Third of Breaches Caused By Unpatched Vulnerabilities

IT security professionals have admitted that a third of cybersecurity breaches are the result of vulnerabilities that they should have patched.


Software vendors are constantly publishing new patches to fix problems in software that they have sold. It's then up to the users of the software to apply the patches or else risk leaving themselves open to attack via the backdoors that the vendors failed to spot when initially building the product.


But the sheer volume of patches, with many vendors publishing new fixes on a monthly basis, and the need to test those patches to ensure that they don't cause other unexpected problems, means that there's often a delay in getting systems secured. That leaves a gap that hackers can exploit.


A study by Tripwire revealed that many organizations could be doing more to manage their vulnerabilities.


Supporting this conclusion, 27 per cent of survey participants said their employer had suffered a data breach as the result of an unpatched vulnerability. The rate was even higher for European organizations at 34 per cent.


Tim Erlin, vice president of product management and strategy at Tripwire, said this lack of asset discovery capabilities is a problem because it limits the overall effectiveness of an enterprise vulnerability management program:


Erlin further explained: “How you assess your environment for vulnerabilities is important if you want to effectively reduce your risk. If you are not doing authenticated vulnerability scans, or not using an agent, then you are only giving yourself a partial picture of the vulnerability risk in your environment.”


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