5 Reasons Why Securing Your Web Applications Should Be a Top Priority

Is your company ignoring these threats?

Did you know that in 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security threats than in 2014? That is according to the recent Global State of Information Security Survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Additionally, according to Risk Based Security’s Q3 2015 Data Breach Report, there was a 29 percent increase in reported incidents compared to last year, including a 40 percent increase in threats exposing a million or more records.

What does it all mean? A recent CSO Online article cited these statistics as evidence that vigilance regarding corporate websites and email remains critical. It also emphasized the need for companies to focus on securing web applications, an often-overlooked vulnerability that offers easy and inexpensive entry points for — you guessed it, criminals.

In the article, CSO Online cites five reasons why company websites and web applications are easily compromised today. We thought it might be wise to summarize these threats as a reminder of their seriousness.

“In 2015, companies detected 38 percent more security threats than in 2014.”

Global State of Information Security, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Are your web applications and website secure? Ask yourself if you have addressed these issues:

1. Underestimating web application risks. Many large companies seriously underestimate the value of their web applications, and have web application security as the lowest priority in their risk management approach. Companies may not realize that a vulnerable website is an ideal entry point for cyber criminals, one that usually doesn’t require them to expend high costs or resources to gain access.

2. Lack of continuous monitoring. Web technologies are constantly evolving. What is secure today may be vulnerable tomorrow. Yet many companies do not perceive web application security as a continuous process, and instead, view it as a one-time audit. This represents an opportunity for endpoint modeling to help provide a secure defense. Endpoint modeling can continuously monitor network activity across your applications and website to detect any immediate abnormalities in behavior and enable you to respond quickly and effectively.

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3. A poorly implemented software development lifecycle. Many companies still ignore standards of secure software development because they are complex and expensive to implement. The situation is even worse in companies where software development teams have existed for years, as changes to well-established procedures are met with resistance, even when proven to be insecure and at risk. No one wants to spend additional time on software security if they are not paid for the additional work.

4. Business needs take precedence over security. Data breaches via insecure web applications occur regularly in companies where security processes are mature and integrated into a company’s daily business processes. Yet companies that suffer from slow demand or fierce competition often forget about security when such pressure occurs. It’s the business that pays developers’ salaries, and thus the business has the last word. Yet it’s also the business that will take responsibility for a new data breach and its related costs.

5. Ignorance of third-party risks. Many companies introduce thorough security guidelines for third-party partners, but fail to mention proper web application security with them. As a result, attackers can compromise a website of your long-time supplier, consultant, or partner, and instead of hosting malware on your website, they host it on a trusted website.

Is your company taking these vulnerability risks seriously? Perhaps it is time for your team to undertake a thorough examination of your own web application security. 

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