Feeds

UK.biz flunks app security tests

Risky business

The essential guide to IT transformation

Weak encryption or cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities remain a big problem for UK firms. Tests on web application security by UK penetration testing firm NTA Monitor on its clients uncovered problems in three out of five cases.

Furthermore, more than three quarters (78 per cent) of websites tested contained one or more medium level risks that may enable external users to gain unauthorised access or disrupt service availability.

The findings form part of the latest edition of NTA’s Annual Web Application Security Report, which analysed data gathered from web application security tests performed for a wide range of industry sectors including finance, government, education, IT, law and retail.

Roy Hills, technical director at NTA Monitor, described web applications as the Achilles' heel of many organisations. "Web applications are commonly the most vulnerable part of an organisation's network, as they necessarily allow internet users to input and access data," Hills explained. "Content and design is frequently altered in order to keep up with the demand for new features and functionality, but even simple changes could produce a new vulnerability that may threaten confidential information."

Weak SSL encryption vulnerabilities may cause sessions to be compromised. Cross-site scripting allows attackers to bypass access controls, such as the same origin policy. Attacks based on the class on vulnerability typically allow malicious JavaScript from hackers, served up over the web, to execute in a computer's local zone.

NTA recommends three key procedures that organisations can follow to reduce their risk:

  • Apply a hardening and patching procedure to all Internet facing web servers.
  • Strong encryption (128 bit SSL) should be used for all sensitive details, such as credit card numbers and passwords.
  • All user-supplied data should be properly sanitised before returning it to the browser or storing it in a database.

®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.