IT administrators must be well informed and constantly aware about newly uncovered zero-day threats. These vicious cyberthreats exploit vulnerabilities in the underlying scripts of applications. The worst part is that they’re virtually impossible to defend against, as they’re often discovered only after hackers have dug their claws in. This means that IT staff must be quick on the draw; as soon as vulnerabilities are announced, organizations must be ready to apply the remediation patches.
Flash-based applications are the most susceptible to such threats. The associated security risks, if nothing else, serve as a reminder of the importance of streamlined computer management, especially in case of enterprise IT environments – which could be spread across multiple locations.
Engadget’s Edgar Alvarez reported, that a critical Flash vulnerability was patched with version 126.96.36.199 in late 2015. Users were implored to immediately apply the update, or otherwise face the risk of having their machines remotely overtaken by hackers. In March 2016, a very similar vulnerability was announced. Flash once again released a new version intended to patch a total of 23 security holes “that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system,” according to BGR’s Zach Epstein.
In yet another episode of deja vu, a new emergency patch was announced following the Cerber ransomware incidents in April. According to ZDNet contributor Charlie Osborne, certain versions of the software were more at risk than others this time around, but the situation was by and large typical. The vulnerability would cause crashes on some machines, and a possible system compromise on others.
Unfortunately, the rule of threes hardly applies to the Flash situation. Countless vulnerabilities preceded the most recent triad. In fact, Network World noted that in 2015, eight of the top ten vulnerabilities leveraged by exploit kits targeted Flash.
Flash Vulnerabilities : Minimizing the Risk
Enterprise environments across several industries, rely on new/ legacy applications using Flash. Given the recent spate of incidents triggered by flash vulnerabilities, these IT environments are always at a high risk. And admins are always under pressure to quickly and efficiently apply emergency updates to their computing environments, and reduce downtime. When done manually, this a time-consuming task that can completely derail the day’s plans.
Cloud based computer management solutions such as Faronics Deep Freeze Cloud are used widely in such scenarios to minimize the risk, sustain existing operations and reduce downtime .
With Deep Freeze, admins can defend against Flash vulnerabilities in two ways.
First, they can respond more quickly to patches, as they’re released, thanks to the software updater tool. From an easy-to-use Web-based dashboard, IT staff can update any machine on the network, across multiple locations.
Second, should a flash vulnerability – or any other cyberthreat for that matter – result in a system compromise, Deep Freeze’s reboot to restore functionality can wipe the system clean upon a system restart. Admins can then run the most recent patches, or lock down any machines that may be vulnerable to the zero-day threat until a fix is released.
To learn more about how Deep Freeze can help admins defend against zero-day threats, contact Faronics today.