Missing Patches Place Security At Risk

Cyber security is both a driver and a major barrier to public sector IT modernisation, according to new research from BAE Systems about cyber security concerns in the UK public sector. Forget the stealthy hacker deploying a never-before-seen zero day to bring down your network. IT security professionals admit that one in three breaches are the result of vulnerabilities that they should have already patched.

Software vendors are constantly publishing new patches to fix problems in software that they have sold. It's then up to the users of the software to apply the patches, or else risk leaving themselves open to attack via the backdoors that the vendors failed to spot when building the product in the first place. 

BAe Systems surveyed 250 managers with IT responsibility in UK central governmental organisations, to better understand the interplay between security and digital transformation. 

The results have revealed that most (60%) UK government departments have digital transformation plans in place and that these have been accelerated in the majority of cases by the pandemic. Mitigating the risk of vulnerabilities was cited by three-quarters (75%) of respondents as the main reason for driving these legacy upgrades. This finding is supported by current experience. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents said they suffered a security incident in the past six months and over half of these (52%) came as a result of missing patches. 

The mass exploitation of unpatched Microsoft Exchange Server bugs earlier this year is proof of the potentially disruptive impact of such threats.

Security was also cited by 68% of respondents as a barrier to upgrades, second only to integration issues (69%). According to BAe Systems findings, greater collaboration between IT and security and a recognition of the urgent need for security enhancements in certain areas can give projects a push. “The lack of integration between legacy IT and modern security solutions was the top data protection risk highlighted by respondents (53%), although “managing risk” came top in the NHS (55%) and “securing traffic flows” was the number one issue for public administration officials (61%)”.

Top of the priority list for IT decision makers in central government is simplifying their security architecture (45%) and reviewing current risk management strategies to ensure they have the right balance between security and productivity (45%), the report  concludes.

The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack was a very clear example of what can go wrong when patches aren't applied; while a patch for the vulnerability exploited by the ransomware had existed for several months many organisations, notably, parts of the UK's National Health Service, had failed to use it.

BAe Systems:        Unified Guru:    Infosecurity Magazine:       NewZZ:      ZDNet:       Shop Center US

You Might Also Read:

Ignoring Software Updates:

 

« Managing A Remote Team To Protect Against Cyber Attacks
WEBINAR: How To Architect An Identity Management Strategy In AWS »

Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

CYRIN

CYRIN

CYRIN® Cyber Range. Real Tools, Real Attacks, Real Scenarios. See why leading educational institutions and companies in the U.S. have begun to adopt the CYRIN® system.

BackupVault

BackupVault

BackupVault is a leading provider of completely automatic, fully encrypted online, cloud backup.

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Cyber Security Supplier Directory

Free Access: Cyber Security Supplier Directory listing 5,000+ specialist service providers.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Jooble

Jooble

Jooble is a job search aggregator operating in 71 countries worldwide. We simplify the job search process by displaying active job ads from major job boards and career sites across the internet.

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 is a Zero Trust Network as a Service designed to simplify secure network, cloud and application access for the modern and distributed workforce.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

Practice Labs

Practice Labs

Practice Labs is an IT competency hub, where live-lab environments give access to real equipment for hands-on practice of essential cybersecurity skills.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

Cyberis

Cyberis

Cyberis is an independent information security consultancy delivering coherent security, risk management and assurance through a unified range of innovative services and solutions.

DigiCert

DigiCert

DigiCert is the only provider of enterprise-grade SSL, IoT and PKI solutions. Our certificates are trusted everywhere, millions of times every day, by companies across the globe.

Eustema

Eustema

Eustema designs and manages ICT solutions for medium and large organizations.

Synack

Synack

Synack provides a hacker-powered intelligence platform that uncovers security vulnerabilities that often remain undetected by traditional pen testers and scanners.

NanoVMs

NanoVMs

NanoVMs is the industry's only unikernel platform available today. NanoVMs runs your applications as secure, isolated virtual machines faster than bare metal installs.

Vigilant Technology Solutions

Vigilant Technology Solutions

Vigilant is a global cyber security technology company offering solutions to manage entire IT & cyber security lifecycles.

Netography

Netography

Netography provides a scalable and reliable platform for detection & remediation of cyber threats found on your network.

Zemana

Zemana

Zemana provides innovative cyber-security solutions to deal with complex malicious software and other cyber threats.