According to a study conducted by a major internet security firm, at least eight in ten websites are exposed to serious risk.
The potential damage posed by these vulnerabilities range from an attacker being able to take over control of a site to accessing personal data, including passwords and usernames. Whilst some breaches resulted in nothing more serious than cyber vandalism, the potential for serious loss should not be underestimated, according to the paper.
The WhiteHat Security report suggested that over half of the 30,000 websites surveyed had more than a single vulnerability, with a similar percentage having at least one security flaw each day of the year.
Judging from the findings, no single sector is immune to these issues, with the results revealing that even industries that are perceived as secure, such as finance, insurance and healthcare, were still susceptible to security breaches. The weakest area was deemed to be network activity monitoring.
The study also claimed that it took an average of six months to plug the defensive hole from recognition to resolution. Researchers said of their findings:
“This year’s report has shown that the amount of time companies are vulnerable to web attacks is much too long. Increasing the rate at which these vulnerabilities are remediated is the only way to protect users.”
The report found that the most important way to combat risk and improve the speed of response was to ensure that IT services received details of bug tracking as soon as possible, which some of the network security packages from Ten Ten Systems can help them with.