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Unsupported Software

by Cody Dumont
August 3, 2021

Unsupported Software

The proliferation of unsupported and end-of-life (EOL) products is common security problem experienced across all organizations. As applications and operating systems reach EOL, vendors stop offering support. This causes security and stability to decrease and raises increasing concern as time progresses. Patches, updates and security fixes will no longer be available, making the identification of systems running EOL applications an important part of assessing and minimizing organizational risk. The Center for Internet Security (CIS) Critical Controls (Sub-control 2.2) states that organizations must ensure that only software applications or operating systems currently supported and receiving vendor updates are added to the organization’s authorized software inventory. Unsupported software should be tagged as unsupported in the inventory system. 

Tenable.io enables organizations to continuously assess the health and security posture of the network, which includes the identification and monitoring of unsupported software. With quick identification of unsupported operating systems and applications, risk managers are better able to see risks associated with EOL software. By identifying exposures, the operations teams have the direction needed to implement act and prioritize remediation efforts to mitigate cyber risk. Working together the risk managers and operations teams can now clearly communicate to the leadership team how upgrading unsupported operating systems and applications reduces their network risk.  

Tenable.io uses active methods to identify EOL products found in the environment including looking in the Microsoft registry, common software installation locations, or using applications utilities such as YUM or APT in Linux systems. Using all of the available methods the risk manager is able to verify the operation team’s activities and identity areas for risk mitigation.

This dashboard provides the organization with a clear and simplified method to identify EOL software and enable the CISO to predict where risk will increase and develop a mitigation plan. 

List of Widgets

  • Assets with Unsupported OS (Top 25): Understanding which operating systems are unsupported or approaching end-of-life (EOL) can improve a security team's ability to mitigate vulnerabilities and secure the network. Systems running unsupported operating systems are more vulnerable to exploitation, so identifying and upgrading unsupported operating systems is essential to an effective security program. Using this widget, security teams can easily identify and address unsupported operating systems. Detailed exports are available providing a chapter containing 2 widgets:  Systems with Unsupported OS, Vulnerability Details for OS Vulnerabilities
  • Unsupported Outliers by Vulnerability: Tenable.io has a several plugins that report unsupported software, operating systems, and configurations that are unrelated to a specific software vendor, allow for the identification of unsupported outliers. These identified vulnerabilities are focused on Linux/Unix, OpenSSL, and Web Services.  These plugins provide the ability to group assets together based on an unsupported software or protocol.  Detailed exports are available providing a chapter containing 2 widgets:  Unsupported Software Outliers, Unsupported Outliers Details
  • Unsupported Software by Asset (Top 25): The systems identified in this chart have applications which have reached end-of-life (EOL), at which time vendors stop offering support. As patches and updates are released for new versions of software, unsupported versions are left out. Without receiving a patch, EOL applications could remain vulnerable to zero-day vulnerabilities, decreasing their security and stability. To minimize organizational risk, identifying unsupported applications is critical. This widget uses a combination of CPE and Plugin Name to identify unsupported software, helping security teams ensure applications stay up to date and minimizing the risk of vulnerabilities. Detailed exports are available providing a chapter containing 2 widgets: Top Most Vulnerable Assets with Unsupported Software, Most Common Unsupported Software Detections with Affected Asset.
  • Unsupported Software by Vulnerability (Top 25): As applications reach their end-of-life (EOL), vendors stop offering support. As patches and updates are released for new versions of software, unsupported versions are left out. Without receiving a patch, EOL applications could remain vulnerable to zero-day vulnerabilities, decreasing their security and stability. To minimize organizational risk, identifying unsupported applications is critical. This widget uses a combination of CPE and Plugin Name to identify unsupported software, helping security teams ensure applications stay up to date and minimizing the risk of vulnerabilities. Detailed exports are available providing a chapter containing 2 widgets: Unsupported Software Vulnerability Summary, Unsupported Software Vulnerability Details.
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