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Insecure Configuration

Fixing Insecure Configuration

About Insecure Configuration

What is Insecure Configuration?

Insecure configuration refers to the situation where a system or application is configured with settings or parameters that do not adequately protect it against security threats.

Examples of insecure configurations include using default or weak passwords, allowing open access to network ports, enabling unnecessary services or protocols, and misconfiguring access controls.

Insecure configuration can occur at any layer of the technology stack, including hardware, operating systems, applications, and network devices.

It is a common cause of security incidents and is often exploited by attackers who take advantage of misconfigured systems to gain access to sensitive information or carry out attacks.

Check out this video for a high-level explanation:

What is the impact of Insecure Configuration?

The impact of insecure configuration can lead to financial and reputational losses and potential harm to individuals or organizations.

Insecure configurations can leave systems and applications vulnerable to a variety of security threats, including unauthorized access, data breaches, and denial of service. Attackers can exploit insecure configurations to gain access to sensitive information, steal data, install malware or ransomware, or disrupt services.

In addition to the direct financial and operational costs of such attacks, insecure configurations can also result in lost business, damage to brand reputation, and legal or regulatory penalties.

Insecure configurations can also make it difficult for organizations to comply with security and privacy regulations, such as GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in significant fines, legal actions, and reputational damage.

How to prevent Insecure Configuration?

To prevent insecure configuration, it is important to follow security best practices and guidelines, such as those provided by industry standards like NIST or CIS, and to regularly review and update configurations to ensure they are up-to-date and properly secured.

Here are some specific steps you can take to prevent insecure configuration:

  • Use secure defaults: Always change the default configuration settings of software and hardware devices to more secure settings, such as changing default passwords and disabling unnecessary services.
  • Limit access: Implement the principle of least privilege and limit access to systems and applications only to authorized users who need it to perform their job duties.
  • Apply security updates: Keep systems and applications up-to-date with the latest security patches and updates to protect against known vulnerabilities.
  • Use security tools: Deploy security tools, such as vulnerability scanners and security information and event management (SIEM) systems, to monitor and manage system configurations.
  • Enforce strong passwords: Require the use of strong passwords and two-factor authentication for accessing systems and applications.
  • Follow security standards and frameworks: Implement security standards and frameworks, such as NIST or CIS, to ensure that your configurations adhere to industry best practices.
  • Regularly review and audit configurations: Regularly review and audit system configurations to ensure they are properly secured and to identify and address any vulnerabilities or misconfigurations.

By taking these steps, you can significantly reduce the risk of insecure configuration and protect your systems and applications from security threats.




Option A: Restrict Routes

Setting routes insecurely can result in unrestricted access to public controller actions.

Solution-specific references:

  1. Go through the issues that GuardRails identified in the PR/MR

  2. Remove the code that has either this pattern:

    #Rails 2.x
    map.connect ":controller/:action/:id"

    or this one:

    Rails 3.x
    match ':controller(/:action(/:id(.:format)))'
  3. Follow the best practices as described here

  4. Test it

  5. Ship it 🚢 and relax 🌴

Option B: Enable Deep Munge

Solution-specific references:

  1. Go through the issues that GuardRails identified in the PR/MR

  2. Identify the following configuration setting:

    config.action_dispatch.perform_deep_munge = false
  3. Either delete this line, as by default it is enabled, or change it to:

    config.action_dispatch.perform_deep_munge = true
  4. Test it

  5. Ship it 🚢 and relax 🌴