Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


01:07 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell

Apps Bypassing Business Security -- Bigtime!

Those applications your employees use (whether you want them to or not) are making it easier for them to bypass security systems and controls. A new report from firewall company Palo Alto Networks shows just how easy -- and just how serious the problem is.

Those applications your employees use (whether you want them to or not) are making it easier for them to bypass security systems and controls. A new report from firewall company Palo Alto Networks shows just how easy -- and just how serious the problem is.The Application Usage and Risk Report, released semi-annually by firewall company Palo Alto Networks studied 60 companies, with a total of 900,00 users, and found that:

92% of the companies had at least 6 P2P apps on their networks.

Some companies had as many as 17 P2P apps in the system!

76% of the companies has browser-based file sharing apps present, with five apps being the typical presence.

The majority of companies surveyed had apps in place that permit their users to bypass company security controls.

The consequences -- in addition to risks of malware, lost productivity, etc. -- include a whopping loss of bandwidth:

51% of business bandwidth is being consumed by consumer-oriented apps including P2P, social networking, browser file-sharing and toolbars.

Most of these apps are consumer-oriented: and among the consumer orientations hat make them popular is their built-in ability specifically to bypass your business's security tools and security/usage policies,either automatically or with the employee's input.

How bad is the situation?

The average network had 156 applications present.

156! Think about that as you tally the number of legitimate, approved applications you have in place for your employees and their work.

However you decide to handle employee use of networks and outside apps, and whatever your usage policy (assuming you have one and enforce it), the pervasiveness of the problem, the risks it exposes your company to, the sheer amount of bandwidth the apps are consuming all but demand that you take a closer look at your policies, your security infrastructure, the ways your employees may be bypassing each, and the apps they're using to do so.

The complete Palo Alto Networks Applications Usage and Risks report can be downloaded here. (Registration required.)

Don't miss bMighty's April 29th SMB bSecure Security On A Budget Online Event.

Sign up here:

bMighty bSecure is a virtual event designed to help your company stay secure in the most cost-effective way possible. bMighty and InformationWeek editors will bring together SMB security consultants, analysts, and other experts, along with real IT execs and users from small and midsize companies to share the secrets of keeping your company secure without breaking the bank.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Old IT Things Every New InfoSec Pro Should Know
Joan Goodchild, Staff Editor,  4/20/2021
Cloud-Native Businesses Struggle With Security
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  5/6/2021
Defending Against Web Scraping Attacks
Rob Simon, Principal Security Consultant at TrustedSec,  5/7/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-12
Cross Site Scripting (XSS) in LAOBANCMS v2.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code by injecting commands into the "Website SEO Keywords" field on the page "admin/info.php?shuyu".
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-12
An Information Disclosure vulnerability exists in dhcms 2017-09-18 when entering invalid characters after the normal interface, which causes an error that will leak the physical path.
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-12
evm is a pure Rust implementation of Ethereum Virtual Machine. Prior to the patch, when executing specific EVM opcodes related to memory operations that use `evm_core::Memory::copy_large`, the `evm` crate can over-allocate memory when it is not needed, making it possible for an attacker to perform d...
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-12
A Cross SIte Scripting (XSS) vulnerability exists in Dhcms 2017-09-18 in guestbook via the message board, which could let a remote malicious user execute arbitrary code.
PUBLISHED: 2021-05-12
Knowage Suite 7.3 is vulnerable to Stored Cross-Site Scripting (XSS). An attacker can inject arbitrary web script in '/knowage/restful-services/signup/update' via the 'surname' parameter.