by Cesar Navas
March 1, 2022
On November 3rd, 2021, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued Binding Operational Directive (BOD) 22-01, Reducing the Significant Risk of Known Exploited Vulnerabilities, which requires federal agencies to identify and remediate a CISA managed catalog of known exploited vulnerabilities on their information systems. The National Cyber Awareness System (NCAS), is a system within CISA that produces advisories, alerts and situation reports, analysis reports, current activity updates, indicator bulletins, and more. On Jan 11, 2022 CISA issued an alert (AA22-011A) warning of increased risk to U.S. critical infrastructure. An additional alert was issued on Feb 16, 2022 (AA22-047A) warning of increased risks to U.S. Cleared Defense Contractors (CDCs) by Russian state-sponsored cyber attackers.
Tenable.sc enables organizations to quickly summarize and track specific vulnerabilities to ensure proper discovery and mitigation. This report showcases mitigation of these vulnerabilities to ensure a reduced attack surface in the organization.
From the DHS site:
“The United States faces persistent and increasingly sophisticated malicious cyber campaigns that threaten the public sector, the private sector, and ultimately the American people’s security and privacy. The federal government must improve its efforts to protect against these campaigns by ensuring the security of information technology assets across the federal enterprise. Vulnerabilities that have previously been used to exploit public and private organizations are a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors of all types. These vulnerabilities pose significant risk to agencies and the federal enterprise. Aggressively remediating known exploited vulnerabilities is essential to protect federal information systems and reduce cyber incidents.”
CISA, the FBI, and NSA recommend that organizations apply the methods listed below for Identity and Access Management, Protective Controls and Architecture, and Vulnerability and Configuration Management:
- Require multi-factor authentication for all users, without exception
- Require accounts to have strong passwords, and do not allow passwords to be used across multiple accounts or stored on a system to which an adversary may have access
- Secure credentials
- Set a strong password policy for service accounts
- Audit Domain Controllers to log successful Kerberos TGS requests and ensure the events are monitored for anomalous activity
- Identify, detect, and investigate abnormal activity that may indicate lateral movement by a threat actor or malware
- Enable strong spam filters
- Update software, including operating systems, applications, and firmware on IT network assets, in a timely manner. Prioritize patching known exploited vulnerabilities, especially the CVEs identified in this CSA, and then critical and high vulnerabilities that allow for remote code execution or denial-of-service on internet-facing equipment
- Use industry recommended antivirus programs
- Disable all unnecessary ports and protocols
- Ensure OT hardware is in read-only mode
Tenable.sc uses active credentialed scanning and/or agent-based scanning to collect information needed to identify known exploitable vulnerabilities. This information enables the risk manager to work with asset owners to establish an ongoing remediation action plan, which demonstrates compliance with this directive.
The report is available in the Tenable.sc Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, assurance report cards and assets. The report can be easily located in the Tenable.sc Feed under the category Threat Detection & Vulnerability Assessments.
The report requirements are:
- Tenable.sc 5.20.0
- Nessus 10.0.2
Risk-based vulnerability management (RBVM) is a process that reduces vulnerabilities across the agency's attack surface by prioritizing remediation actions to the risks CISA identifies. Tenable.sc enables the agency to go beyond just discovering vulnerabilities and provides the life cycle steps to establish internal validation and enforcement procedures that demonstrate adherence with this Directive.
Executive Summary: The Executive Summary chapter provides an overview of the organization's vulnerabilities in relation to CISA-NCAS|AA22-011A. The introductory matrix utilizes the Cross Reference for CISA-NCAS|AA22-011A Alert to present counts of the vulnerabilities and hosts that have been identified. Also presented are the number of vulnerabilities and hosts that are known to be mitigated. A total of 18 CVEs can be associated with this alert.
CISA Alerts (AA22-011A and AA22-047A) Vulnerability Details: The The CISA Alerts (AA22-011A and AA22-047A) Vulnerability Details chapter is split into three sections: Affected Subnets, Remediation Steps, and Vulnerabilities and Affected Assets. The chapter presents the user with an overview of the vulnerabilities related to AA22-011A and AA22-047A filtered by subnet. Also displayed in the report are tables detailing the affected assets along with the vulnerability's remediation steps.