The recent large scale attack on MS Exchange Servers has again highlighted the importance of patching.
What is thought to be an attack originating from a highly skilled and sophisticated persistent attack group, this exploits four zero-day vulnerabilities within Microsoft Exchange.
Whereas Microsoft have been quick to address this and release patches to protect their end-users, those organisations who have not deployed this patch remain vulnerable. Palo Alto Networks estimate that this might be as many as 125,000 unpatched servers world-wide.
What makes this attack particularly ironic is the way it appears to have unfolded. The initial attack seems to have been very targeted and affected only a limited number of organisations. However, once the news of the vulnerability broke and Microsoft released their patches, a wider array of other groups seized the opportunity to exploit the vulnerability with a valid presumption that many organisations would take considerable time to deploy the patches.
The Importance of Patching
This is a very real lesson to organisations on the importance of keeping on top of patch management and responding quickly to critical vulnerabilities that emerge.
It is estimated that almost two-thirds of all security breaches are as a result of a server or application vulnerability that a patch has already been released for but has yet to be applied.
Having in place a highly disciplined and thorough process for patch management is one of the most important steps an organisation can take in ensuring system and information security. With cyber criminals becoming increasingly more sophisticated, persistent and prevalent, an important step in trying to stay ahead of them is through meticulous patching.
At NAK, we help our clients to reduce risk from such attacks through our Patching-as-a-Service which provides a comprehensive approach to patch management. You can discover more about this on our website.