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CHAPTER 1 Welcome to the Wide World of W... > Misplaced Priorities and the Need fo...

Misplaced Priorities and the Need for a New Focus

A recent survey of security executives from Fortune 1000 companies (http://www.fishnetsecurity.com/News-Release/Firewalls-Top-Purchase-Priority-In-2010-Survey-Says-) showed that the number one IT security spending priority was network firewalls. Given that, you’d guess that the number one way these companies are getting attacked is through open ports on their networks, wouldn’t you? In fact, if you did, you’d be dead wrong. The number one way Fortune 1000 companies and other organizations of all sizes get attacked is through their web applications.

How often do web applications get attacked? Security industry analysts suggest that as much as 70 percent of attacks come through web applications. And that 70 percent figure doesn’t just represent a large number of small nuisance attacks like the site defacements that were so common in the early days of the Web. Vulnerabilities in web applications have been responsible for some of the most damaging, high-profile breaches in recent news. Just a small sample of attacks in the first half of 2011 alone includes:


  

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