A survey has shown that 81% of IT security professionals know that their applications are vulnerable to hackers.
Fortify Software conducted the survey at the Infosecurity Europe 2008 event in April. More than 300 security specialists from businesses with more than 1,000 employees were questioned and nearly a third admitted that they are "very worried" about the security of their applications.
Additionally, a quarter of companies surveyed say that they outsource application development but do not specify that any security processes or technologies be applied to ensure the security of outsourced applications.
In the wake of Londoner Gary McKinnon's hack into US military systems, Fortify's findings also state that a third of companies say that hacking is a daily occurrence and that 17% of these incursions were successful.
Speaking to ComputerWeekly.com, Fortify Software's head of product marketing Rob Rachwald said, "The results of our survey show that hacking is a very real threat to a lot of companies. But what is perhaps more insightful is that most companies feel that outsourcing increases their chance of being hacked. Where budgets for in-house code development do not exist, it becomes especially important that businesses are continuously (and automatically) checking their applications for vulnerabilities."
In terms of a response to these threats, Fortify's study shows that compliance to standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel 2 are positive drivers. The company also says that firewalls are still the most popular form of defence with 98% choosing this as the default option.