Feeds

Hackers target outsourced app development

Who's got your code?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Many firms fail to think about security when they outsource application development.

Three in five (60 per cent) organisations overlook procedures to mandate security in software development outsourcing, according to a study by analysts Quocirca. One in five (20 per cent) fail to consider security even when building applications in-house.

Quocirca's figures come from a survey of 250 senior executives in the UK, US, and Germany. It found that outsourcing of code development is widespread, and growing in importance. More than 50 per cent of those organisations quizzed outsourced more than 40 per cent of their code development needs.

Hackers are increasingly targeting application rather than operating system vulnerabilities.

TS Ameritrade showed last year what such practises can do when it admitted that a backdoor created by an outsourced programmer was to blame for the loss of 6.3 million customers' details.

The report found that financial services companies are most likely to outsource their code development needs, with 72 per cent reporting that they outsource more than 40 per cent of this work. The majority (84 per cent) of these organisations said code development is either business critical or important.

Public sector organisations are also big outsourcers, with 55 per cent outsourcing more than 40 per cent of their code development.

By contrast, utilities rarely outsource such work - just seven per cent outsource more than eight percent of code development.

"Not enough is being done by organisations to build security into the applications on which their businesses rely," said Fran Howarth, principal analyst at Quocirca and author of the report. "Not only that, but they are entrusting large parts of their application development needs to third parties. This creates an even greater onus for organisations to thoroughly test all code generated for applications — without which they could be playing into the hands of hackers."

The survey also found that exposure to Web 2.0 technologies — among the least understood, but considered to be among the most insecure software development models — is high. It also found that data protection is the key driver behind application security for the majority of organisations polled. ®

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NEW, SINISTER web tracking tech fingerprints your computer by making it draw
Have you been on YouPorn lately, perhaps? White House website?
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Attackers raid SWISS BANKS with DNS and malware bombs
'Retefe' trojan uses clever spin on old attacks to grant total control of bank accounts
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.