Hackers Pose a Continued Threat to Today’s Brands & Consumers | Adweek Hackers Pose a Continued Threat to Today’s Brands & Consumers | Adweek
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Over 90% of Consumer Websites are Vulnerable to Hackers

Malware and viruses pose a continuing threat

A majority of today’s shoppers and sellers are vulnerable to hackers, according to a recent Online Trust Alliance study. In fact, 91.7% of the biggest brands are failing to implement appropriate email security.

A second report from Cisco Systems, also released on Wednesday, reveals that media and publishing sites are at the biggest risk of spreading malware and viruses through infected advertising networks.

In its 2014 Email Integrity Audit report, OTA evaluated nearly 800 websites, and found that a mere 8.3% were sufficiently protected from hackers. The remainder failed to implement the recommended email authentication or online security measures.

Among the 8.3% of websites that are meeting security standards, the study found that they include the following:

  • 28% of the top 50 social media companies
  • 17% of the top 100 financial services companies
  • 14% of the top 100 Internet retail companies
  • 6% of the top 50 news companies
  • 6% of the top 500 Internet retailers
  • 4% of the top 50 U.S. government agencies

According to the Cisco Systems' 2014 Midyear Security Report (pdf), media and publishing sites are at the biggest risk of malicious activity, specifically in the form of malvertising. Other at-risk industries include pharmaceutical and chemical, transportation and shipping, manufacturing, insurance, agriculture, professional services, food and beverage, and retail.

The Cisco report also indicates that the average cost of a security breach has increased to $5.4 million in 2014, up from $4.5 million last year.

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