Industry Talk

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Retailers acting quickly to fix flaws in software, but code quality issues remain rampant

Veracode’s latest State of Software Security report (SoSS) revealed retail is faster than most industries when it comes to addressing common vulnerabilities found in software. The global report found retail is second only to healthcare in its speed of shutting down flaws, which reduces risk exposure.

However, two-thirds (66%) 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. The report showed healthcare and retail are reducing their risk the fastest, with the retail sector remediating a quarter of vulnerabilities in 14 days and 50 percent of flaws in 64 days. In fact, retail outpace the average speed of fix at every interval across all industries, meaning the sector remains consistent with its urgency in closing vulnerabilities.

Even as it is making strides reducing risk, retail recorded the highest amount of code quality flaws of all other verticals at 65 percent. Code quality is the third most common vulnerability category in all industries, following information leakage and cryptographic issues, suggesting this is an industry-wide dilemma with developing quality code.

“In the wake of GDPR, it’s vital that retailers have visibility into risk associated with code flaws,” said 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.”