Category Archives: Compliance Management

Guinea Pig and Vulnerability Management products

IMHO, security vendors use the term “Vulnerability Management” extremely inaccurate. Like a guinea pig, which is not a pig and is not related to Guinea, the current Vulnerability Management products are not about the actual (practically exploitable) vulnerabilities and not really about the management.

Guinea Pig and Vulnerability Management

Vulnerability should mean something solid and reliable, something that can be practically used by a malicious attacker or penetration tester.

When (so-called) Vulnerability Management vendors start working with indirect information from third-party about potential vulnerabilities in the software, that were possibly exploited by someone in some unknown conditions, or simply distance from responsibility: “we just provide information from the software vendor; software vendor knows better about the vulnerabilities in his own products”, it’s all falling into to the area of fortune telling and counting angels on the head of a pin.

Hardcore process of identifying weaknesses that real-life attackers can use moves to a boring compliance. For example, as PCI DSS requires, there should be no vulnerabilities above medium level (CVSS Base score > 4). At the same time, no one cares how fair this assessment of criticality is or how real these vulnerabilities are. All the analytics build on such formal data loses its sharpness and practical value.

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ISACA Moscow Vulnerability Management Meetup 2018

Last Thursday, September 20th, I spoke at ISACA Moscow “Vulnerability Management” Meetup held at Polytechnic University. The only event in Moscow devoted solely to Vulnerability Management. So I just had to take part in it. 🙂

ISACA VM 2018 Alexander Leonov

The target audience of the event – people who implement the vulnerability management process in organizations and the employees of Vulnerability Management vendors. I noticed groups of people from Altex-Soft (Altx-Soft), Positive Technologies and Vulners.

It was very interesting to see such concentration of Vulnerability and Compliance Management specialists in one place. Questions from the audience were relevant and often concerned the weaknesses of competitors. 😉 Here I will make a brief overview of the reports. You can also read here about previous year event at “ISACA Moscow Vulnerability Management Meetup 2017“.

Talking about the audience, there were fewer people than last year, but still a lot:

ISACA VM 2018 auditorium small

The event was recorded. I will add video here as soon as it’s ready.

upd. Video in Russian. My presentation starts at 1:35:56

The event was conducted entirely in Russian, including all the slides. So, maybe I will make English subtitles and voiceover, at least for my part.

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Making Expect scripts for SSH Authentication and Privilege Elevation

Expect can help you to automate interactive console applications. For example, expect script can go to some Linux host via SSH with password authentication, make additional authentication procedures (su, sudo) to elevate privileges and execute some commands. Like Vulnerability and Compliance management products do during the active Linux scanning, right? 🙂 For example you can get the list of installed packages and make Vulnerability Assessment without Vulnerability Scanner.

Expect SSH exec

Actually, the tool is pretty old. It was presented more than 20 years ago! And perhaps now it makes more sense to use python scripts, for example paramiko with paramiko-expect. Or even use some software provisioning tool, like Ansible. But my fun was in creating (generating?) a small old-school scripts that could be sent to any remote host (with expect installed) to gather information from the accessible hosts.

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Assessing Linux Security Configurations with SCAP Workbench

Recently I had a chance to work with OpenSCAP. It’s a set of free and open-source tools for Linux Configuration Assessment and  a collection security content in SCAP (Security Content Automation Protocol) format.

In this post I will write about SCAP Workbench. It is a GUI application that can check the configuration of your local Linux host (or the remote host via ssh; note that agent installation is required), and show the settings that are not comply with some security standard, for example PCI DSS or DISA STIG.

SCAP Workbench PCI DSS CentOS7 localhost

Moreover, you can generate the script for automated remediation. You can also create your own scan profiles based on existing  SCAP content.

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Free High-Tech Bridge ImmuniWeb Application Discovery service

Today I would like to talk about another service for application security analysis by High-Tech Bridge. It’s called ImmuniWeb Application Discovery.

This service can get information about your web and mobile applications available from the Internet. Believe me, this is not so obvious for a large organization. And, what is especially pleasant, it works automatically and free of charge. 😉

High-Tech Bridge ImmuniWeb Free Application Discovery

ImmuniWeb Application Discovery will also show the basic security problems with SSL connection, web-server headers, potential phishing issues for all founded web services. You can read more about this part in my posts about High-Tech Bridge services and APIs for SSL/TLS server testing and for searching cybersquatting, typosquatting and phishing domains.

From the same interface you can order an advanced audit of your web applications by High-Tech Bridge as well.

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My short review of “IDC Worldwide Security and Vulnerability Management Market Shares 2016”

On February 12 IDC published new report about Security and Vulnerability Management market. You can buy it on the official website for $4500. Or you can simply download free extract on Qualys website (Thanks, Qualys!). I’ve read it and now I want to share my impressions.

IDC Worldwide Security and Vulnerability Management Market Shares 2016

I think it’s better start reading this report from the end, from “MARKET DEFINITION” section. First of all, IDC believe that there is a “Security and Vulnerability Management” (SVM) market. It consists of two separate “symbiotic markets”: security management and vulnerability assessment (VA).

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Tenable University: Nessus Certificate of Proficiency

Yesterday I finished “Nessus Certificate of Proficiency” learning plan at Tenable University and passed the final test. Here I would like to share my impressions.

Nessus Certificate test completed

First of all, few words about my motivation. I use Nessus literally every day at work. So, it was fun to check my knowledge. I already wrote about Tenable education portal in “Study Vulnerability Assessment in Tenable University for free” post. It’s free. It’s available for everyone on demand. However, Tenable customers get access to way more content.

At this moment there are four learning plan available for Tenable customers: for Nessus, Tenable.io, SecurityCenter and SecurityCenter Continuous View. Each learning plan consist of short video lessons grouped in courses and the final test.

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