Computer Crime Research Center


Web applications are the new vulnerability to cybercrime

Date: February 23, 2011

Common web applications include webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, social networks, wikis as well as many other functions.

I recently sat down with Mandeep Khera, CMO of Cenzic Inc at the RSA Conference that is kicked off every year around February at the San Francisco Moscone Center. A security "tech fest" not to be missed!

According to Cenzic Inc and Ponemon Institute 73% of businesses have insecure web applications that have been hacked at least once in the last 24 months; yet these businesses will spend more on coffee annually than they do on securing their web applications. These businesses are relying on their network firewalls to protect their website but this is like using a cardboard shield in a sword fight.

Mandeep asked the question, “If you know that burglars are coming through a broken door repeatedly wouldn’t you want to fix that door?” Yet most of these businesses test less than 10% of their web applications for security holes even after known hack attacks.

According to Mandeep, “Hacking is good money. The average monthly income for a hacker is $10,000.00. And businesses are decades behind securing the attacks from these hackers and the problems they create.” Businesses have to start investing even more when it comes to online security.

Cenzic Inc. offers a secure solution to businesses with vulnerable web applications. Now, the next step is to convince management to make securing their web applications as important as their coffee budget which is about $30 per employee per month.

Here’s what we as consumers can do to protect ourselves online:

Due diligence in looking at the sites and making sure it's not an immature site. (Not a guarantee that it'll protect them but raises the bar.)
Don't click on any ads or pop ups
Allow pop ups only for sites they are sure of
Update to the latest version of your browser
Google search to see if a site is generally safe
Ask the site master how they are securing their sites
Use a virtual credit card # which can expire right away
Go to credit card company sites to find out about the site you are shopping on
Run anti-spyware frequently
Use a cleaning software to delete cookies
Use a good anti-virus on your computer

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