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.

Risk

3/26/2009
09:24 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Firms Taking Web App Security (More) Seriously

Anyone in IT, who hasn't been living under a hard drive for the past decade, knows that poor application development processes have littered the Internet and corporate networks alike with trashy code that makes systems too susceptible to attack. Some companies, according to a new survey, are taking quality code more seriously.

Anyone in IT, who hasn't been living under a hard drive for the past decade, knows that poor application development processes have littered the Internet and corporate networks alike with trashy code that makes systems too susceptible to attack. Some companies, according to a new survey, are taking quality code more seriously.It took a relentless series of Internet worms and embarrassing software vulnerabilities -- more than seven years ago -- to get Microsoft to finally put significant resources behind the development of more secure, sustainable applications.

It seems it takes a publicly disclosed data breach for firms to spend more on data security in the application development phase -- than those that haven't suffered such a breach. At least, that's the finding of a new survey (PDF) conducted by the Open Web Application Security Project, ran by the OWASP Foundation.

I guess it's human nature to only want to cut back on the salt and red meat -- after one has been diagnosed with hypertension. Or take vitamins and drink more fresh juice after being sick.

And that's reflected in the findings of this survey, of about 50 companies: enterprises that were publically breached spend more to develop secure code than those that have not been breached. Or, at least those that weren't required, by the threat of a big regulatory hammer, to publicly disclose the breach.

This shows than any evangelists within organizations fighting to improve the security of applications before they're shipped, or deployed, are fighting an uphill battle against human nature. That is: why fix or focus on something that isn't broken, or causing problems today?

Problem is this: more often than not, software is shipped, or sent onto production Web servers, when it's broken. And by broken, I mean loose enough to enable someone sitting in a café in Kazakhstan to pwn the app, and then most probably the server.

The challenge is people can't see broken, or shoddily written software. At least not if it runs without crashing (too often), they can't see the holes (buffer overflows, etc.) that make the application a sieve to attack.

The good news in the survey is that 61 percent of those surveyed report that they have independent third-parties review their Web application code before it goes to production.

That percentage, based on my own reporting and interviews, strikes me as way high. But it is a survey of only about 50 companies.

In any event, it's good news. And shows some steps in the right direction. With the daily grind of data breaches and software vulnerability announcements -- I'll take it.

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/10/2020
Researcher Finds New Office Macro Attacks for MacOS
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  8/7/2020
Lock-Pickers Face an Uncertain Future Online
Seth Rosenblatt, Contributing Writer,  8/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: They said you could use Zoom anywhere.......
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-14483
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
A timeout during a TLS handshake can result in the connection failing to terminate. This can result in a Niagara thread hanging and requires a manual restart of Niagara (Versions 4.6.96.28, 4.7.109.20, 4.7.110.32, 4.8.0.110) and Niagara Enterprise Security (Versions 2.4.31, 2.4.45, 4.8.0.35) to corr...
CVE-2020-11733
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
An issue was discovered on Spirent TestCenter and Avalanche appliance admin interface firmware. An attacker, who already has access to an SSH restricted shell, can achieve root access via shell metacharacters. The attacker can then, for example, read sensitive files such as appliance admin configura...
CVE-2020-13281
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
For GitLab before 13.0.12, 13.1.6, 13.2.3 a denial of service exists in the project import feature
CVE-2020-13286
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
For GitLab before 13.0.12, 13.1.6, 13.2.3 user controlled git configuration settings can be modified to result in Server Side Request Forgery.
CVE-2020-15925
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-13
A SQL injection vulnerability at a tpf URI in Loway QueueMetrics before 19.10.21 allows remote authenticated attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the TPF_XPAR1 parameter.