Using technology in your practice always introduces a risk. Using software? Of course you are. What you need to know and be aware of is that every type of software out there is prone to software vulnerabilities.
Vendors develop and release software daily. This software is built on code and lots of it. It is here that the risk arises as hackers are constantly looking for loopholes, or “weak points”, in the code that will allow them to breach the system.
Don’t worry, vendors will not abandon you when there are vulnerabilities. As soon as they are aware of the flaw, they will issue a patch to fix the problem. However, before long a new product update unleashes another vulnerability. A patch is released. The cycle continues.
It’s a constant back and forth battle between developers and hackers – with the security of your practice on the line. It is why keeping up with the latest vulnerabilities has to be a top priority for your business. What software is under attack? Are your operating systems vulnerable?
If you are not implementing an ongoing patch management process, then the reality is you are vulnerable. It’s that simple. Yet, attacks stemming from vulnerabilities are avoidable. In Q1 of 2022, 82% of U.S. cyberattacks were a result of vulnerabilities being exploited. It’s a global problem. Don’t let your practice become part of that statistic.
Microsoft, Adobe, Google…what are the latest vulnerabilities? Let’s take a look at the most recent – noted in a warning by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Are These Vulnerabilities in Your Systems? Patch Them!
Microsoft vulnerabilities include those found in Internet Explorer, Microsoft Office and Windows. (Remember, Internet Explorer has been discontinued as of June 2022 and should be removed from all of your computers.)
In vulnerability names you will see “CVE”. This simply stands for Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures. Here are a few Microsoft vulnerabilities to be aware:
- CVE-2012-4969: An IE vulnerability that allows hackers to remotely execute code. The damage that can be brought on by this vulnerability is high, so it is considered critical. Hackers can launch their attacks through websites – therefore sites that you thought were once safe and no longer so.
- CVE-2013-1331: A flaw found in the code for Office 2003 and 2011 for MAC users. Once again, it allows hackers to launch remote attacks. It does so by exploiting a loophole in Microsoft’s buffer overflow function.
- CVE-2012-0151: An issue that impacts the Authenticode Signature Verification function of Windows. It permits user-assisted attacker to execute code on your systems. (The attacker requires an action from the user, such as clicking a malicious link in a phishing email).
Google Chrome, as well as other applications built using the Chromium V8 Engine are also on the list.
- CVE-2016-1646 & CVE-2016-518: This flaw allows attackers to conduct denial of service attacks against websites through remote control. They bombard a website with so much traffic that it crashes.
- CVE-2018-17463 and CVE-2017-5070 also allows the same attacks to happen.
Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the most popular programs for reading and editing pdf documents. It’s no surprise that it also has a few popular vulnerabilities:
- CVE-2009-4324: A flaw in Acrobat Reader that permits hackers to execute remote code via a PDF file. Remember, never trust a pdf file sent from an unreliable source. PDF’s can be used as a means of an attack just like any other file type.
- CVE-2010-1297: This is a memory corruption vulnerability that allows remote execution and denial of service attacks through Adobe Flash Player. Adobe Flash as been discontinued and no longer receives updates. Just like Internet Explorer, it’s time to say goodbye and remove it from your systems.
Using any Netgear routers or devices?
- CVE-2017-6862: A vulnerability that is present in many of Netgear’s products. It allows a hacker to execute code remotely and permits the bypassing of any password authentication.
- CVE-2019-15271: This is a vulnerability in the buffer overflow process of Cisco RV series routers. This issue grants hackers with “root” privileges which means they can do whatever they want and execute whatever code they want with the device.
Always Be Patching & Updating !
These are just some of the latest vulnerabilities on the CISA list. You can see all 36 that were added here.
Wondering how to keep your practice safe from the ongoing vulnerability landscape? The first step is to always patch and update your systems. Ask for help from a trusted IT Professional. They can help you manage all of your updates and help ensure that there isn’t a breach waiting to happen.
Automate Your Cybersecurity Today
Patch Management is just one way that we can automate your cybersecurity. Learn how by reaching out for a free consult.