Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Cisco IOS : Next big concern

I felt like a lone voice in the wilderness on the topic of Cisco IOS vulnerability in various postings (see New IOS flaw patched) over the past two months, but now finally the mainstream press is getting onto the topic.

Which operating system, embedded in more than 80% of enterprise IT environments, and constituting 60% of the the Internet infrastructure, represents one of the fastest-growing hacker targets and potentially the most-devastating information-security vulnerability? Hint: It ain't Windows.

Cisco Systems' Internetwork Operating System now sits at the center of the information security vortex. Because IOS controls the routers that underpin most business networks as well as the Internet, anyone exploiting its flaws stands to wreak havoc on those networks and maybe even reach into the computer systems and databases connected to them. Cisco is working hard to better shield its routers and other network equipment from the risks, but there are reasons to believe Cisco security will become a bigger problem before it gets better. The sheer amount of Cisco equipment installed, the many versions of IOS involved, the difficulties of upgrading that software, and the IOS vulnerabilities already out there or yet to be discovered present a major challenge to network administrators and security professionals.

This is an excellent article and worth a read.

CATEGORIES: 1IOS, 1vulnerability, 1patching,1infrastructure security
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