/dec 8, 2022

A Quarter of Technology Applications Contain ‘High Severity’ Security Flaws, Which Pose a Serious Cybersecurity Risk if Exploited

But Sector Leads the Way for Fix Times Once Flaws Are Detected

BURLINGTON, Mass. – December 8, 2022  Veracode, a leading global provider of modern application security testing solutions, today revealed that 24 percent of applications in the technology sector contain security flaws that are considered high risk—meaning they would cause a critical issue for the application if exploited. With, arguably, a higher proportion of applications to contend with than other industries, tech firms would benefit from implementing improved secure coding training and practices for their development teams.

Chief Research Officer at Veracode, Chris Eng, said, “Giving developers real, hands-on experience of what it takes to spot and exploit a flaw in code—and its potential impact on the application—provides the context and understanding to build their intuition about software security. Our research found that organizations whose developers had completed just one lesson in our hands-on Security Labs training program fixed 50 percent of flaws two months faster than those without such training.”

The data was published in Veracode’s annual State of Software Security (SoSS) report v12, which analyzed 20 million scans across half a million applications in the technology, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, and government sectors. Overall, the technology industry was revealed to have the second-highest proportion of applications that contain security flaws, at 79 percent, making it marginally better than the public sector at 82 percent. The tech sector lands in the middle of the pack when it comes to the proportion of flaws that are fixed. 

Tech Firms Are Comparatively Quick to Fix Software Security Flaws

Encouragingly, when tech firms do discover flaws in their applications, they are comparatively fast to reach the halfway point of remediation. In fact, the sector boasts industry-leading fix times for flaws discovered by static analysis security testing (SAST) and software composition analysis (SCA). While this is a laudable accomplishment, the industry still takes up to 363 days to fix 50 percent of flaws, suggesting there is still ample room for improvement.

Eng added, “Log4j sparked a wake-up call for many organizations last December. This was followed by government action in the form of guidance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the European Cyber Resilience Act, both of which have a supply chain focus. To improve performance in the year ahead, technology businesses should not only consider strategies that help developers reduce the rate of flaws introduced into code, but also put greater emphasis on automating security testing in the Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline to increase efficiencies.”

Server configuration, insecure dependencies, and information leakage are the most common types of flaws discovered by dynamic analysis of technology applications, which broadly follows a similar pattern to other industries. Conversely, the sector exhibits the highest disparity from the industry average for cryptographic issues and information leakage, perhaps indicating that developers in the tech industry are more savvy on data protection challenges.

The Veracode State of Software Security v12 technology snapshot is available to download here and the full report is available here.


About the State of Software Security Report

The Veracode State of Software Security (SoSS) v12 analyzed the full historical data from Veracode services and customers. This accounts for a total of more than half a million applications (592,720) that used all scan types, more than a million dynamic analysis scans (1,034,855), more than five million static analysis scans (5,137,882) and more than 18 million software composition analysis scans (18,473,203). All those scans produced 42 million raw static findings, 3.5 million raw dynamic findings, and six million raw SCA findings.

The data represents large and small companies, commercial software suppliers, software outsourcers, and open-source projects. In most analyses, an application was counted only once, even if it was submitted multiple times as vulnerabilities were remediated, and new versions uploaded.  

About Veracode

Veracode is a global leader in Application Risk Management for the AI era. Powered by trillions of lines of code scans and a proprietary AI-assisted remediation engine, the Veracode platform is trusted by organizations worldwide to build and maintain secure software from code creation to cloud deployment. Thousands of the world’s leading development and security teams use Veracode every second of every day to get accurate, actionable visibility of exploitable risk, achieve real-time vulnerability remediation, and reduce their security debt at scale. Veracode is a multi-award-winning company offering capabilities to secure the entire software development life cycle, including Veracode Fix, Static Analysis, Dynamic Analysis, Software Composition Analysis, Container Security, Application Security Posture Management, and Penetration Testing.

Learn more at www.veracode.com, on the Veracode blog, and on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Copyright © 2024 Veracode, Inc. All rights reserved. Veracode is a registered trademark of Veracode, Inc. in the United States and may be registered in certain other jurisdictions. All other product names, brands or logos belong to their respective holders. All other trademarks cited herein are property of their respective owners.


Press and Media Contacts

Katy Gwilliam,
Head of Global Communications, Veracode
[email protected]
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