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Office Suite Vulnerability Summary

by Megan Daudelin
October 27, 2016

Monitoring common office applications for vulnerabilities is essential to securing a network against exploitation. Office suite software is essential to organizations of all sizes, and as a result is a target for attackers. By leveraging vulnerability data gathered by Tenable Nessus, Tenable SecurityCenter is able to provide detailed insight into vulnerabilities related to office suite software deployed in an environment.

The Office Suite Vulnerability Summary report provides insight into vulnerabilities associated with common office product vendors that may expose an organization to increased risk of exploitation. Vulnerabilities related to various vendors of office suite software are specifically tracked. Office suite software is a requirement for most organizations, and as a result is targeted for exploitation. By monitoring the network specifically for vulnerabilities in office suite software, security teams can more effectively secure the network against exploitation and intrusion.

The chapters in this report leverage data gathered by active vulnerability scanning with Nessus and passive vulnerability detection with Tenable Passive Vulnerability Scanner (PVS). The data collected is filtered to provide insight into the vulnerabilities related to office suite software in the environment. Vulnerabilities are tracked by time, severity, and exploitability in order to provide a more complete view of the security status of the network. Security teams can use all of the chapters in this report to assist in identifying, monitoring, and remediating vulnerabilities in office suite software that may expose their organization to risk.

The report uses the Common Platform Enumeration (CPE) filter to identify many of the software programs used in enterprise networks. According to NIST, the CPE is a structured naming scheme for information technology systems, software, and packages. Based upon the generic syntax for Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI), CPE includes a formal name format, a method for checking names against a system, and a description format for binding text and tests to a name. Tenable assigns CPEs to plugins where appropriate. This allows for analysts to search for common CPE prefixes such as “cpe:/a:microsoft:word,” “cpe:/a:apple:pages,” and “cpe:/a:apache:openoffice.” Associating CPE strings with vulnerabilities allows the analysts a greater view into separating operating system vulnerabilities from application vulnerabilities, and adds to the level of vulnerability detail provided to the organization.

This report is available in the SecurityCenter Feed, a comprehensive collection of dashboards, reports, Assurance Report Cards, and assets. The report can be easily located in the SecurityCenter Feed under the category Threat Detection & Vulnerability Assessments. The report requirements are:

  • SecurityCenter 5.3.1
  • Nessus 6.8.1

Tenable SecurityCenter provides extensive network monitoring by leveraging a unique combination of detection, reporting, and pattern recognition utilizing industry recognized algorithms and models. SecurityCenter is continuously updated to detect advanced threats and vulnerabilities. Tenable constantly analyzes information from our unique sensors, delivering continuous visibility and critical context and enabling decisive action that transforms the security program from reactive to proactive. Continuous vulnerability analysis enables security teams to more effectively tailor remediation efforts. Monitoring the network to ensure that all systems are secured against vulnerabilities is essential to ongoing security efforts. Tenable’s extensive network monitoring capabilities can verify that systems are successfully scanned regularly and secured against vulnerabilities, enabling ongoing improvements to an organization’s security posture.

The following chapters are included in this report:

  • Executive Summary: This chapter provides a high-level overview of the vulnerability status of the environment as related to the office suite software in use. Vulnerabilities are tracked by severity, vendor, and time in order to provide a broad understanding of desktop application vulnerabilities present in the network. Since office suite software is a requirement for most organizations, and as a result is a target for exploitation, vulnerabilities should be carefully monitored and remediated quickly.
  • Vulnerability Status at a Glance: This chapter provides insight into the specific vulnerabilities detected that are related to office suite software. The following two tables provide lists of the vulnerabilities related to office suite software detected in the past seven and thirty days. The tables list the plugin name, severity, and total count of relevant vulnerabilities detected. Security teams can use the tables to track the detection of new desktop application vulnerabilities.
  • Critical Vulnerability Information: This chapter provides an overview of the critical vulnerabilities related to office suite software. The Criticals at a Glance table lists the critical vulnerabilities related to office suite software detected in the environment. Relevant vulnerabilities with a critical severity level are shown to focus on the vulnerabilities that present the highest level of risk to the organization. For each vulnerability, the plugin name, severity, and family are listed. Security teams can use this component to identify and remediate the highest risk vulnerabilities in office suite software.
  • Detailed Vulnerability Information: This chapter provides detailed information about desktop application vulnerabilities detected in the environment. Vulnerabilities are separated by vendor and analyzed in multiple ways in order to provide a thorough depiction of the vulnerabilities impacting the network. Each element in this chapter provides detailed information about the desktop application vulnerabilities that could impact the security of the organization.
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