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How to Prepare for Zero-days Like Log4j and MOVEit

Claire Bishop
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Zero-day vulnerabilities are surging around the world and drawing much needed attention within the cybersecurity community. And within recent years, they’ve definitely made headlines, causing security leaders to question what may be ahead. According to Ponemon, 79% of organizations expect cyber attacks to increase in frequency and severity within the next year.

These types of predictions place a lot of pressure on organizations to adopt effective cybersecurity methodologies that can keep up with these trends to prevent and combat exploitable vulnerabilities. 

A Quick Look Back at Zero-day Vulnerabilities  

Some will argue that a zero-day vulnerability is a security team’s worst nightmare, and there’s some definite truth to that. It’s hard to find an experience that’s worse than being awoken in the middle of the night due to a possible zero-day in your environment, or being alerted on a Friday afternoon before the weekend that there needs to be all hands on deck. Within the past few years, there’s certainly been a swell of new zero-days being released, and it’s burning out security teams

Let’s start with Log4j. This exploitable vulnerability captured the attention of cybersecurity professionals from various industries in December 2021. The Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) called Log4j (CVE-2021-44228) an “endemic” vulnerability in the board’s first published report. The group of public and private sector cybersecurity leaders stated that the vulnerability is expected to continue to be a prominent threat for “a decade or longer.” 

In June 2023, the MOVEit vulnerability caused the firestorm and had security teams across both public and private sectors scrambling to patch the SQL injection caused by a Russia-linked cybersecurity group. It is estimated that over 500 organizations were impacted, alongside a whopping 30+ million individuals. If an attacker were to exploit the injection, they could change or eliminate sensitive information. 

When these vulnerabilities strike, some security teams and organizations scramble to determine if a new “newsworthy exploit” could be present in their environment. Those who rely on the Synack Platform have a different experience. 

How the Synack Platform Can Prepare Your Organization

The most effective way to test and prevent zero-day vulnerabilities is with strategic security testing that incorporates human expertise. Scanners and traditional pentesting methods are not able to detect zero-day vulnerabilities until they are updated with a signature for the vulnerability. 

When the Log4j vulnerability emerged, Synack and our clients’ security teams immediately sensed its urgency. The Synack Red Team (SRT), our elite and vetted team of over 1,500 security researchers, began testing within hours of the initial discovery for our customer base. After only a few days, Synack had checked over half a million IP addresses confirming the status of thousands of CVE-2021-44228 checks and providing detailed reports containing proof of work and methodologies. 

The MOVEit exploit holds a similar story. The SRT are anything but strangers to these types of attacks. In response to the vulnerability, Synack added CVE-2023-34362 to our Synack Catalog. With this, customers are able to test for the zero-day in their environments by running CVE checks to validate where it may be present and the steps that they need to take to patch it effectively. 

In the face of the cybersecurity talent gap, testing with humans to meet the surge demand of a zero-day can be challenging. That’s why on-demand access to a community of researchers is paramount. Within the Synack Platform is a catalog of CVEs that can be tested on-demand by skilled SRT researchers. This talent augmentation can be a key cultural shift for companies struggling to hire or retain cyber talent and can help prevent an in-house team from experiencing severe burnout.

What Makes the Synack Platform Different

The Synack Platform is unlike other pentesting solutions on the market today. We’re helping organizations identify their most critical vulnerabilities while providing end-to-end vulnerability management, full triage services and working to pinpoint why certain vulnerabilities are popping up so you can adjust priorities to save time and resources.

Our platform prioritizes cybersecurity resilience in a way that can be demonstrated to board members and cybersecurity leaders with real-time data and analytics into discovered vulnerabilities and how your security posture is improving over time. 

These aspects of a security testing solution are critical for zero-day flaws and CVEs alike. Contact us today for a conversation about how we can help you mitigate risk or prepare for future zero days.