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Security in Context: The BeyondTrust Blog

Welcome to Security in Context

Bringing you news and commentary on solutions and strategies for protecting critical IT infrastructure in the context of your business.

Patching is Still a Challenge? Yup.

Posted March 14, 2012    Morey Haber

eEye has always taken a “zero gap” approach to our threat management product strategy. That thinking has been the driver for our market firsts in support for new technologies such as cloud, mobile, and virtualization vulnerability management. These new technologies bring tremendous benefits, but they also bring risks with them as well, which must be identified, understood, and mitigated. This is all in the name of minimizing attack surface. However, one of our most impactful releases in that regard is one that was a new take on a well-established technology – patching.

A recent stat provided by CNN Money stated that “61% of Adobe Reader plug-ins are outdated on work computers.” This is a staggering statistic, considering the ubiquitous nature of Adobe products in business settings. Staggering, but not surprising.

In a typical business setting, the technologies we leverage on a daily basis – both transformational technologies such as the cloud or virtualization, or point and click technology like Adobe Reader – inadvertently bring a new attack surface into the equation for IT and security to manage.

This isn’t a new concept, not at all. So why do we still have 61% of corporate machines in an unpatched (read: vulnerable) state? As any IT veteran will tell you, patching non-windows applications isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

This is why we added Patch Management to Retina CS.

eEye has taken a unique approach to Patch Management by leveraging existing agent-less technology built directly into your assets and already installed by Microsoft. Using the built in Windows Update system, and Windows Server Update Services, Retina CS correlates vulnerability findings to Microsoft Patches and Third Party Applications. The solution then allows patch deployment to occur directly from the Retina CS management console without any additional tools or user intervention.

In addition, this supports full change control through Smart Groups to verify that patches work in test environments before they are deployed to production environments with complete role based access and integration ticketing system. Historically, this change control concept has been a major unmet customer need, and a big reason why non-Windows patching has been such a bane for the IT team.

Below is a screen shot of just how those patches look in Retina CS.

Below is a screen shot of this scenario – Windows Update is applying a 64 bit patch for Adobe Flash Player without any additional agents on the Windows host and with no direct connection from the client to Adobe’s website (as commonly blocked in the CNN article referenced in the beginning).

Outside of the obvious “cool” factor, this is why we added Patch Management to Retina CS – to provide complete, zero-gap vulnerability management coverage for your environment.

Whether that is assessing mobile devices, assuring your cloud resources are vulnerability free, verifying configuration compliance, or applying patches to critical vulnerabilities that are all to often just ignored; Retina has got you covered.

eEye is keeping the entire application and vulnerability management lifecycle in perspective and making sure that boundary conditions and new technologies are covered, as well. At the end of the day, it is more than Vulnerability Reports that will keep you from being compromised, it is taking informed, strategic, and intelligent actions against the findings that will make the difference.

UPDATE: If you’re participating in our VEF today at 1pm PT be sure to post your answer to our question, that we ask you during the webinar, below for your chance to win an Amazon Kindle Fire! It’s that easy. Good luck.

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Additional articles

Dark Reading

2014: The Year of Privilege Vulnerabilities

Posted December 18, 2014    Chris Burd

Of the 30 critical-rated Microsoft Security Bulletins this year, 24 involved vulnerabilities where the age-old best practice of “least privilege” could limit the impact of malware and raise the bar of difficulty for attackers.

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Looking back on information security in 2014

Posted December 16, 2014    Dave Shackleford

Dave Shackleford is a SANS Instructor and founder of Voodoo Security. Join Dave for a closer look at the year in security, and learn what you can do to prepare for 2015, with this upcoming webinar. 2014 has been one heck of an insane year for information security professionals. To start with, we’ve been forced…

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December 2014 Patch Tuesday

Posted December 9, 2014    BeyondTrust Research Team

This month marks the final Patch Tuesday of 2014. Most of what is being patched this month includes Internet Explorer, Exchange, Office, etc… and continues a trend of the greatest hits collection of commonly attacked Microsoft software. Probably the one thing that broke the mold this month is that for once there is not some…

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