Security analysts at Dimension Data have revealed as many as 73 per cent of network devices may have at least one known security vulnerability - a figure which has nearly doubled since 2009.
Dimension Data released the results of its annual Network Barometer Report for 2011, which showed findings from the networks of 270 global businesses.
The company claimed the majority of the security flaws were due to one specific vulnerability, discovered by Cisco in 2009, and was found in 66 per cent of devices examined in the survey.
Neil Campbell, an analyst with Dimension Data, was keen to emphasise the seriousness of the problem.
“It only takes one vulnerability to expose the entire organisation to a security breach, so organisations must do much more if they want to adequately protect themselves,” he said.
“To a hacker, a security vulnerability is equivalent to leaving one’s front door unlocked and attempting to exploit vulnerabilities is usually the first port of call when initiating an attack.”
The report also claimed many businesses were unaware of up to quarter of the devices on their networks, leading to further security risks.
“Many organisations still don’t have consistent and complete visibility of their technology estates,” said Campbell.
Aside from the main vulnerability discovered by the report, the survey found four other high risk vulnerabilities in just under 20 per cent of network devices, displaying a marked increase in overall security standards.
Other areas of business network security are also being gradually improved. Dimension Data found the number of ‘expired’ devices on business networks had decreased on the whole, with devices past ‘last day’ of support falling by nine per cent from last year.