NCSC warns organisations to ditch Python 2 before it hits end of life
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has advised organisations still using Python 2 code to port it to Python 3 as soon as possible before it goes end of life at the turn of the new year.
The cyber security arm of GCHQ said that because Python's core developers will stop working on updates, vulnerabilities in the code will go unpatched and leave organisations vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Moreover, if an organisation is maintaining a library written in Python 2 that other people depend on, then those dependencies are being delayed in their own upgrades which, in turn, adversely affects their cyber security resilience.
"If you continue to use unsupported modules, you are risking the security of your organisation and data, as vulnerabilities will sooner or later appear which nobody is fixing," said the NCSC in a blog post.
Outlining the scale of the problem, the NCSC showed data from June 2019 of the ten most popular Python packages downloaded by millions every month. It showed the majority of the packages were still written predominantly in Python 2 and the ones like Flask which were written mainly in Python 3, still had around a third of their content in the soon-to-be EOL version.
"Even if only a portion of these downloads are being used in live projects, the Python 2 EOL could potentially affect the security of millions of systems," said the security body.
It's important for organisations to fully migrate over to Python 3 as the way to the two languages are structured could create code incompatibilities in their libraries.
For example, text strings are stored differently in the two languages as Python 2 stores in ASCII which uses 8-bit encoding whereas Python 3's Unicode uses variable bit encoding so it will support most written languages while ASCII won't.
"The impending end-of-life of Python 2 illustrates both the importance of managing a complex software supply chain of third-party components and platforms, as well as the critical need for updates," said Jonathan Knudsen, senior security strategist at Synopsys. "Customers will avoid or ignore updates that are not drop-dead simple, or automatic, which can result in stale deployments that are plagued by bugs that have already been fixed."
Python 3 is essentially a more intelligent language that comes bundled with lots of new features that makes coding easier and less convoluted. It irons out some annoying features of Python 2 such as integer division which would previously round down to the nearest whole number.
The NCSC recognises that porting all of an organisation's code to a new language can be a daunting task, but there are tools out there to help make it easier.
'Can I Use Python 3' is a program which will scan projects for dependencies that will prevent porting to Python 3, while '2to3' is a tool which will attempt to port Python 2 source code into 3.
The official Python website will also have documentation that organisations will find helpful and links to free resources to help further with the process.
Industry: Cyber Security
- IAM Consultant
- Upto €85000 plus benefits
An Identity & Access Management Consultant is needed for an expanding IT Security consultancy, based in France. (Remote role with monthly office meet-ups) The Identity & Access Management Consultant will be responsible for the technical design and implementation of Identity & Access Management/IAM products for a wide variety of clients. Deliver bespoke end-to-end consultancy service to our clients, from gathering requirements through to implementation. Work in a close team designing, developing, and implementing first-class IAM solutions. Manage client relationships, working closely with key stakeholders to continually evaluate business requirements and ensure the highest quality solution delivery. If you are interested we are looking for an individual with Previous experience working within the IAM or CIAM field is essential, Strong knowledge with SAML and Oauth and ideally OpenID Previous experience from any of these technologies: One Identity, SailPoint, Saviynt, Ubisecure, Ping Identity, would be advantageous
- Ping Identity Support Consultant- IAM Support
- upto €60,000 plus benefits
As the Ping Support specialist, you would be part of a team focused on Single Sign On (SSO) / Federation and Multifactor authentication, protecting our clients from unauthorized access and cyberattacks. The position is to provide 2nd/ 3rd line support, for the following tech. SSO, Federation, Reverse Proxy infrastructure, Apache servers, and its associated components and applications To be responsible for the day to day operational support, performance, tactical lifecycle management, and continuous improvement of the respective IT infrastructure. We are looking for someone with strong SAML and OAuth Knowledge as well as experience supporting the Ping portfolio of solutions Identity, Access, Federate
- IAM Architect Ping Identity, Access Federate
- Up to €110,000 plus benefits
An experienced Ping Identity Architect is needed for this global brand who are looking for someone who wants to join a growing Cyber Security team. We are looking for a senior Architect who can be responsible for the full IAM portfolio, including overseeing all BAU work as well as being responsible for the future strategy and development of the IAM portfolio further development and strategy You will be responsible for ensuring all architectures and best practices within the architecture framework are maintained and developed We are looking for someone with a strong Ping background, in Ping identity, federate, and Access, you will have worked as a senior consultant or architect in previous roles and ideally have some team-leading experience You will have good knowledge of architectural principles and patterns and their implementation into system and software design Experience in handling container technologies, cloud technologies, CI/CD (DevOps) and LDAP
- Security Engineer Contract £600 pd Outside IR35- SIEM, Vulnerability Management, DevSecOps
- United Kingdom
- £600 pd Outside IR35
Security Engineer Contract £600 pd Outside IR35 SIEM, Vulnerability Management, DevSecOps 6 month Contract Hybrid – some travel to London Google Chronicle – SIEM Crowdstike Spotlight – Vulnerability Management Google Cloud Platform - GCP Application security Core areas; Oversight of alerts with any improvement, fine tuning, enriching / use cases. Proactive vulnerability management – Prioritising and engaging with internal teams to remediate Advising / consulting within internal development teams to focus on, embed and evolve security as part of ongoing software / platform development. Push and enhance technical aspects of security forward. Beneficial experience Automation of security / data enrichment Looking to interview and engage ASAP