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Risk

5/18/2009
06:05 PM
Keith Ferrell
Keith Ferrell
Commentary
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Watch Your Website Even As You Watch Out For Others

Businesses rightly spend much time and effort seeking to protect their employees from malicious Web sites and the havoc those sites can wreak. A new report reminds us not to neglect vulnerabilities on our own sites, 60% of which contain the sorts of vulnerabilities the malware makers love to exploit.

Businesses rightly spend much time and effort seeking to protect their employees from malicious Web sites and the havoc those sites can wreak. A new report reminds us not to neglect vulnerabilities on our own sites, 60% of which contain the sorts of vulnerabilities the malware makers love to exploit.The WhiteHat Security report found that while 60% of sites harbored at least one vulnerability, 80% have experienced at least one severe flaw in their security.

That's sobering but not, I think, surprising to most of us. Small and midsized business Web sites are no less vulnerable (you should pardon the expression) to vulnerabilities than any other sort of site.

Adding to the dilemma is the amount of time it takes to repair a flaw or seal off a vulnerability. According to WhiteHat, XSS cross-scripting vulnerabilities take an average of 58 days to be repaired. That's a lot of of time for a hole that could launch malicious code to be present on a site.

Another challenge is the evolution of the Web itself; no sooner do we hear about Web 2.0's business advantages than we begin planning to incorporate some of those new features into our sites. Many of you have grown accustomed to Web development and page/site deployment being an ongoing, even constant undertaking. Good Web sites are never finished, and new ones never stop being considered if not actively commissioned.

And of course with so much focus on new pages and sites and approaches, vulnerabilities in your existing Web presence can all too easily be overlooked.

That situation helps explain the slow pace of Web site repair and vulnerability-sealing: Other things are going on, other pages and sites developed, other demands being placed on your Web development and IT teams.

Which is no excuse, especially considering how much damage even a simple, single vulnerability can cause.

If constant, ongoing Web development, upgrading, page deployments and site launches are part of your business, then constant, ongoing security reviews of existing pages and sites, as well as thorough and repeated testing of new Web materials, has to be part of your Web strategy as well.

WhiteHat will be taking a look at its Web site security findings in a free Webinar, Tuesday, May 19th at 11 AM PST (registration required).

Just to remind you, bMighty's bSecure SMB Security On A Budget is now available on demand.

Check out bMighty bSecure on-demand here:

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