How Tenable Can Help

Everyone uses email and web browsers to communicate and access a wide variety of systems from commercial sites to enterprise systems. Email and web browser applications represent two of the most essential tools for communication and information access. Vulnerabilities are a common concern and these applications are prime targets for cyber attacks.

The Center for Internet Security (CIS) states:

"Web browsers and email clients are very common points of entry and attack because of their technical complexity, flexibility, and their direct interaction with users and with other systems and websites. Content can be crafted to entice or spoof users into taking actions that greatly increase risk and allow introduction of malicious code, loss of valuable data, and other attacks. Since these applications are the main means that users interact with untrusted environments, these are potential targets for both code exploitation and social engineering."

Clicking on malware designed to deceive users, either inside of an email or on a malicious website, is certainly a very common and successful method of attack. However, this method is best cured with a solid cybersecurity awareness program. Security training is an invaluable tool in educating users on best practices; in particular on how to identify phishing emails, how to avoid browser plugins, extensions, and keeping applications up-to-date. All of which reduce the likelihood of this type of attack being successful.

Another common attack path is via unpatched applications. Email clients and web browsers which are unpatched, may contain vulnerabilities that allow a compromised user’s device to be vulnerable to a number of attacks. In regard to web browsers, malicious or poorly coded extensions may allow attackers to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information, or inject malicious code.

To mitigate these vulnerabilities, users and organizations should practice safe email and web browsing habits, keep software up-to-date, and utilize anti-virus and anti-phishing software. Tenable can assist organizations to reduce these threats by minimizing the attack surface associated with web browsers and email systems.