The final numbers for reported vulnerabilities in 2020 are published. We covered the news when the number of vulnerabilities recorded hit a record for the fourth year in a row. The US-CERT Vulnerability Database keeps track of new vulnerabilities in production code as they are discovered and assigns each unique vulnerability with a “CVE” number.
We hit a record high on December 15, 2020, and the year ended with not only a record high number of vulnerabilities, but also a record number of high severity vulnerabilities.
Record Number of Vulnerabilities Recorded in the US-Cert Vulnerability Database
The total number of vulnerabilities recorded in 2020 (a combination of high, medium, and low severity vulnerabilities) was 18,335, of which 4,380 were high severity, the largest number of high severity vulnerabilities recorded in any year tracked. Similarly record numbers of medium severity (11,194) and low severity (2,761) vulnerabilities were also recorded.
Reaching a record number of recorded vulnerabilities in production code was not really a surprise, as we had been tracking to beat the prior year’s numbers throughout all of 2019. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many organizations to rush getting their applications to production, meaning they may have had less QA cycles, and more use of 3rd party, legacy, and open source code, another risk factor for more vulnerabilities.
These numbers may have you concerned about your own security and how many applications you have out in production with vulnerabilities. There are a number of simple measures an organization can take to improve their web application security stance. First starts at the very beginning of application development, and that’s making sure developers take security into consideration when developing and coding applications. Second, is making sure that software and operating systems are kept up to date, with the latest updates and patches to ensure known vulnerabilities that have patches are not exploited.
In addition to these two fundamental starts to application security, there’s still a need to ensure web application security for applications running in production, especially against threats not typically secured by network or system level security. The OWASP Top 10 Web Application Security Risks are a great example of risks that aren’t typically protected with network or system level security.
In addition to the system and network based security typically in place, it’s important to remember to have a security framework that offers a defense-in-depth architecture. Maybe it’s time to take a hint from the recent finalization of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)’s SP800-53 that was just released on September 23, 2020. The new security and privacy framework standard now requires Runtime Application Self-Protection (RASP) as an added layer of security in the framework.
RASP solutions like the one from K2 Cyber Security offer significant application protection, including protection of vulnerable applications, while at the same time using minimal resources and adding negligible latency to an application. K2 Security Platform uses runtime deterministic security to monitor the application and has a deep understanding of the application’s control flows, DNA and execution. By validating the application’s control flows, deterministic security is based on the application itself, rather than relying on past attacks to determine a zero day attack. Deterministic security results in the detection of sophisticated zero day attacks and also protects from application from the risks listed in the OWASP Top Ten, including XSS and SQL Injection.
K2’s Next Generation Application Workload Protection Platform addresses today’s need for runtime security in an easy to use, easy to deploy solution. K2’s unique deterministic security detects new attacks without the need to rely on past attack knowledge, is lightweight, and adds under a millisecond of latency to the running application. To aid in quick remediation of vulnerabilities, K2 also provides detailed attack telemetry including the code module and line number being in the code being attacked, while at the same time integrating with leading firewalls to do real time attacker blocking.
Change how you protect your applications, and check out K2’s web application and application workload security solution and evaluate K2’s effectiveness at detecting and protecting your organization from attacks.