Websites, browsers face malware threats

Researchers discovered a major vulnerability in the popular Internet Explorer 8 browser.

Cyberspace is becoming an increasingly dangerous place for users. With the number of malware threats increasing at an alarming rate, establishing measures to prevent malicious programs from infecting computers has become absolutely essential. Reports have shown that websites as well as web browsers present a number of serious security concerns for users.

Websites rife with threats
According to a recently released study on the state of internet security, 86 percent of all websites tested had at least one serious vulnerability that exposed visitors to attack. Of those, only 61 percent of identified issues were resolved. Additionally, a mere 18 percent of vulnerable websites were able to fix these flaws within 30 days. For the websites that managed to successfully address vulnerabilities, IT teams took 193 days on average from the time of the first notification to do so. Alarmingly, banking websites were found to have a below average remediation rate, with only 54 percent of known issues reported as resolved.

The study concluded that network defenses alone did not provide websites with enough security to prevent and address cyberattacks. Organizations that reported having a firewall in place were found to have 11 percent more vulnerabilities on average, fixed fewer of them and addressed them at a slower rate.

Browser compromised by hackers
However, websites are not the only concern for internet surfers. A popular web browser has also been found to have a vulnerability that has been exploited by hackers to execute malware attacks. Security firm researchers recently identified a flaw in Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 that can be used by cybercriminals to redirect users to a malicious website that launches malware programs. The company is currently working on developing a patch to address the issue, but has set no timetable for a solution's release date.

Clearly, depending solely on preloaded web browser defenses or network security measures will not provide users with the safety they need. Experts suggest that users take a holistic approach to cybersecurity, implementing protocols to defend against various threats. Application control software is an essential component of any comprehensive security plan. Users can prevent malicious programs from launching on their systems by establishing a list of applications that are authorized to run on their systems. If a malware attack gets by network defenses and anti-virus measures, whitelisting tools will bar that program from running on and infecting a machine. Application control solutions can provide web surfers with peace of mind in an increasingly dangerous digital world. 

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.