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Java security problems: Is disabling Java the answer?
This article is part of the October 2012 issue of Information Security magazine
Vulnerability management is a time consuming, complex process and the recent onslaught of attacks on Java hasn't made it any easier. To recap: In August, security researchers reported that attackers were actively exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities in Java. Oracle – not always the quickest on the draw when it comes to fixing flaws – actually released a patch pretty fast only to have security researchers uncover holes in it. All the Java security problems – and a growing track record of security snafus with the popular programming language -- led to calls from a number of security experts to disable Java. Tod Beardsley, Metasploit engineering manager at Rapid7, says that's simply sound advice. "For the Java browser plug-ins, users should disable Java. Unlike Flash, HTML5 or even PDF, it's not ubiquitous technology on the Web…Disabling unnecessary functionality is always good advice – doing so reduces your attack surface," he says. In the enterprise, however, shutting off Java is easier said than done. A number of common business ...
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Features in this issue
For the seventh consecutive year, Information Security readers voted to determine the best security products. More than 2,000 voters participated this year, rating products in 14 different categories.
A successful threat management program requires effective processes, layered technology and user education.
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Columns in this issue
Companies are under pressure to take advantage of big data analytics but they should be aware of the risks.
Unless security is viewed as a core function instead of an add-on, we're bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.
In the wake of recent exploits, experts recommend disabling the programming language but that can be tricky in the enterprise.