Looks like there are quite a few issues emerging with various systems and components that many banks and such use for their core processing. The last few weeks have seen issues in Oracle, MySQL, AIX, of course Windows and various supporting tools and services.
Given the importance of core processing availability to most financial institutions, many are hesitant to patch their production systems associated with these critical functions. However, just the opposite should be true. These systems should be among the first patched to various vulnerabilities – of course – once a patch has been properly tested and vetted in their backup, lab or QA environment (they all have those, right?).
Certainly, increased pressure on patching these systems is coming from legal compliance and regulatory requirements, but financial organizations should ensure that they have an action plan for maintaining the patching and security of these systems – regardless of, and in light of, their criticality to the life of the organization. Taking a “wait and see” or “it’s working so don’t mess with it” approach could be a severely damaging error on the part of IT and management.
Core processing vulnerabilities are going to continue to emerge and present themselves as critical issues. Getting a process for managing them put into place is an excellent idea, the sooner the better.