Alarming Lack of Cybersecurity Practices on World’s Most Popular Websites

Cyber Security Threat Summary:
The Cybernews research team delved into an often overlooked aspect of website security—HTTP security headers. These headers guide browsers in interacting with web pages, defending against cyber threats. They studied the top 100 sites, including Pinterest, IMDB, and Facebook. Results revealed many popular websites lacking crucial security measures, raising concerns for both site owners and users. Specific headers like X-Frame-Options, Content-Security-Policy, Referrer-Policy, Permissions-Policy, X-Content-Type-Options, and Strict-Transport-Security were found missing on varying percentages of sites. Implementing these headers could safeguard against attacks like clickjacking, XSS, and more. Developers are urged to prioritize these defenses for enhanced cybersecurity.

Security Officer Comments:
Cybernews researchers emphasize the significance of security headers, noting their absence poses risks to both website owners and users. Among popular websites:

  • X-Frame-Options: 34% lack this header, leaving them vulnerable to clickjacking, where users unknowingly trigger unintended actions.
  • Content-Security-Policy (CSP): 50% lack CSP, which safeguards against attacks like XSS and data injection.
  • Referrer-Policy: 76% lack this header, compromising privacy by sharing excessive referrer information.
  • Permissions-Policy: 88% lack this header, failing to manage browser permissions for features and APIs.
  • X-Content-Type-Options: 33% lack this header, exposing vulnerabilities to content inspection attacks.
  • Strict-Transport-Security (HSTS): 18% lack HSTS, potentially enabling downgrade attacks from HTTPS to HTTP.
Suggested Correction(s):
Implementing these headers is crucial for fortifying website security against various cyber threats.