When we first hear the term security misconfiguration the first thing which comes in our mind the security system is not properly configured. Security controls that are incorrectly configured or left insecure, putting your systems and data at risk, are known as security misconfigurations. In other words, any poorly documented configuration changes, default settings, or a technical issue across any component in your endpoints could result in a misconfiguration. Security When security settings are defined, implemented, and maintained as defaults, misconfiguration occurs. For the application, web server, database server, and platform to be secure, a secure configuration must be defined and deployed. It’s also critical to keep your software up to date. To make sure that our security is up to the mark we can make use of threatscan which is a product developed by the cyber security hive and has successfully kept organizations safe from security misconfiguration. It does so by proving automated AI based penetration testing and manual penetration testing as well. It is also trusted by more than 12000+ business which makes it one the best product for Penetration Testing in the market. Make sure to check it out.
Some classic examples of security misconfiguration are as given −
- • If directory listing on the server is not disabled, and an attacker discovers this, the attacker can simply list directories to find and execute any file. It’s also possible to obtain the complete code base, which includes all of your custom code, and then discover serious flaws in the application.
- • Stack traces can be returned to users via the app server configuration, potentially exposing underlying flaws. Attackers grab those extra information that the error messages provide which is enough for them to penetrate.
Why do security misconfiguration occur?
A misconfiguration can be caused by a variety of factors. Organizations can easily overlook critical security settings, including new network equipment that may retain default configurations, because modern network infrastructures are extremely complex and characterised by constant change. Even if you’ve provisioned secure endpoint configurations, you should audit configurations and security controls on a regular basis to detect configuration drift. Misconfigurations occur as systems evolve, new equipment is added to the network, and patches are applied.
Furthermore, while developing software, developers may write flexible firewall rules and create network shares for convenience and then leave them unchanged. Administrators sometimes make configuration changes for testing or troubleshooting purposes and then forget to restore the original state. Employees are also known to temporarily disable their anti-virus when it overrides certain actions, such as installing software, and then forget to re-enable it later. In fact, 21% of devices have anti-virus/anti-malware software that is outdated.
What are the impacts of security misconfiguration?
Do you have any users on your network who don’t change their passwords? Is it the case that your users have administrative rights by default? Have you implemented secure authentication protocols across your network? Are you aware of these, as well as other security flaws?
If you can’t answer these questions correctly, you should reconsider your cyberhygiene practises. An attacker can use a simple flaw, such as a default password or an open share, to resist an organization’s security efforts. High-profile vulnerabilities and zero-days will crop up from time to time, so make sure your organisation has a solid foundation so it doesn’t crumble under the weight of a single flaw. Take the horrifying WannaCry ransomware, for example: it could have been easily prevented from spreading across a network before Microsoft came up with a fix by simply disabling the SMBv1 protocol and configuring a firewall rule to block port 445. All of this emphasises the importance of maintaining secure endpoint configurations on a regular basis to ensure a secure foundation.
How to Prevent Security Misconfiguration
The principle of least privilege: Everything off by default.
- Administrative interfaces should be disabled.
- Debugging should be turned off.
- Disable the use of default usernames and passwords.
- Configure the server to block unauthorised access, directory listing, and other issues.
- Run scans and audits on a regular basis to help detect future misconfigurations or missing patches.
- Ensure that a solid application architecture is in place, one that allows for effective and secure component separation.
- It can also reduce the risk of an attack by running automated scans and audits on a regular basis.