Update on Patch Mgt., Fighting Malware

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 04:08 PM gHale

Vulnerabilities in software and firmware are the easiest ways to attack a system, and two revised publications provide guidance for software patching and warding off malware.

A common method to avoid attacks is to fix the vulnerabilities as soon as possible after the software company develops a patch for the problem. Patch management is the process of identifying, acquiring, installing and verifying patches for products and systems, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which revised the two publications.

Infrastructure Security Framework Workshop
Cyber Security Framework Workshop
U.S., Russia Cyber Hotline
Feds Watching, Listening and Reading

The earlier guidance on patching, “Creating a Patch and Vulnerability Management Program,” was for when patching was a manual process. The revision, “Guide to Enterprise Patch Management Technologies,” is for agencies that take advantage of automated patch management systems such as those based on NIST’s Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP).

Guide to Enterprise Patch Management Technologies” explains the technology basics and covers metrics for assessing the technologies’ effectiveness.

The second security document provides guidance to protect computer systems from malware or malicious code. Malware is the most common external threat to most systems and can cause widespread damage and disruption.

NIST’s “Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling for Desktops and Laptops” should help agencies protect against modern malware attacks that are more difficult to detect and eradicate than when the last version published in 2005. The new guidance reflects the growing use of social engineering and the harvesting of social networking information for targeting attacks.

The new malware guide provides information on how to modernize an organization’s malware incident prevention measures and suggests recommendations to enhance an organization’s existing incident response capability to handle modern malware.

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