UK VPN security is outstandingly mediocre

BOFHs struggle with TLAs


The security of corporate remote access setups has slipped over the last 12 months, according to security audits by penetration testing firm NTA Monitor.

NTA's VPN Security Report 2007 shows that IT organisations have a third fewer vulnerabilities per test than cropped up in the equivalent study last year. But organisations in other sectors (such as government and finance) are running even more insecure set-ups.

"Although the IT sector has clearly improved its security over the past year, that's not the case for everyone. On average, nine vulnerabilities were found per VPN test performed in last year's report; that figure has risen to 11 in this year's report," explained Roy Hills, technical director and founder of NTA Monitor. "Seventy-three per cent of tests also discovered at least one medium level flaw, indicating that external users may be able to disrupt services or potentially obtain unauthorised access."

The majority of vulnerabilities uncovered by NTA Monitor (65 per cent) in all the tests were rated as low-risk, generally involving the leakage of information that could be valuable to attackers. Medium risk flaws - more serious risks that create a potential means for external attackers to disrupt a VPN service or gain unauthorised access to corporate networks - made up 16 per cent of the flaws identified. The remaining 18 per cent of vulnerabilities uncovered were considered informational, highlighting issues such as poor housekeeping.

NTA recommends operating VPN connections through a dedicated VPN system rather than a firewall, improving encryption and authentication methods and undertaking regular independent security testing (as well it might). ®


Other stories you might like

  • Tesla driver charged with vehicular manslaughter after deadly Autopilot crash

    Prosecution seems to be first of its kind in America

    A Tesla driver has seemingly become the first person in the US to be charged with vehicular manslaughter for a deadly crash in which the vehicle's Autopilot mode was engaged.

    According to the cops, the driver exited a highway in his Tesla Model S, ran a red light, and smashed into a Honda Civic at an intersection in Gardena, Los Angeles County, in late 2019. A man and woman in the second car were killed. The Tesla driver and a passenger survived and were taken to hospital.

    Prosecutors in California charged Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, in October last year though details of the case are only just emerging, according to AP on Tuesday. Riad, a limousine service driver, is facing two counts of vehicular manslaughter, and is free on bail after pleading not guilty.

    Continue reading
  • AMD returns to smartphone graphics with new Samsung chip for your pocket computer

    We're back in black

    AMD's GPU technology is returning to mobile handsets with Samsung's Exynos 2200 system-on-chip, which was announced on Tuesday.

    The Exynos 2200 processor, fabricated using a 4nm process, has Armv9 CPU cores and the oddly named Xclipse GPU, which is an adaptation of AMD's RDNA 2 mainstream GPU architecture.

    AMD was in the handheld GPU market until 2009, when it sold the Imageon GPU and handheld business for $65m to Qualcomm, which turned the tech into the Adreno GPU for its Snapdragon family. AMD's Imageon processors were used in devices from Motorola, Panasonic, Palm and others making Windows Mobile handsets.

    Continue reading
  • Big shock: Guy who fled political violence and became rich in tech now struggles to care about political violence

    'I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy,' billionaire VC admits

    Billionaire tech investor and ex-Facebook senior executive Chamath Palihapitiya was publicly blasted after he said nobody really cares about the reported human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims in China.

    The blunt comments were made during the latest episode of All-In, a podcast in which Palihapitiya chats to investors and entrepreneurs Jason Calacanis, David Sacks, and David Friedberg about technology.

    The group were debating the Biden administration’s response to what's said to be China's crackdown of Uyghur Muslims when Palihapitiya interrupted and said: “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay? ... I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth, okay? Of all the things that I care about … yes, it is below my line.”

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022