1Eight Reasons Why Your Server Security Is Insufficient
2There Are Generally Too Many Parts
Market fragmentation has produced myriad specialized security tools used in combination to protect server infrastructure. The problem is that they were never designed to work together. Due to pragmatic concerns regarding the operational complexity and cost of assembling, integrating, operating and keeping the collection of tools up-to-date, IT is forced to take a minimalist approach and cherry-pick from among them. This results in incomplete or unmanageable solutions being deployed.
3Patching Servers Is Way Too Slow
The time to scan and identify operating system or application vulnerabilities is nearly instantaneous, whereas the time to verify a fix and install patches across a fleet of servers is slow. While organizations need to rely on patches to defend their systems, there is no feasible way they can close the gap.
4Verifying the Integrity of Platforms Is Difficult
It is difficult to verify that only intended software and firmware is running on a system, especially as conditions change due to maintenance, upgrades and component changes. Rootkits and other advanced malware are sophisticated and designed to hide from detection. Traditional host-based software measures assume that parts of the underlying operating system and firmware are trusted, which is frequently not the case.
5Limited Visibility of Malware Inside Networks
6Applications Are Not Secured on an Individual Basis
Each application has unique trust boundaries, and none can inherently trust its network neighbors. Establishment of a security perimeter with granular policy controls and the ability to update services before an application patch is available are a must. This ability to “harden” applications results in less exposure and ensures contextually relevant audit information.
7Servers Are Vulnerable to Lateral Attacks
Organizations rely on firewalls to limit who and what can communicate to their applications and servers. But when a server behind the firewall is compromised, there is little to stop it from probing and attacking neighboring systems. Effective protection against lateral attacks is complex to address, as it is difficult to implement, audit, maintain and scale.
8Insecure Lights-Out Management
Remote, secure management across the entire software stack is needed, yet hard to lock down, when servers are not managed locally. Methods of lock-down include changes to the BIOS, drivers, firmware, hypervisor and any security software as part of regular patch upgrade procedures. Locking the system down in a way so only approved administrators and tools are able to perform remote management—and so that the system is not opened up to be controlled by attackers—is a challenge.
9Unauthorized Access in Hostile Locations
Uncontrolled access to the system is possible when the location where the server resides is not physically secure or confidence in the local staff’s motivations is uncertain. When unauthorized aggressors have physical access to the server or the environment, they can install malware through USB and console ports, take administrative control of the device, or install attack or snooping tools.