What Were the Most Routinely Exploited Vulnerabilities of 2021?

Several of the leading cybersecurity agencies around the world have released a joint cybersecurity advisory alert (AA22-117A) outlining the top 15 Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) of 2021 and recommended mitigation strategies to apply.

According to the advisory alert, the document was developed by U.S., Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and UK cybersecurity authorities to continue their respective cybersecurity missions, including their responsibilities to develop and issue cybersecurity specifications and mitigations.

The global cybersecurity authorities and agencies contributing to the report include the FBI, CISA and NSA from the United States, the Australian Cyber Security Centre, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre and the United Kingdom’s National Cyber Security Centre.

The report found that most threat actors targeted internet-facing applications including email servers and VPNs in 2021, with the top 15 routinely exploited vulnerabilities outlined below.

Source: https://www.cisa.gov/uscert/ncas/alerts/aa22-117a

It is no surprise that the Log4Shell vulnerability is on the list, as this vulnerability took over the headlines for several weeks last year; however, the fact that it was not disclosed until December 2021 and still made the list shows how rapid and widespread the exploitation of this vulnerability was.

The list also includes three repeat offenders—CVE-2020-1472, CVE-2018-13379 and CVE-2019-11510— all appearing on the list last year, illustrating the frustration with organizations that fail to patch software and address vulnerabilities despite knowing that they exist.

In addition to the top 15 exploited vulnerabilities, the advisory alert shares other widely reported vulnerabilities exploited in 2021 that impacted several widely used products such as Microsoft Office, Accellion FTA and Cisco IOS software.

The advisory also provides a comprehensive section on mitigation, with best practices to maximize vulnerability and configuration management, protective controls and architecture, and identity and access management.

The complete advisory alert and list are available at www.cisa.gov/uscert/ncas/alerts/aa22-117a.

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 About Schneider Downs Cybersecurity

The Schneider Downs cybersecurity practice consists of experts offering a comprehensive set of information technology security services, including penetration testing, intrusion prevention/detection review, ransomware security, vulnerability assessments and a robust digital forensics and incident response team. For more information, visit www.schneiderdowns.com/cybersecurity or contact the team at [email protected].

In addition, our Digital Forensics and Incident Response teams are available 24x7x365 at 1-800-993-8937 if you suspect or are experiencing a network incident of any kind.

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