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July 11, 20244 min read

Hidden Threats: Are You Overlooking Low-Criticality Patches?


New vulnerabilities are exploited everyday – don’t skimp on your patching!

In the second quarter of 2024, the Known Exploited Vulnerabilities (KEV) catalog published by CISA, was updated with 33 new vulnerabilities affecting various products and vendors. These additions highlight a range of security issues, including privilege escalation, information disclosure, and command injection. These vulnerabilities pose significant risks to affected systems, potentially enabling unauthorized access, data leakage, and system compromise. Notably, two of these vulnerabilities were associated with ransomware campaigns, emphasizing the ongoing threat ransomware poses to organizations. 


While CISA cataloged 33 KEVs this quarter—slightly less than the 40 published in Q1it’s highly likely that many vulnerabilities actively exploited are not yet listed in this catalog. Some vulnerability exploit or risk data may not be publicly available due to a few key reasons.  

The Vulnerability Research Lag 

Primarily, there are delays in the scoring process by bodies like NIST, which can sometimes be months behind, causing a lag in the assignment of CVSS scores to new vulnerabilities. Additionally, for emerging or new vulnerabilities, detailed analysis and information might not be immediately available, necessitating more time to thoroughly assess and document the risk. In some cases, low-priority vulnerabilities might not be prioritized for immediate scoring, especially when resources are focused on higher-severity threats. Finally, incomplete information from vendors or researchers can also result in the absence of exploit or risk data, as accurate scoring requires comprehensive and detailed vulnerability information. This is why it is important to deploy patches in a timely manner, regardless of risk.  

Lurking Threats in Low-Risk Vulnerabilities 

It's crucial to deploy patches promptly, regardless of their risk level. Some CVEs categorized as low risk can still pose a significant risk of exploitation due to several factors: 

  1. Environmental Context: The risk level of a vulnerability can vary depending on the specific environment in which it exists. A vulnerability considered low risk in a general context might be more dangerous in a particular network setup or application environment. 
  2. Combination with Other Vulnerabilities: Sometimes, a low-risk vulnerability can be exploited in conjunction with other vulnerabilities, leading to a higher overall risk. Adversaries often chain together multiple exploits to achieve their goals. 
  3. Lack of Immediate Visibility: Low-risk vulnerabilities may not attract immediate attention, leading to delays in patching. This can provide adversaries with a window of opportunity to exploit the vulnerability before it is addressed. 
  4. Exploitation Techniques: Even low-risk vulnerabilities can be exploited using advanced techniques that increase their impact. Skilled adversaries can sometimes find innovative ways to exploit seemingly minor flaws. 
  5. Business Impact: The classification of risk often focuses on technical aspects, but the business impact can vary. A low-risk technical vulnerability might still lead to significant business disruption if exploited. 
  6. Evolution of Threat Landscape: As the threat landscape evolves, new exploitation methods can emerge, turning what was once considered a low-risk vulnerability into a more significant threat. 

Therefore, it's essential to consider all potential implications of a vulnerability and not solely rely on its initial risk categorization. Regularly reviewing and reassessing vulnerabilities, even those classified as low risk, is crucial for maintaining a robust security posture. 

Comprehensive Patch Management 

OneSite Patch helps IT and security teams autonomously patch both high-risk and low-risk vulnerabilities, ensuring systems remain secure and up-to-date. Here's how OneSite Patch addresses patching applications across the risk spectrum: 

High-Risk Threats 

  • Automatic Deployment: Autonomous patching enables swift deployment of patches for high-risk vulnerabilities as soon as they are available, minimizing exposure and reducing attack likelihood. 
  • Reduced Human Error: Automated patching eliminates human error, ensuring high-risk patches are neither overlooked nor incorrectly applied. 
  • Consistent Security Posture: Automation ensures a consistent security posture across all devices and applications, uniformly mitigating high-risk threats.

Low-Risk Updates 

  • Routine Maintenance: IT teams can deploy patches for low-risk vulnerabilities regularly as part of routine maintenance, ensuring timely addressing of all vulnerabilities. 
  • Resource Allocation: Automation allows IT teams to focus on strategic tasks and high-priority issues, optimizing resource allocation and efficiency. 
  • Ongoing Protection: Automated patching ensures continuous protection by addressing low-risk vulnerabilities, preventing their use in multi-vector attacks. 

Autonomous patching helps organizations stay ahead of threats by consistently applying patches to known vulnerabilities, reducing exposure windows. Automating the patching process ensures critical updates are deployed promptly, minimizing manual errors and delays. This proactive approach allows IT and security teams to focus on strategic initiatives, ensuring continuous protection against emerging threats and maintaining a robust security posture.  

Book a demo here to see how OneSite Patch can help you take a proactive approve to vulnerability remediation 


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