A step by step guide to create a defense strategy against Log4j vulnerability | HCLTech

A step by step guide to create a defense strategy against Log4j vulnerability
April 11, 2022

Log4J response and approach

Recently, a large number of attacks using Log4j vulnerabilities of apache java logging library have been discovered. Scanning of servers with Log4j vulnerability has increased significantly since discovering the vulnerability.

While disabling search will protect against the most common scams currently taking place, there are still some attacks that could exploit these vulnerabilities due to the existence of other non-search paths for exploited code in Log4j. The best way to prevent exploitation of vulnerable code is to update the affected versions of Log4j or apply vendor fixes. Therefore, operators must implement security updates for log4j vulnerability fix in products and services that use affected versions of Log4j.

Reason for the increase in attacks

Multiple platforms in businesses involving client-facing roles and legacy applications widely use Log4j. Major applications are built on a java wireframe, developed on an open-source Apache software foundation. As a result, millions of applications directly or indirectly use Log4j, and this is where the exposure increases as most attacks are linked to targeting the vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized user access.

The attacker uses this as a measure to gain access to privileges and gain knowledge of sensitive data; this can include crypto mining, ransomware installation, user credentials, and much more.

HCLTech recognizes the threats and the impact on ongoing businesses and safety by introducing a step-by-step guide to implement the best practices and create a defense strategy to fight against Log4j vulnerabilities. The nature of Log4j vulnerabilities represents a high-risk situation affecting libraries and also the services hosted on these applications.

HCLTech proposition

Step 1- Identification and visibility

The identification and visibility protocol is applied across all instances; these scans are fast and effective, highlighting the potential attack patterns that an attacker is more likely to implement. Additionally, deep analysis of the entire environment automatically and seamlessly helps identify the affected devices and the associated risks reducing the time required to mitigate.

Organizations need a deep understanding of their software supply chain. To increase visibility, the VERITY (Vulnerability Management for Enterprise Security) platform investigates all the externally exposed systems as the vulnerable Log4j software may have traces on the back-end servers. Then, before deploying any response strategy and using mitigation plans, the identification stage takes care of recognizing those systems.

Step 2 – Detection and prioritization

Dynamic web application scanning minimizes financial costs and chances of a potential security breach by detecting vulnerabilities. Detailed and deep infrastructural scanning offers better flexibility for accurate detection of the issues. Based on the cloud workload protection services protocol, the system automatically variates vulnerabilities based on their priority by evaluating viable exploits and the context of the environment.

The number of factors changes completely based on the application to analyze risk breaches, and attack simulations are run across the system. The simulations help arrange the vulnerabilities in a sequence of their urgency and impact the ongoing operations on many contextual factors and not just the importance of application.

Step 3- Remediation and validation

Based on the existing parameters of security controls, the cloud must be updated to help detect the common instance of Log4j attempts. HCLTech vulnerability response makes the remediation of the vulnerability an immediate priority. Patching automation runs a detailed audit and discovers the assets and digital exposures, a list of known vulnerable vendors are generated, and attempts are made to validate if the vulnerability exists.

Once validated, the response system introduces recommendations to improve the application's controls and improve security grades. Cybersecurity is highly important to maintain the seamless functioning of businesses, and with data vault and recovery solutions in place, it reduces downtime while eliminating the scope for risk. In addition, the use of a remediation database is to track the progress and provide a historic reference for any upcoming irregularities.

Step 4- Tracking and reporting

Cyber vulnerabilities extend beyond the response plan and enable an operational and strategic level of governance to ensure that the security goals and vulnerabilities are taken care of. To facilitate the remediation process is continuous, there is a need for tracking at each stage. With the tracking and reporting system, the developer or AppSec teams would get timely reports on business-critical systems and avoid any unforeseen impact while a patch is updated.

Step 5- Continuous scanning management

Leverages the power of HCLTech cybersecurity fusion platform detection and automation features by continuously monitoring the entire business environment to look for any irregularities in the system and alert for threats. The proactive threat hunting feature scans the entire deployed application providing end-to-end visibility and sends probing queries over the network to scanned devices. The scans are run to authenticate and obtain detailed information regarding configuration and compatibility.

HCLTech understands that your business's critical data is essential and can be maintained as private with stronger data protection encryption and complete solutions that offer data recovery and identification of critical workloads. In addition, a response plan can help the businesses up and running with robust and timely deployment.

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