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Critical Vulnerabilities in Firewalls are Gateways for Criminals

Updated: Apr 24

When your main layer of security becomes the vulnerability itself!

With the evolution of computer networks and especially the internet, the need soon arose to insert methods of control and restriction in these networks that, until then, communicated in a totally free way, which soon began to show that it would bring new problems and challenges. for the security of these environments and for the data involved.

At the end of the 80's and beginning of the 90's, a new concept of network element emerged, and soon consolidated, to meet this need, the legendary "Firewalls".

During more than 30 years of existence, Firewalls have evolved, both in terms of resources and administration facilities. They started with limited configurations, made in text files, then went through X11 graphical environments and today they are consolidated in WEB administration consoles, whether local or in the cloud.

In addition, a vast amount of functionalities and services were added to these elements, which, on the one hand, brought benefits but, on the other hand, left them exposed to a hostile world. The possibility of violating and exploiting these "walls of fire" became not only possible in theory, but also proved to be a concrete and harsh reality in practice.

Over the last 3 years we have seen a frightening collection of vulnerabilities in these devices. Manufacturers have disclosed a number of critical vulnerabilities, with very high CVSS scores, that allow exploits such as: remote code execution without authentication, administration console access, credential theft, and denial of service attacks.

Firewalls are usually the first layer of protection, segmenting and controlling access and communication between different networks. With these vulnerabilities being discovered and exploited on a large scale by attackers around the world, Firewalls, which historically are the main layer of security, are becoming the vulnerability itself, in real gateways for cybercriminals.

But what can you do when your first layer of security, the outermost and most exposed layer, shows us that it can also be vulnerable and exploited?

Could it be that the only things we can do is stay well informed about newly discovered vulnerabilities, wait for a patch to be fixed and try to apply it as soon as possible? And let's hope we don't get exploited in the meantime.

What to do when you discover that these devices can be targeted by criminals at any time because they present a new vulnerability, perhaps still unpatched or even unknown to the manufacturer?

Do we have to live with this constant tension and fear of the possibility of being exploited between each discovery of a new vulnerability by criminals and the application of corrective measures in our environment?

NetSensor, a company specializing in cybersecurity solutions based on Artificial Intelligence concepts, develops solutions capable of helping to mitigate this and other problems.

Our technologies analyze network traffic and recognize behavior patterns present in most cyber attacks. Based on these characteristics, it is possible to precisely identify malicious sources and neutralize them instantly, leaving your network, including your Firewall, invisible to these attackers, protecting your structure even from unknown threats and attacks that exploit "Zero Day", without having to wait for the creation of "vaccines" or "signatures" that recognize these new attacks.

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