Web breaches blamed on lacklustre security

A lack of emphasis on Web security has been blamed for opening the door to yet more malicious hacking attacks

With attacks on websites by the likes of Anonymous rarely out of the headlines, independent analyst Ovum has blamed Web developers for not putting enough importance on ensuring sites and applications are secure.

In a new report, it claims the recent spate of attacks on the Web facilities of high-profile companies such as Sony have been able to happen because of a lack of emphasis on security when they were built. Instead, there has been too much focus on ‘cosmetics’ such as look, speed and ease of access, at the expense of writing secure code.

During the last three years, up to 70 per cent of the Web’s top 100 sites have either hosted malicious content or contained redirect facilities to illegitimate websites. Other recent targets include RSA and several financial institutions.

“This is because developers have put too much emphasis on web cosmetics, the look and feel, the speed and ease of access,” said Ovum analyst and author of the report, Andy Kellett.

“The latest breach reports show that the problem has not gone away and the threat to commercial websites continues.”

According to the report, real-time analysis and inspection of webpages and their content is essential to ensuring users remain safe. Up-to-the-minute data protection technology is one of the keys to combating malicious hacker attacks, it added.

“The use of Web 2.0 services, the requirement for social media access in a business and personal context, and the introduction of an increasing number of new mobile devices mean that the real-time elements of web protection have to deal with the combined requirements of corporate and social use,” Kellett said.

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