2021 marks another record year for security vulnerabilities

The variety of new safety flaws recorded by NIST has already surpassed the entire for 2020, the fifth record-breaking yr in a row.


Picture: iStock/weerapatkiatdumrong

Patching safety flaws is a difficult and seemingly unending chore for IT and safety professionals. And that chore will get much more troublesome every year because the variety of new safety vulnerabilities continues to rise. Primarily based on the most recent stats from the Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Know-how Vulnerability Database, the quantity of safety flaws has hit a document for the fifth straight yr in a row.

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As of Dec. 9, 2021, the variety of vulnerabilities present in manufacturing code for the yr is eighteen,400. Breaking down that statistic for 2021 up to now, NIST recorded 2,966 low-risk vulnerabilities, 11,777 medium-risk ones, and three,657 of a high-risk nature.

For 2020, the variety of complete vulnerabilities was 18,351. Some 2,766 had been labeled low threat, 11,204 ranked as medium threat, and 4,381 categorized as excessive threat. For the previous 5 years, every year has topped the earlier one with 17,306 complete flaws recorded in 2019, 16,510 in 2018, and 14,645 in 2017.


Picture: NIST

Why do the variety of vulnerabilities preserve rising? In a weblog submit revealed Wednesday, Pravin Madhani, CEO and co-founder of safety supplier K2 Cyber Safety provided some ideas.

For this yr, the coronavirus pandemic continued to immediate many organizations to aggressively push by means of on digital transformation and cloud adoption, thereby doubtlessly speeding their purposes into manufacturing, Madhani mentioned. Which means the programming code might not have gone by means of as many High quality Assurance check cycles. It additionally signifies that many builders might have tapped into extra third-party, legacy and open supply code, one other attainable threat issue for safety flaws. Ultimately, organizations might have improved their coding however they’ve fallen behind on testing, in line with Madhani.

“This undoubtedly jives with what we have seen,” mentioned Casey Ellis, founder and CTO at Bugcrowd. “Most easily, know-how itself is accelerating, and vulnerabilities are inherent to software program improvement. It is a chance sport, and the extra software program that’s produced, the extra vulnerabilities will exist. When it comes to the unfold, from a discovery standpoint, lower-impact points are usually simpler to introduce, simpler to search out and thus reported extra often.”

SEE: Password breach: Why popular culture and passwords do not combine (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

One shiny spot within the newest NIST information is the comparatively low variety of high-risk vulnerabilities. The three,657 labeled excessive threat for 2021 reveals a downward pattern from 2020 and the previous couple of years. To clarify this dip, Madhani mentioned that the decrease quantity is probably going as a result of higher coding practices by builders. In adopting a “Shift left” technique during which testing is carried out earlier within the coding cycle, builders have managed to put a better emphasis on safety.

Nonetheless, the general outcomes stay alarming and level out the challenges that organizations face making an attempt to maintain monitor of all their susceptible purposes and different property.

“It has grow to be practically unimaginable for organizations to create an correct stock of the entire IT property related to their enterprise,” mentioned Sevco Safety co-founder Greg Fitzgerald. “The first purpose for that is that the majority enterprises have IT asset inventories that don’t mirror their total assault floor, which in fashionable enterprises extends past the community to incorporate cloud, private units, distant staff in addition to all issues on-premise. Till organizations can begin working from a complete and correct IT asset stock, vulnerabilities will preserve their worth to hackers and current actual dangers to enterprises.”

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