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Forum Thread: Use OSI for during a website's login process, mitigate the End No...

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sweerek Use OSI for during a website's login process, mitigate the End Node Problem
Member 21st Apr, 2012 04:34
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User Since: 21st Apr, 2012
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Location: US
Idea: Use OSI for during a website's login process, mitigate the End Node Problem


Hello,

Here's an idea using Secunia Online Software Inspector (OSI) to mitigate the End Node Problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_Node_Problem) over the long term.

Let's say your website contains sensitive info and your employees login into it to access/view/use that data. Most of your site's visitors are good guys, but their devices vary in security. Most end node scanning / validation assumes the user/device is malicious and tries hard to make sure it happens, happens right, and must pass -- some even foolishly try to force malware scanning. But, as noted, most visitors are really good guys but often unknowingly entering with risky systems. Since they're good guys (and employees w/ vested interest in their group) they'd help keep the data secure... if they knew what to do and the 'cost' of doing so was minimal.

The group's data owner tries hard to protect his data, but he must still give remote access. He has his group take hours of mandatory annual employee training, offers free anti-virus and some other security software, and perhaps even distro great how-to's (likehttp://www.nsa.gov/ia/_files/factsheets/Best_Pract...). But cyberspace reality is complex and ever changing. This just isnít enough. Among other things, he wants only fully patched computers to access his site.

The idea.

When a user visits the login page, they get a Consent & Warning statement they must accept to continue (e.g.
https://www.my.af.mil) but that "I Agree" also kicks off a browser scan using OSI. The scan's results are given to the user (typical OSI results) but also to the website's owner. To enter the site, the user must pass the checks or face some sorta hurdle (time delay, alternate scan process, answer manual questions about the system, etc.). A good guy would more often than not just update the old software, rescan, and get in. This makes that one end node more secure and thus overall improves the security of the group's data. The site owner also gets a pretty good idea of his user's security posture.

Counterpoint to the 'add a hurdle' idea: Many employees are on machines inside the group's network that cannot be updated by a user, yet must still access the Internet-facing sites. Many users are on browsers that can't have the plugin installed. Drop the need to pass hurdle -- just show the person the shortfall and initially hope that making updates easier and known will increase end node security. (This can be measured so evidence will arrive eventually.)

The product would be something like OSI but with a secure backend connection with the group's webserver - the plugin / scanner is provided from & back into that user's website (as to maintain a constant and same-named https connection between the user and the organization) but actually run by Secunia in the cloud. User trust their site but are suspicious of others sites (ref fake AV tools). The site owner logs into Secunia to see the results - pretty much report %'s of before and after scans. Maybe an advanced feature would provide an alert the webmaster of the user who always avoids updating her end node.

Anyone in Secunia interested in discussing this idea?

Kevin Sweere
Air Force Research Lab

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