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

5/1/2019
03:35 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Study Exposes Breadth of Cyber Risk

New study shows SMBs face greater security exposure, but large companies still support vulnerable systems as well.

Organizations with high-value external hosts are three times more likely to have severe security exposure to vulnerabilities such as outdated Windows software on their off-premise systems versus their on-premise ones.

While external hosts at SMBs face greater exposure than larger companiesas company revenues grow so do the number of hosts and security issues affecting them, according to a new study published yesterday by the Cyentia Institute and researched by RiskRecon. The study analyzed data from 18,000 organizations and more than 5 million hosts located in more than 200 countries.

The study, Internet Risk Surface Report: Exposure in a Hyper-Connected World, identified more than 32 million security vulnerabilities, such as old Magecart ecommerce software and systems running outdated versions of OpenSSL that are vulnerable to exploits such as DROWN and Shellshock.

Wade Baker, founder of the Cyentia Institute, says the results have to be carefully analyzed. For example, 4.6% of companies with fewer than 10 employees had high or critical exposure to security vulnerabilities, versus 1.8% of companies with more than 100,000 employees. So while the 1.8% number sounds good percentage-wise, that's still many more hosts exposed.

"In many ways, the findings are not surprising," Baker explains. "When we broke it down by industry, banking had the lowest exposure at 0.6%. But let's say an organization has 10,000 hosts and gets its exposure number down to 1%, that’s still 100 external hosts exposed. All a hacker needs is one host to exploit to do damage. And while I think the 1.8% number for large organization is good, we still have a lot of work to do."

Kelly White, founder and CEO of RiskRecon, adds that while the 0.6% number for the banking industry is not perfect, it's approaching what's financially possible for many organizations. Even banks with deep pockets have to decide how much money they can spend on IT security and run an analysis of how much risk they can accept, he says.

"Companies have to focus on protection, monitoring, and recovery," White says. "The stronger you are at prevention, it takes the pressure off monitoring and recovery."

The research also found that North America, Western Europe, and Western Asia have the lowest exposure scores. The scores for those regions were 1.5%, 1.7%, and 1.8% respectively. The regions with the highest security exposure included Eastern Asia (5.5%), Pacific Island Nations (4.4%), and Eastern Europe (4.1%).

"While some of the developed regions are better at cybersecurity, many of those regions adopted the Internet much sooner and have had a longer time to put governance in place," Kelly says. "I think people may have to think twice and decide if they can trust suppliers in Eastern Asian and Eastern Europe with their data."

Related Content: 

 

 

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Steve Zurier has more than 30 years of journalism and publishing experience, most of the last 24 of which were spent covering networking and security technology. Steve is based in Columbia, Md. View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Can Your Patching Strategy Keep Up with the Demands of Open Source?
Tim Mackey, Principal Security Strategist, CyRC, at Synopsys,  6/18/2019
Florida Town Pays $600K to Ransomware Operators
Curtis Franklin Jr., Senior Editor at Dark Reading,  6/20/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-12346
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
In the miniOrange SAML SP Single Sign On plugin before 4.8.73 for WordPress, the SAML Login Endpoint is vulnerable to XSS via a specially crafted SAMLResponse XML post.
CVE-2014-9699
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
The MakerBot Replicator 5G printer runs an Apache HTTP Server with directory indexing enabled. Apache logs, system logs, design files (i.e., a history of print files), and more are exposed to unauthenticated attackers through this HTTP server.
CVE-2019-7231
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
The ABB IDAL FTP server is vulnerable to a buffer overflow when a long string is sent by an authenticated attacker. This overflow is handled, but terminates the process. An authenticated attacker can send a FTP command string of 472 bytes or more to overflow a buffer, causing an exception that termi...
CVE-2017-17945
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
The ASUS HiVivo aspplication before 5.6.27 for ASUS Watch has Missing SSL Certificate Validation.
CVE-2019-10271
PUBLISHED: 2019-06-24
An issue was discovered in the Ultimate Member plugin 2.39 for WordPress. It allows unauthorized profile and cover picture modification. It is possible to modify the profile and cover picture of any user once one is connected. One can also modify the profiles and cover pictures of privileged users. ...