The spectre of cybercrime is spreading fast and has engulfed scores of businesses across industries and geography. The statistics are worrisome. In 2023 alone, about 33 billion accounts are expected to be breached. It means 97 cybercrime victims per hour and 2328 per day. A total of 8,00,000 cyberattacks have been recorded so far this year, which makes it 39 attacks every second. As per Cybersecurity Ventures, $8 trillion is bandied about as the cost of cybercrime in 2023. This mind-boggling figure is set to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025. According to Manish Chaudhuri, CISO, Cybernetic Global Intelligence, an accredited global leader in providing advanced Cybersecurity consulting services, it is important for businesses to identify and fix any vulnerabilities in their digital infrastructure to mitigate risks. This is where CWE comes into prominence.
What Is Common Weakness Enumeration, or CWE?
The Common Weakness Enumeration, or CWE, is a list of common software and hardware weaknesses prepared by a community to highlight their security ramifications. The aim of CWE is to identify and stop any vulnerabilities at their source. This is done by programmers, architects, and designers to help enterprises mitigate risks from cyber threats.
CWE helps developers and security practitioners in the following ways:
- Facilitating the description and discussion of software and hardware weaknesses using a shared language.
- Identifying weaknesses in already developed software and hardware products.
- Assessing the effectiveness of tools designed to address these weaknesses.
- Utilising a standard baseline for identifying, mitigating, and preventing weaknesses.
- Proactively preventing software and hardware vulnerabilities before they are deployed.
The CWE List
As mentioned above, the CWE list comprises software and hardware weaknesses that any threat actor can exploit to cause data breaches or worse. These can disrupt the operations of an organisation and bring it down. The names on the list are:
- Out-of-bounds write
- Improper neutralization of input during web page generation (cross-site scripting)
- Improper neutralization of special elements used in an SQL command (SQL injection)
- Use after free
- Improper input validation
- Inproper neutralization of special elements used in an OS command (OS command injection)
- Out of bounds read
- Improper limitation of a pathname to a restricted directory (path traversal)
- Cross-site request forgery (CSRF)
- Unrestricted upload of files with dangerous type
- Missing authorization
- Null pointer dereference
- Improper authentication
- Integer overflow or wraparound
- Deserialization of untrusted data
- Improper neutralization of special elements used in a command (command injection)
- Improper restriction of operations within the bounds of a memory buffer
- Use of hard-coded credentials
- Server-side request forgery (SSRF)
- Missing authentication of critical function
- Concurrent execution using shared resource with improper synchronization (race condition)
- Improper privilege management
- Improper control of generation of code (code injection).
- Incorrect authorization
- Incorrect default permissions
The above-mentioned list can be utilized by security analysts and test engineers to develop security testing and evaluation plans. Consumers can refer to the list to request more secure hardware products from their suppliers. Additionally, managers and CIOs can gauge their progress in securing software and hardware. They can further determine where to allocate resources for developing security tools or automation processes that address a broad range of vulnerabilities by targeting the root cause.
How Should Businesses Address Software and Hardware Weaknesses
Business leaders should aim to strengthen their IT infrastructure. They should ensure compliance with relevant security standards. To ensure effective cybersecurity, it is imperative for them to adopt a comprehensive approach instead of a fragmented one. An example of this approach is the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), which has devised prioritised mitigation strategies known as the ACSC Essential Eight (E8).
These strategies are specifically designed for businesses to implement and minimise cybersecurity incidents. They address various cyber threats, including ransomware, targeted cyber intrusions by foreign intelligence services, external adversaries, and malicious insiders. It is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the details of the Essential Eight strategies and apply them accordingly.
Furthermore, in addition to the Essential Eight strategies, CEOs should consider implementing additional cybersecurity measures and ensuring compliance with both regulatory and non-regulatory standards. This includes standards such as ISO 27001 Audit & Risk Compliance, GDPR, APRA’s CPS 234, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, and SSAE 18, among others. By incorporating these measures and meeting the relevant compliance requirements, businesses can bolster their overall cybersecurity defences and safeguard against potential threats.
Today, cybercrime has evolved into a highly advanced and devastating threat. As chief executive officers, it is imperative that we grasp the nature of these threats, identify vulnerabilities within our business infrastructure, and comprehend the potential consequences. Now more than ever, it is crucial to invest in robust cybersecurity measures to enhance the stability of your businesses and foster cyber maturity.
At Cybernetic Global Intelligence, we specialise in cybersecurity and possess extensive expertise in collaborating with organisations across industries and regions. Our objective is not only to implement robust data protection measures but also to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. To learn more about our consulting cybersecurity services, please call 1300 292 376 or reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.