independent" firm.
When It Comes To Security Tools, More Isn't More
Lamont Orange, Chief Information Security Officer at Netskope,  1/11/2021
US Capitol Attack a Wake-up Call for the Integration of Physical & IT Security
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  1/11/2021
IoT Vendor Ubiquiti Suffers Data Breach
Dark Reading Staff 1/11/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2020: The Year in Security
Download this Tech Digest for a look at the biggest security stories that - so far - have shaped a very strange and stressful year.
Flash Poll
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
Assessing Cybersecurity Risk in Today's Enterprises
COVID-19 has created a new IT paradigm in the enterprise -- and a new level of cybersecurity risk. This report offers a look at how enterprises are assessing and managing cyber-risk under the new normal.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-25533
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
An issue was discovered in Malwarebytes before 4.0 on macOS. A malicious application was able to perform a privileged action within the Malwarebytes launch daemon. The privileged service improperly validated XPC connections by relying on the PID instead of the audit token. An attacker can construct ...
CVE-2021-3162
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
Docker Desktop Community before 2.5.0.0 on macOS mishandles certificate checking, leading to local privilege escalation.
CVE-2021-21242
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
OneDev is an all-in-one devops platform. In OneDev before version 4.0.3, there is a critical vulnerability which can lead to pre-auth remote code execution. AttachmentUploadServlet deserializes untrusted data from the `Attachment-Support` header. This Servlet does not enforce any authentication or a...
CVE-2021-21245
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
OneDev is an all-in-one devops platform. In OneDev before version 4.0.3, AttachmentUploadServlet also saves user controlled data (`request.getInputStream()`) to a user specified location (`request.getHeader("File-Name")`). This issue may lead to arbitrary file upload which can be used to u...
CVE-2021-21246
PUBLISHED: 2021-01-15
OneDev is an all-in-one devops platform. In OneDev before version 4.0.3, the REST UserResource endpoint performs a security check to make sure that only administrators can list user details. However for the `/users/` endpoint there are no security checks enforced so it is possible to retrieve ar...