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April 2004

The future of software security vulnerabilities

In the late '90s, the security market boomed as organizations deployed network-based solutions. Yet, exploits continue to rise despite years of investment in firewalls, IDSes, AV and cryptography. In the future, attackers will have a tougher time picking targets, as platforms with tailored functions offer a much narrower target. Why? Because network-based defense mechanisms don't address the heart of the problem: bad software. Perimeter defenses are reactive: They block packets to this or that port; scan for files that include this or that pattern; and throw partial and oversized packets away without looking at them. We're scrambling to compensate for the porous software that processes the packets penetrating our perimeter defenses. This software security problem will likely get worse before it gets better because the software itself is changing faster than software security technology. We've identified seven broad trends that will help you understand how software is evolving and how it will impact security. We believe these ...

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