This Tuesday, Microsoft released a security patch including 48 fixes, 25 of which are defined as “critical”. While Microsoft updates happen every month, this one reveals an especially dangerous vulnerability – CVE-2017-8620. Behind this dull name hides a severe flaw affecting all current versions of Windows, which enables attackers to spread a contagious attack between computers in the network.
It is not very often that such a volatile vulnerability, providing hackers with full control over entire networks, is discovered. The last time such a vulnerability was disclosed was in March 2017, when another Microsoft security patch fixed the “EternalBlue” exploit. Two months after this patch was released, the WannaCry campaign erupted, making use of the EternalBlue exploit to spread in one of the most infectious cyber-attacks we have ever seen.
One of the reasons this campaign had caused so much damage, despite the patch being available, was the lack of implementation of basic security patches by most users and organizations. Once the vulnerability was made public following the release of the Microsoft security patch, all computers where the patch was not installed became the easy and perfect targets for malicious threat actors. Still today many companies do not use a multi-layered security approach to protect against these threats.
The exact same thing could now happen with the newly discovered vulnerability, if computer users do not implement the security patch to protect endpoints and networks. The writing is on the wall. Users and organizations must learn the lesson from the WannaCry attack, and upgrade their protections now, before it’s too late.
Unfortunately, companies across the board don’t fully implement the advanced security measures that are readily available, and which would provide the required protection. According to our findings, less than 7% of all organizations are using advanced threat prevention as part of their protection, less than 1% use mobile security technologies, and less than 2% use advanced security for cloud.
Preventing the next cyber-attack is possible; all it requires is the proper security approach. This includes a multi layered security architecture encompassing all networks, including mobile and cloud, with the focus on prevention. As president Benjamin Franklin said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
As an industry, we need to step up to implement solutions that prevent attacks before they occur, and not lick our wounds after. This can be achieved with timely implementation of available security solutions.
Check Point offers the industry’s first consolidated cyber security architecture, Check Point Infinity which provides comprehensive security across all networks. To understand if you are prepared for the next cyber-attack, and learn more about how you can prevent it, we invite you to read more here.