A five-year study conducted by cybersecurity firm Imperva showed that nearly half of on-premises databases globally have at least one vulnerability that could expose them to attacks.
Imperva has scanned 27,000 on-premises databases and found that 46% of them contain vulnerabilities, with an average of 26 flaws per database. Worryingly, 56% of those vulnerabilities are classified as having critical or high severity, and some of them have remained unpatched for three years or even more.
“Not only are businesses not investing enough effort into patching, but it seems some databases have just gone unnoticed as we identified CVEs dating back three and four years,” said Elad Erez, chief innovation officer at Imperva.
A regional breakdown of the data shows that France hosts the highest percentage of vulnerable databases, with 84% of databases containing at least one security hole, at an average of 72 vulnerabilities per database.
France is followed by Australia (65% of databases are vulnerable), Singapore (64%), UK (61%), China (52%) and Japan (50%). In the United States, 37% of databases have at least one flaw that could expose them to attacks, with an average of 25 issues per database.
“For non-publicly accessible databases, attackers can use a range of tools such as SQL injections (SQLi) to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications that are connected to a database,” Imperva said in a press release.
The company added, “When it comes to public databases, the threat is even greater as exploiting them requires even less effort. Attackers can search for vulnerable targets through tools such as Shodan and acquire exploit code through repositories like ExploitDB which hold hundreds of points of compromise (POC) codes. From there, the attacker can run the exploit from anywhere since the database has a public IP address.”