Art Wittmann


Upcoming Events

Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

Register Now!

A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

Register Now!

More Events »

Subscribe to Newsletter

  • Keep up with all of the latest news and analysis on the fast-moving IT industry with Network Computing newsletters.
Sign Up

See more from this blogger

SQL Injection: The Fastest-Growing Security Threat

Few things make a CIO's eyes glaze over like the mere mention of SQL injections. Unless they cut their teeth in security or SQL programming, chances are that the folks who control the purse strings don't understand these increasingly common attacks. That's a real issue because you're probably making decisions that could exacerbate the problem.

So just how big is the problem? The number of SQL injection attempts has gone from a few thousand a day just last year to more than half a million a day now, according to IBM's ISS X-Force. The bad guys are using automated tools to find out where SQL injection is possible, evaluating the sites for the best exploitation possibilities. These bad guys are really bad. They aren't looking to be disruptive; they're looking to steal credit card numbers and identities for profit. These are the exploits that tripped up the likes of Heartland Payment Systems and retailer TJX. And even if you aren't processing lots of credit cards, there's reason to guard against SQL injection, as the exploit also can be used as a first step to modifying your Web site to spread malware.

And how might you be exacerbating the problem? Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of preventing SQL injections, is that there's no single security technology you can buy that will keep your apps safe. In particular, looking to the likes of Microsoft, Oracle, and IBM to produce a database impervious to injections is wrong headed. This is an exploit that depends on lax coding and poor application design practices. If you're operating like a lot of companies, chances are that you've outsourced both the coding and design of your applications. Chances are equally good that you didn't choose your developers based on their excellent practices in code security. So unless your team is carefully reviewing the code from your contracted developer, chances are unnervingly good that your application is susceptible to SQL injections.

Susceptibility is bad, but if your system and database admins are doing their jobs, then they've limited the overall access attainable from a compromised application or database. But that doesn't always happen. When apps are tested, they're often tested with root privilege--meaning the apps have the keys to the kingdom. That makes sense for testing, as the developers may not even be able to fully understand what the final security posture should look like for the application--and you may not want to tell them.

However, lots of apps work just fine when they have root access but not when they have more limited access. Figuring out why that is and fixing it can take time, and your resource-constrained IT staffers who are feeling pressure from line-of-business application owners may just run the app with root privilege even though they know they shouldn't. Once it's up and working, that's the sort of security lapse that could go unnoticed for months or years. No one sets out to create an insecure application, but it's all too easy to end up with one.

Art Wittmann is a freelance journalist and writer with 30 years of experience in IT and IT journalism. Wittmann specializes in IT infrastructure, cloud computing and data center issues. Email him at artwittmann@yahoo.com Follow him on twitter @artwittmann


Related Reading


More Insights


Network Computing encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Network Computing moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing/SPAM. Network Computing further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | Please read our commenting policy.
 
Vendor Comparisons
Network Computing’s Vendor Comparisons provide extensive details on products and services, including downloadable feature matrices. Our categories include:

Research and Reports

Network Computing: April 2013



TechWeb Careers