Retailers quick to fix flaws in software but code quality issues run riot

Retailers quick to fix flaws in software but code quality issues run riot

Veracode’s latest State of Software Security report (SoSS) shows that retail is faster than most industries when it comes to addressing common vulnerabilities found in software. 

However, two-thirds of current applications used by retailers are at risk from information leakage attacks, in which an application reveals sensitive data that can be used by an attacker to exploit the target web application, its hosting network, or its users. The retail sector reported the third most information leakage issues behind the technology and financial services industries.  

Veracode’s report also investigated flaw persistence, or how long a flaw lingers after first being discovered. It showed healthcare and retail are reducing their risk the fastest, with the latter remediating a quarter of vulnerabilities in 14 days and 50% of flaws in 64 days. In fact, retail outpaced the average speed of fix at every interval across all industries, meaning the sector remains consistent with its urgency in closing vulnerabilities.  

It also, however, recorded the highest amount of code quality flaws of all other verticals at 65%. This is the third most common vulnerability category in all industries, following information leakage and cryptographic issues.

“In the wake of GDPR, it’s vital that retailers have visibility into risk associated with code flaws,” says Paul Farrington, Director of EMEA and APJ at Veracode. “With the busy holiday shopping season arriving, vulnerabilities in applications can allow attackers seeking sensitive information such as consumer payment data a way in. Many retailers are showing an aptitude for remediating flaws quickly to help improve security and protect their high value information. This is promising, yet the persistence and prevalence of vulnerabilities that continues to plague retailers calls for both increased speed of fix and better prioritising which flaws to fix first.” 

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