MCLEAN, VA., April 14, 2021– Today, The Media Trust released its annual report Digital Risk Management in 2021: A Cross-Industry Examination of Residual Risk in Enterprise Websites. The report confirms that third-party code drives 90% of today’s websites. Despite the increased attention afforded to third-party risk it has not translated to solutions to effectively control and secure the digital environment. If not properly managed, third-party code enables the propagation of fraud, malware, and disinformation across the web and mobile apps.
Businesses today understand that digital is important, yet they do not pay attention to the security of consumer-facing websites and apps that directly affect consumers and drive digital risk. This failure is the heart of credit card theft, data privacy violations, and poor user experiences.
“Across the Alexa 500 we continue to see a lack of ownership and insight into understanding the inherent complexity and risks associated with today’s websites and mobile apps,” said Chris Olson, CEO of The Media Trust. “The overwhelming prevalence of third-party code hides the execution of malicious domains and tracking technologies which are used to continually target consumers at all stages of their buyer journey.”
In 2020, multiple highly publicized incidents across key consumer-oriented industries were found to be connected to a rise in unmonitored third-party domains, illustrating the serious consequences of complacency.
Significant findings from the report show:
- Online fraud increased more than 400% at the start of the COVID pandemic
- 3.5X increase in Magecart attacks attributed to third-party vendors operating in websites
- Malicious third parties exploited popular websites with misinformation, phishing attacks, and fraud throughout the pandemic
Significant risk and best-in-class failures the report exposed:
- Average number of third-party domains across Alexa 500 was 171, best-in-class is 50 or fewer
- Average introduction of new domains each month (domain drift) across Alexa 500 was 10% month-over-month, best-in-class is no more than 1% month-over-month
- Average data collection via first-party domains (cookies) across Alexa 500 was only 1%, whereas best-in-class is 95% and considered more safe
The data is clear, the digital pandemic has just begun. To protect their revenue, reputation, and ultimately their customers, businesses must actively monitor the vendors, domains, and tracking technologies present across consumer-facing website and apps. If business cannot take control of their digital assets, they face persistent exposure to continuation of customer hijacking, regulatory fines, revenue loss and more.
A deeper dive into risks faced during real-world customer journeys is available via 30-minute broadcasts on the following dates:
Download the full report: Digital Risk Management in 2021: A Cross-Industry Examination of Residual Risk in Enterprise Websites. [Get report]
About The Media Trust
The Media Trust is on a mission to make the internet a healthier, more valuable place for publishers and consumers. Working with the world’s largest, most-heavily trafficked digital properties and their upstream partners, The Media Trust delivers real-time security, data privacy, performance management and quality assurance solutions which help protect, monetize and optimize the user experience across desktop, smartphone, tablet and gaming devices. More than 600 enterprises, media publishers, ad networks/exchanges, and agencies—including 40 of comScore's AdFocus Top 50 websites—rely on The Media Trust to protect their website, their employee internet use, their revenue and, most importantly, their brand. www.MediaTrust.com.