Imperva says UK firms need to tighten up on Web app security

News that more than a quarter of all Web applications have a high risk of security vulnerabilities comes as no surprise, nor is the fact that the problem is getting worse, says Imperva, the data security specialist.

"The 2009 Web Application Security Report from NTA Monitor shows that the number of apps with at least one high risk vulnerability has soared from 17 to 27 per cent in the last year, whilst the medium risk category has risen from 78 to 90 per cent," said Brian Contos, Imperva's chief risk strategist.

"Although this comes as no surprise to us, it is an appalling indictment on the software audit and control operations in most companies. With NTA spotting an average of 13 vulnerabilities per test, it's clear that IT departments really do need to pull their socks up in terms of testing and auditing of their software development processes," he added.

According to Contos, NTA Monitor's report proves what Imperva has been telling its clients for some time - namely that few organisations have the in-house resources to perform regular software testing and updating a clearly-stated set of application security policies.

Perhaps worse, he said, even fewer companies do as NTA Monitor suggests and include security service level agreements into their contracts with Internet or managed service providers.

Staff training, he explained, is central to application auditing and testing, and, since few organisations have the time or skills required, the key to the problem is effective outsourcing.

This is why, Contos noted, Imperva's activity monitoring, real-time protection and risk management of critical business data and applications is now used by more than 4,500 organisations in over 100 countries.

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