There is a high level of Importance of patching security vulnerabilities urgently upon Discovery on any Corporate Network Environment.
This is as Highlighted in the case of Apache Airflow servers at leading tech firms leaking thousands of credentials. Something which highlights the importance of prompt patching. The latter also demonstrates how simple misconfiguration flaws and going with the “default” configuration options can spill out secrets.
Path Traversal flaws are not to be underestimated either. Despite repeated reminders and advisories issued by Fortinet, the years-old VPN firewall vulnerability (CVE-2018-13379). The flaws continues to be exploited even today, because many entities are behind on patching.
This year, attackers exploited the Fortinet past traversal flaw to leak passwords from over 500,000 VPNs. That’s 10 times the number of VPN firewalls that were compromised last year through the same exploit.
There are three takeaways from incidents like these, which highlight the Importance of patching security vulnerabilities urgently:
- The active exploitation of assets begins almost immediately after vulnerability disclosures, even the most well-coordinated ones, are made public. Although for zero-days, the active exploitation precedes vulnerability disclosures making the scenario even worse.
- Attackers eye public exploits and constantly mass scan networks for applications vulnerable to new and years-old Flaws. Also popular flaws such as the Fortinet VPN vulnerability.
- Not every fix may be sufficient: Just because a vendor claims to release a fix for a vulnerability, doesn’t always mean the fix is adequate or complete. As Seen in the case of Apache’s Path Traversal zero-day. Clever threat actors can sometimes find a workaround to bypass a security fix.
Therefore, while the traditional advice to regularly update your applications to properly vetted fixed versions remains applicable, security professionals are constantly racing against cybercriminals and time, and have to be proactive.
The same goes for developers building the software applications the world relies on.
Manually monitoring CVE feeds and hard-to-find vulnerability disclosures, and then applying mitigations is no longer feasible, when your time should be going towards doing what you love: building kick-ass software.
Put simply, it’s just easier for an automated tool, such as Sonatype Lift, to block vulnerable libraries, or even a simple vulnerable line of code, from entering your software releases. Solutions like Nexus Container provide a comprehensive approach to secrets management and configuration assessment, further extending runtime threat protection and access control to your production containers.