This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.X

Vulnerability data shows majority of websites are susceptible to a serious flaw

Share this article:

Despite the average number of serious vulnerabilities per website declining in 2012, 86 per cent of all websites tested were found to have at least one serious vulnerability that exposed it to attack.

According to correlated vulnerability data from more than 650 organisations' websites by WhiteHat Security, ‘serious' vulnerabilities per website went down from 79 in 2011 to 56 in 2012. Serious vulnerabilities were defined as those in which an attacker could take control over all, or some part, of the website, compromise user accounts on the system, access sensitive data or violate compliance requirements.

However, the report discovered that 86 per cent of all websites tested were found to have at least one serious vulnerability that exposed it to attack every single day of 2012. Of those serious vulnerabilities, 61 per cent were resolved on average, and only 18 per cent of websites were vulnerable for fewer than 30 days. On average, resolving these vulnerabilities took 193 days from the first notification.

Jeremiah Grossman, co-founder and chief technology officer at WhiteHat Security, said that the collective data shows that many organisations do not yet consider they need to proactively do something about software security, and all too often there is a ‘wait until something goes wrong' approach.

“This needs to change, and we believe there is now an opportunity for a new generation of security leaders to emerge and distinguish themselves with an understanding of real business and security challenges,” he said.

“Our hope is that they will address these issues we have identified and base their decisions on a foundation of data to improve the state of web security over time.”

The two most prevalent vulnerability classes in 2012 were information leakage and cross-site scripting, identified in 55 per cent and 53 per cent of websites respectively.

Share this article:

SC webcasts on demand

This is how to secure data in the cloud


Exclusive video webcast & Q&A sponsored by Vormetric


As enterprises look to take advantage of the cloud, they need to understand the importance of safeguarding their confidential and sensitive data in cloud environments. With the appropriate security safeguards, such as fine-grained access policies, a move to the cloud is as, or more, secure than an on-premise data storage.


View the webcast here to find out more

More in News

Banking Trojans target energy sector as APTs

Banking Trojans target energy sector as APTs

Banking Trojans are increasingly being used to launch advanced APT attacks, says IBM Trusteer, which has revealed a recent attack on several petrochemical companies in the Middle East using Citadel ...

Britain's small cyber security firms get £4m boost

Britain's small cyber security firms get £4m boost

Business secretary Vince Cable has launched a new £4 million government competition to help the UK's small cyber security businesses find new ways to combat the cyber threat.

GCHQ 'spied on Germany's Deutsche Telekom'; Germans sell spyware

GCHQ 'spied on Germany's Deutsche Telekom'; Germans sell ...

UK and US spies reported to spy on Deutsche Telekom in Snowden documents, while Germany's FinFisher accused of supplying surveillance software to repressive regimes.