Security Experts:

Many Security Pros Believe Their Java Applications Are Vulnerable: Survey

Nearly half of the IT professionals surveyed recently by Waratek, a company focused on security and management of Java enterprise applications, believe that the Java applications used by their organizations are vulnerable.

The survey revealed that 32% of the roughly 130 CISOs, CIOs, CSOs and other IT executives polled by Waratek at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit last month said their Java apps are vulnerable, while 17% of the respondents rated their applications "very vulnerable" to attacks. Around one third of surveyed individuals think their applications are only somewhat secure.

Most of those who took part in the survey cited insecure coding (60%), security holes in third-party libraries (25%), and SQL Injection attacks (19%) as posing the biggest threat. However, 87% of respondents said their IT security teams are unable to properly protect Java applications against attacks because they lack the necessary information, the company said.

"Custom developed Java-based applications dominate virtually every industry, especially financial services and ecommerce," explained Waratek CEO Brian Maccaba. "Since many of these enterprise applications are running on older versions of the platform and use third party code, it’s not surprising that so many security professionals are concerned about vulnerabilities in these programs."    

Over the past years, numerous security firms and experts have warned users that Java is highly insecure. However, Oracle has been trying to address security concerns. The company fixed a total of 20 Java vulnerabilities with its latest quarterly critical patch update, and it dispelled rumors that security updates for Java would no longer work on Windows XP.

The biggest enterprise security challenges, according to 43% of the Waratek survey respondents, is keeping up with the latest threats. A quarter of the IT experts polled cited finding and retaining talent as the biggest challenge. When it comes to concerns, 55% of respondents are afraid of the effects of a data breach on the company's reputation, while 34% are more afraid of losing customer data and intellectual property.

view counter
Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.