Vulnerabilities at an all-time high

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Software flaws create the perfect opportunity for cybercriminals to exploit and attack any connected device. ESET’s latest white paper takes a closer look at those that pose the highest risk to enterprises.

Vulnerabilities are bugs in software that can be exploited by malicious actors, allowing them to take control of, or wreak havoc on, a device. Their number is rising annually. As disclosed by CVE Details, an independent source that tracks vulnerabilities, over 14,600 vulnerabilities were reported in 2017, compared to 6,447 in 2016. Year 2018 does not look any better, as we are already looking at almost 4,000 in its first quarter.

Now, there are some tools we cannot work without. And there are as well some essential devices connected to the internet that we need in order to go about our general day-to-day business like, computers, smartphones, etc. These are bound by one crucial thing that ties all these individual items together: software.

Nowadays, software is used in nearly every aspect of our lives: in cars, the door entry system of the office and even in, possibly, the first thing you touch every morning at work - the coffee machine.

All of these connected devices require software fit for purpose. It could be Linux, Android, iOS or Windows, but no matter what it is, there is one box in common that they all must tick: they need updates and patches to be kept safe and secure.

Any software left unpatched may contain vulnerabilities that could enable cybercriminals to compromise the system or the network and cause untold havoc. Sometimes it’s easy to update, sometimes not, but it’s the single critical task that needs to be done.

Nevertheless, the list of major malware outbreaks gets longer, and the common denominator remains carelessness when it comes to applying the latest patches and updates supplied by vendors. There may be many factors involved that could hinder or even prohibit the easy installation of updates, but if you want to stay safe, it must be done. Numerous software vendors have added automatic updates to their products. Not all vendors do this, however, so it’s important to check if the latest version is being used. Some IoT devices such as security cameras or thermostats may require firmware updates that can only be applied manually, therefore it’s important to keep track of the versions being used.

A good multi-layered security software solution installed on your device detects and blocks the exploits that may try to take advantage of these vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals only need to be successful once in an attack to infect a device, whereas the device needs to be defended 100% of the time to remain safe. Within enterprises it is close to impossible to keep track of all updates, therefore a security management solution may help.

ESET has a broad portfolio of solutions, including endpoint and server protection, threat intelligence, encryption and multi-factor authentication. ESET’s solutions are designed to help you stay safe in an enterprise environment. The overall aim is to help businesses achieve as close to full automation as possible, leaving you to cover the remainder through education and awareness of the current threat landscape.

Remember, cybersecurity is the job of the entire organization, not just the IT team. They do all they can to protect devices and the network, but with so many attacks focused on human error, it’s a difficult task to manage.

To get a better look at Major Vulnerabilities and their affects on the Enterprise landscape, read our white paper: Protecting Enterprise - An examination of bugs, major vulnerabilities and exploits.