Nearly all websites have serious security vulnerabilities – new research shows

50% of businesses would fail at PCI compliance

London, 13th July 2015 – A new report on 5,500 companies comprising 15,000 website and network scans, performed on over 1.9 million files, finds nearly half of the web applications scanned contained a ‘high security’ vulnerability such as XSS or SQL Injection, while almost 4 in 5 web applications were affected by a ‘medium security’ vulnerability. Also many scans found the main superbugs of 2014 have not been patched, especially POODLE. Just published, the Web Application Vulnerability Report 2015 from security vendor Acunetix also examined DoS attacks, SSL and perimeter vulnerabilities, among others.

In today’s landscape, with high profile hacks and data breaches appearing in the media you might think these are the unlucky few – yet actually most companies are leaving themselves vulnerable to attacks. In the race to produce user-friendly interfaces and customer-centred apps, modern companies are leaving their (and our) precious data wide open to cyber criminals. With nearly half of web apps containing a high security vulnerability, means that 50% of the organisations scanned would fail at complying with the financial industry’s PCI Data Security Standards.

Nick Galea, CEO at Acunetix says: “These are worrying stats, showing businesses are failing in some basic web security areas.…it’s just like leaving your wallet or unlocked phone lying around in a public place. It’s more a question of how long it takes, rather than if at all, before you are compromised.”

Hackers continue to concentrate their efforts on web-based applications since they often have direct access to back-end data such as customer databases. The nature of cyber-attacks is also diversifying as criminals target not only financial data but personal data for use in identity theft and confidential intelligence to carry out cyber espionage.

When it comes to Network Vulnerabilities, administrators are performing better, however the stats are still not reassuring at all. 10% of the servers scanned were found to be vulnerable to ‘high’ security risks, and 50% had a ‘medium’ security vulnerability. Keeping in mind most of these servers are perimeter servers, having a network vulnerability on these internet-facing servers could spell disaster, as this could easily lead to server compromise and access to other servers on the network.

Having a ‘high security’ vulnerability is a major problem and fixing these should be top of the web security list. To define high security: An attacker can easily exploit such vulnerabilities to compromise the integrity and availability of the target application, gain access to backend systems and databases, as well as deface the target site and trick users into phishing attacks.
The data was gathered from Acunetix Online Vulnerability Scanner – the Acunetix cloud-based solution. All data was collected over a period of one year ending March 2015. To download the report visit http://www.acunetix.com/acunetix-web-application-vulnerability-report-2015/

About Acunetix

Acunetix is the market leader in web application security technology, founded to combat the alarming rise in web attacks. Its products and technologies are the result of a decade of work by a team of highly experienced security developers. Acunetix Vulnerability Scanner is the tool of choice for customers including the US Army, the US Air force, Barclays Bank, American Express and more. It’s available both as an online and on premise solution. Acunetix beats competing products in many areas; including speed, the strongest support of the latest types of web application development architectures such as JavaScript, ability to access restricted areas with ease, the most advanced detection of WordPress vulnerabilities and a wide range of reports. www.acunetix.com

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