Feeds

Patchy app development security slammed

Eight out of 10 tested apps riddled with flaws

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Eight in 10 applications failed to pass stricter security testing standards in test by application security assessment firm Veracode.

Veracode tightened up its testing procedures so that apps prone to cross-site scripting and SQL injection errors automatically failed. This zero tolerance policy reflects that fact that these two classes of errors are so frequently exploited by hackers of varied stripes to access customer data or intellectual property.

Data from the Web Hacking Incident Database suggests that 20 per cent of reported breaches can be traced back to SQL injection exploits of one type or another.

Last year, under a less strict testing regime, 57 per cent of apps failed to pass muster on first inspection. This figure has reached 80 per cent under the new zero-tolerance for SQL injection policy.

The latest edition of Veracode's State of Software Security Report covers results from the analysis of 9,910 applications submitted to Veracode’s cloud-based application security testing platform over the last 18 months. The security firm reports that government apps are "less resilient to common attacks compared to other sectors". For example, analysis by Veracode revealed that 40 percent of government web applications accessed had SQL Injection issues as compared to 29 percent for finance and 30 percent for software development firms.

The study also discovered that common application development mistakes are also creep into mobile applications. Veracode found that mobile developers tend to make similar mistakes to enterprise developers, such as the use of hard-coded cryptographic keys. More than 40 per cent of the Android applications analysed had at least one instance of this flaw, which makes it easier for attackers to launch broader assaults. Attackers need only obtain the one common key to attack all instances of a vulnerable application in the same way and (perhaps) at the same time.

On a more positive note, Veracode reckons insecure software can usually be remediated quickly, without negatively impacting rapid development cycles. More than 80 per cent of the apps that flunked Veracode's tests at the first attempt were successfully modified to make a passing grade within one week, it reports. Developer training and education can successfully improve the security quality of the applications out of the gate, Veracode adds.

The latest edition of Veracode’s State of Software Security Report can be downloaded here. The study includes more details on the most commonly exploited vulnerabilities and the risks associated with commercial software as well as a detailed remediation workflow study. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!
The clock is ticking louder for Windows Server 2003 R2 users
Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don't mention the...
Why HELLO Amazon! You weren't here last time
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Red Hat to ship RHEL 7 release candidate with a taste of container tech
Grab 'near-final' version of next Enterprise Linux next week
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.