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Web application risk on the rise across many sectors

Filed under: Cyber Security — Mark on February 18, 2012

It has been revealed that many web applications in use could be vulnerable to cross-site scripting (XSS). Context Information Security published the findings from its Web Application Vulnerability report which showed that nearly two-thirds of online applications pose a risk and possible network threat with those applications in the insurance, law, finance and government sectors being most exposed.

The information security consultancy carried out a range of penetration tests on a total of 600 web applications which had been custom built for a wide range of industries. Those created for government organisations in 2011 posed the greatest headache for those in risk management jobs. However, although within the financial sector penetration tests had highlighted that web applications were in the main robust in 2010, last year an rise of 1.5 vulnerabilities were found for every web application. This was a similar story within the insurance and law industries with vulnerabilities increasing by 2.5 on average.

Context’s research and development manager, Michael Jordon commented:

“While the number of vulnerabilities identified in applications from 2010 and 2011 has not increased greatly, it does indicate that developers are continuing to make the same mistakes and are still not addressing web application security sufficiently. While some of the vulnerability categories such as server configuration and information leakage had bigger rises, more serious cross-scripting and SQL injections present the biggest and potentially most damaging threats to web applications. It is certainly clear that penetration testing before allowing a web application to go live is more relevant and essential than ever.”

As security continues to be a hot topic those looking for information risk management jobs need to be aware of this ongoing trend.

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