Web application security has increased in the past years. Nowadays, there are many programs for security including programs that you can use on your application. But even if you are using an application or web application on your computer, there are some serious risks which you have to take into account. A significant amount of high-profile companies and services, as well as millions of people, have fallen victims to the attacks over the past years. You may be a software developer, project manager, or architect. What are the threats we are talking about? OWASP has collected and produced a list of over 10 web application security risks that you need to consider before you start working on web applications. This list is known as the OWASP top 10 risks.
OWASP is an open-source project with a mission to improve software security by releasing software security vulnerabilities to the world. OWASP helps people to recognize the vulnerabilities in the applications they use. There are specific documents, such as OWASP Top 10, that highlight the 10 most important vulnerabilities for web application developers. There is also OWASP Mobile Core Recommendation, providing recommendations for mobile application security issues. OWASP’s top 10 web application security risks are some of the documents developed by OWASP. Many IT security specialists use these documents as a starting point in improving security measures in their applications.
Web application attacks are increasingly prevalent. Though they are on the rise, experts do not consider web application vulnerabilities a new phenomenon. OWASP’s central aim is to monitor the rising severity of these threats and make them more commonplace, thereby creating a more secure online ecosystem. OWASP’s ten most common web application security risks are explained below and have already been exploited in various software releases over the past years. The list features all the major threats ranging from SQL injection and cross-site scripting to file disclosure.
- Injection-This is a vulnerability that makes a third party able to execute code in your application. For example, if an injection is found in a web form field, then an attacker can use it to bypass security measures and steal information or even have a tool to create additional malicious applications on your machine. This is a common vulnerability in web applications.
- Broken Authentication- Most common examples of broken authentication are using unauthenticated cookies, weak credentials, and no adequate one-time tokens. Many web apps make use of Excessive Privileges. Such features are used to allow the administrator to configure the system without the involvement of a customer.
- Sensitive Data Exposure-While it is obvious that web applications are exposed to potential attacks, vulnerabilities, cybercrime, and fake web pages, yet it is also sometimes forgotten. Moreover, most applications are designed with the primary purpose of end-users to interact with. This is achieved by application developers relying on their application’s security and functionality being baked into the application, and to a lesser degree, its browser and operating system.
- XML External Entities- External Entities, are external resource references of an XML resource. They are introduced using the defined property or the external entity reference attribute. Nowadays almost every external entity used is expected to conform to the predefined schema and to encode at least one description of the type. However, on average, an XML External Entity contains the metadata and data as well.
- Broken Access Control-A broken access control occurs when an attacker may access user accounts. The attacker might act as the user or as a system administrator. To discover unwanted access controls, it is essential to perform penetration testing.
- Security Misconfiguration-Maintaining a proper directory structure and user privileges is mandatory. However, what many web developers do not understand is that the safe configuration of a web application is directly linked to the security of the web application. Using a non-existent subdirectory can make the whole thing a lot more vulnerable to a security attack. Maintaining proper directory structure and user privileges is mandatory.
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)-Out of the ten OWASP web application security risks that are most frequently exploited, Cross-Site Scripting is the second most exploited web application vulnerability and the most significant factor behind a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. OWASP notes that the majority of XSS vulnerabilities found on the web are around cross-site request forgeries (CSRF). CSRF is a technique used to perform remote actions on other users’ behalf (e.g. log in as another user) and it often targets people’s information, such as private information such as passwords. Cross-site scripting is also used in various attacks, including phishing and spearphishing.
- Insecure Deserialization-Incorrect deserialization is a vulnerability where an attacker remotely executes code on the system through deserialization issues. Application security tools can be used to discover defects in deserialization and to confirm the problem using penetration tests.
- Using Components With Known Vulnerabilities- Cookie robbery is probably the number one threat that keeps OWASP researchers and developers awake at night. This type of attack aims to steal sensitive information, including login credentials, usernames, and sensitive data sent by web servers. The golden rule here is that you should not use third-party components with known vulnerabilities. In case you missed it, it’s time to pay more attention to the bytes your application code writes to disk and the bytes it reads from disk.
- Insufficient Logging And Monitoring-Network activity logs should be monitored by all network managers. Failure to do so can result in considerable losses and to learn from such unfortunate incidents, it is necessary to have monitoring equipment in place. After data from one or more machines are captured, it can be used for analysis and predicting potential vulnerabilities.
With every new OWASP Contributor’s Wiki and OWASP Project, the quality of the OWASP Tool Set has been improving. To bring to you the best toolset you can find the list of the OWASP Top Ten Risks for Web Developers on Appsealing. As mentioned, as a part of the OWASP Contributor’s Wiki and OWASP Project, here you will find all the tools and resources for web developers. With the top 10 big risks in this list, the real-world effectiveness of these tools has been tested and proven. With Appsealing, developers can rest assured and continue building a web application using this list.