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4/14/2009
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Over 60% Of Breaches Tied To Flaws In Business-Critical Applications

Survey by Forrester Consulting and Veracode shows businesses struggling to stay on top of application security

If you still don't think security vulnerabilities in software will necessarily catch up with you, think again: 62 percent of organizations in the last 12 months suffered data breaches as a result of bugs being exploited in their major applications, according to a newly released survey.

Forrester Consulting, commissioned by Veracode, surveyed application developers and security and risk professionals in 200 organizations in the U.S. and U.K., and found that secure software development programs are rare -- only 34 percent said they have a software development lifecycle program that integrates security.

"The survey showed that people, process, and culture are the primary inhibitors," says Matt Moynahan, CEO of Veracode, in an interview. "Security is not a core competence of enterprises developing code."

Application security awareness is hot today, with multiple new industry initiatives aimed at promoting and helping companies write more secure code.

But the current economic crisis is putting the squeeze on those organizations trying to improve their application security. Around 45 percent said application security is a big piece of their overall security strategy, but that they will likely scale back those initiatives in their next budget cycle. Close to 20 percent say their funding for application security will remain intact, according to the report.

Meanwhile, 57 percent don't have application security training programs for their in-house developers, and only 13 percent said they know the security quality of all of their mission-critical applications. But they are vetting the security of software they purchase, as 60 percent say they use or are about to use third-party security assessments as part of the procurement process.

The key inhibitors to deploying an application security risk management program in-house were people and processes, according to Veracode, each of which got around 80 percent of the votes.

Veracode and Forrester will discuss the complete findings in the survey in a Webinar on May 7 at 1pm ET.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message. Kelly Jackson Higgins is Executive 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 ... View Full Bio

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