Free security scan available for the new SANS Top 20

Qualys announced the availability of a free network scanning service to help companies find and eliminate vulnerabilities listed in the annual SANS Top 20 update for 2007 that was announced earlier today. The SANS Top 20 is designed by the SANS Institute and security experts from industry and government to provide organizations with a prioritized list of newly discovered exposures to their networks.

Alan Paller, director of research at SANS Institute commented:

Our list of the Top 20 vulnerabilities exemplifies the most important cyber security risks – the ones that throughout the year have had the highest profile of damage to individuals, corporations and government agencies. We are enormously appreciative of Qualys, both for its contributions to the Top 20 research, and for making a free testing tool available that indicates whether systems are vulnerable to the Top 20.

In its seventh year in issuing the Top 20 Internet Security Risks, this year’s SANS list reveals a continued shift from server-side to client-side vulnerabilities, as illustrated by numerous zero-day threats in popular end user applications such as Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player and Adobe.

Another rising trend in 2007 is an increase in vulnerabilities relating to Web applications such as wikis, portals or those that provide access to backend databases and banking applications. This is due in part to the fact that developing Web applications is an intricate process, and the combined complexity and flexibility of Web development tools, such as Java, .Net, Perl, PHP, Ruby, and others, make it easy for development mistakes to become exploitable security holes. Attackers have increasingly used techniques such as cross-site scripting to exploit not only the information stored within the Web application itself, but as a launch pad to internal network segments and servers, and even end user systems.

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