The security snacks for the week of November 20, 2018 include:
- PowerShell Scan for Windows 10 Updates
- MS Says Latest Office Patches Cause Crashes
- File Transfer Security Best Practices
File Transfer Security Best Practices
Because enterprises have to assume every file transfer could be deadly, IT pros need to be sure they are doing everything possible to keep them secure.
According to a recent survey, insecure file transfers are a top concern for today’s IT and security teams. Privacy compliance makes it more complex. Also, with the rise of zero-trust, enterprises are adopting the attitude that no actor on the company’s network or endpoints is to be considered trusted.
The advice is:
- Move away from unsecured technologies such as FTP and use secure ones like SFTP, AS2, or FTPS.
- Encrypt files in transit and at rest. Seems kind of obvious, but I know it bears repeating because security experts often complain about how much stuff is not encrypted.
- Keep audit logs to prove who transferred what where when to whom, as needed for compliance. The length for which you have to keep the logs may depend on the regulatory compliance demands of your industry, but a year or more is not uncommon.
You can get more information in this Cyber Defense Magazine article, How to Improve Security and Efficiency for Your File Transfers.
PowerShell Scan for Windows 10 Updates
You cannot check for security updates in the GUI without Windows 10 triggering installation, but a simple PowerShell script can check without updating.
Some third party applications have the ability to figure out if endpoints need Windows 10 security update without necessarily installing those updates immediately. However, you don’t really need a fancy application for that, just a few lines of PowerShell.
Basically, it works like this:
- Set policy to allow for scripts to be run
- Install NuGet package manager
- install the PowerShell Windows Update module
- Run “Get-WindowsUpdate” to get a list of pending updates
- Take further action if you want to install them
For a full explanation of the code, caveats, and options, read Susan Bradley’s article, How to use PowerShell to scan for Windows 10 security updates.
MS Says Latest Office Patches Cause Crashes
The November 6, 2018 update for Office causes some apps to crash sometimes, and Microsoft has pulled the updates.
Dho! Don’t you just hate it when an update causes crashes!? That’s the impact of the updates released on the first Tuesday (of November 2018) for Microsoft Office 2010, 2013, and 2016.
One update may cause crashes in Access, another may cause crashes in Outlook 2010. Microsoft has removed the updates but is not recommending broad-scale rollback.
In the case of Outlook 2010, Microsoft suggests using OWA. Personally, I suggest upgrading Outlook for crying out loud! (I know, I know, you can’t for complicated organizational reasons….)
More info in this article by Martin Brinkmann of ghacks.net in the article titled, Office, too? Microsoft pulls Office patches.