A third of organisations are cutting corners on security in order to make product launch deadlines, by shipping products that they know have unpatched vulnerabilities.

This is according to a survey of security professionals by Outpost24. 34% of those surveyed admitted their organisations had bypassed security to get products out to market faster.

The survey also found a worrying lack of faith in customers to patch such vulnerabilities, with 64% stating that they believe their customers could easily be hacked due to unpatched vulnerabilities in their organisation’s products and applications.

Carried out at Infosecurity Europe in June this year, the study took the opinions of 300 security professionals.

It also found that 29% of participants were not sure or didn’t believe their organisation’s products and applications would do well if there was a security breach test carried out on the business.

Unpatched vulnerabilities are putting customers at risk of breaches

The practice of shipping products with unpatched vulnerabilities is particular concerning given that a recent Verizon Data Breach Investigations report that found these caused data breaches in 27% of organisations last year.

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“Our study shows that even despite continuous warnings, organisations today are still leaving their customers at risk because of a failure to address security vulnerabilities in products before they are introduced to market,” said Bob Egner, vice-president of Outpost24.

“If organisations are not addressing these security vulnerabilities, they are taking a huge gamble and abusing consumer trust. Negligence towards security will eventually lead to disastrous outcomes for technology and application vendors and their customers.

“There should be no excuses today, especially when security is such a big issue and so many breaches, which have happened up and down the technology stack, are well publicised.”

92% of security professionals agreed it is important to carry out security testing on new products and applications, even though 39% of organisations did not introduce security testing from the start of the product or application lifestyle.

“While many organisations seem to understand the importance of security testing, they are not necessarily putting it into practice. A combination of penetration testing and automated application scanning is a great way to unearth software vulnerabilities in products and applications, and organisations are advised to carry out the process continuously or at least before they put a product out to market,” Egner added.

“The aim is not to address every single vulnerability detected, but to understand which are the most dangerous to the business and its customers and then work to remediate them first.”

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