Abandoned Websites Haunt Corporations

Websites that never go away continue to bring security threats to their owners, says a new report.

Old Web applications don't go away — they linger and spread security vulnerabilities around their organizations. These "ghost sites" are critical assets for criminals and weaknesses for enterprises, according to a new report by High-Tech Bridge, a Web security company.

The report, "Abandoned Web Applications: Achilles' Heel of FT 500 Companies," found that 70% of the FT 500 can find information for accessing old websites for sale on the Dark Web, and that 92% of externally facing Web applications have exploitable flaws or weaknesses.

While the report looked at the 500 largest companies in both the US and Europe, the largest 500 in the US, specifically, have 293,512 exernal systems accessible from the Internet, 42,549 of which have a live Web application with dynamic content and functionality, it states.

"This means a US company has an average of 85.1 applications that can be easily discovered externally and are not protected by 2FA, strong authentication or other security controls aimed to reduce application accessibility to untrusted parties," the report states.

High-Tech Bridge notes that its research looked only at application infrastructure, not network or control system infrastructure that might be explorable through a tool such as Shodan.

Read more here.



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About the Author(s)

Curtis Franklin, Principal Analyst, Omdia

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Principal Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Previously, he was senior editor of Dark Reading, editor of Light Reading's Security Now, and executive editor, technology, at InformationWeek, where he was also executive producer of InformationWeek's online radio and podcast episodes

Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications including BYTE, ComputerWorld, CEO, Enterprise Efficiency, ChannelWeb, Network Computing, InfoWorld, PCWorld, Dark Reading, and ITWorld.com on subjects ranging from mobile enterprise computing to enterprise security and wireless networking.

Curtis is the author of thousands of articles, the co-author of five books, and has been a frequent speaker at computer and networking industry conferences across North America and Europe. His most recent books, Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center, and Securing the Cloud: Security Strategies for the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, are published by Taylor and Francis.

When he's not writing, Curtis is a painter, photographer, cook, and multi-instrumentalist musician. He is active in running, amateur radio (KG4GWA), the MakerFX maker space in Orlando, FL, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

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