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UncategorizedFifth Record Year in a Row for Vulnerabilities | Application Security

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December 8, 2021 Pravin Madhani, CEO and Co-Founder
Fifth Record Year in a Row for Vulnerabilities

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.  For the last four years, 2017 through 2020, we’ve had a record number of vulnerabilities recorded in the vulnerability database.  On December 8, 2021 we just hit another milestone with the number of vulnerabilities recorded (so far in 2021) exceeding the total count in 2020, marking a fifth record year of vulnerabilities discovered in production code.

For the year 2020, there were 4,381 high risk vulnerabilities, 11,204 medium risk vulnerabilities, and 2,766 low risk vulnerabilities for total of 18,351 vulnerabilities recorded in 2020.  On December 8, 2021, the count for 2021 reached 3,646 high risk vulnerabilities, 11,767 medium risk vulnerabilities, and 2,963 low risk vulnerabilities, for a total of 18,376 recorded vulnerabilities, exceeding the 18,351 total set in 2020.

We started the year out slow, and at early on it seemed like we weren’t going to set a record in 2021, but the number of vulnerabilities discovered started to pick up in the fall, and by October it was apparent we were going to exceed 2020’s number.  This year’s numbers are a little different than in prior years, with more vulnerabilities being classified as low and medium risk than in prior years, and less being classified as high severity.  In fact the high severity total remains below last year’s number, and in fact will likely end the year below all four prior record years’ high severity numbers.

While we can’t say for certain why there are more medium and low severity vulnerabilities, and less high severity vulnerabilities, it’s likely the lower numbers of high severity vulnerabilities is due to better coding practices by developers, as part of the recent big push to “shift left,” also called DevSecOps. Many organizations have adopted “shift left” in recent years, seeking to put more of an emphasis on ensuring security is a higher priority earlier on in the development process.

As to why more vulnerabilities are found in production code this year, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has continued to push many organizations to rush getting their applications to production, as part of their digital transformation and cloud journeys, meaning the code may have been through less QA cycles, and there may have been more use of 3rd party, legacy, and open source code, another risk factor for more vulnerabilities.  So while companies may be coding better, they’re not testing as much, or as thoroughly, hence more vulnerabilities made it to production.

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) and Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) as an added layer of security in the framework.

RASP and IAST solutions like the ones from K2 Cyber Security offer significant application protection and vulnerability detection, 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 and vulnerability detection 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 and test 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.

Find out more about K2 today by requesting a demo, or get your free trial.


 

 

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K2 CYBER SECURITY

K2 Cyber Security delivers the Next Generation Application Security Platform to secure web applications and container workloads against sophisticated attacks in OWASP Top 10 and provides exploitable vulnerability detection during pre-production. K2’s Platform is deployed on production servers for runtime protection of applications and on pen-testing/pre-production/QA servers for interactive application security testing to identify the location of the vulnerable code. K2’s solution generates almost no false positives, eliminates breaches due to zero-day attacks, detects attacks missed by traditional security tools like Web Application Firewalls and host based EDR, finds missed exploitable vulnerabilities and dramatically reduces security cost. K2 Cyber Security is headquartered in the USA and provides cyber security solutions globally.

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