Application Security // Database Security
4/17/2014
06:10 PM
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SQL Injection Cleanup Takes Two Months or More

A new report highlights the prevalence and persistence of SQL injection attacks.

In the past 12 months, 65% of organizations have suffered a SQL injection attack, and it took them close to 140 days to realize they had been hit.

According to a report by the Ponemon Institute published yesterday, it took an average of 68 days for victim organizations to recover and clean up after discovering they had suffered a SQL injection attack.

SQL injection is a hacking technique where an attacker exploits a vulnerability in the targeted application to send malicious SQL statements to the database. The attacker inserts malicious SQL statements into an entry field.

"SQL injection has been around for ages," says Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. It just won't go away. "You're lucky if you discover it [quickly], and it takes a long time to remediate: 140 days for an organization to even detect a SQL injection attack" has occurred. "And 40% of them say it takes six months or longer to detect it... It's nine months on average from start to finish."

The report, was commissioned by DB Networks, is based on responses from 595 IT security professionals in the US, both in the commercial and government sectors.

More than half of the organizations neither test nor validate third-party software for SQL injection vulnerabilities, the survey found, and 56% say finding the source of SQL injection is harder due to the emergence of mobile devices at the office.

Other findings: Forty-four percent use professional penetration testers to look for bugs, while just 35% of those tests include looking for SQL injection bugs. More than half say they have or will begin to swap their signature-based security with behavioral analysis-based tools in the next 24 months. Half say they will use behavioral analysis tools to track database activity.

The good news is that more organizations are aware of SQL injection threats, according to Michael Sabo, director of marketing for DB Networks. "I'm excited to see at least these organizations realized the significance of the threat. SQL injection is always one of the top threats... This attack has become highly automated," he says.

A full copy of the report, The SQL Injection Threat Study, is available here (registration required).

Kelly Jackson Higgins is Senior Editor at DarkReading.com. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, ... View Full Bio

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Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
4/21/2014 | 3:55:00 PM
Cost of SQL Injection cleanup?
Interesting data, Kelly. Wondering if the Ponemon study quantified any of the costs to organizations of a SQL injection attack, in terms of dollars and data loss. 
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