What Is OWASP?

The Open Web Application Security Project or OWASP is a non-profit organization that concentrates on software security. Their projects comprise plenty of local chapters and conferences, open-source software development programs, and toolkits, amongst other things. One of their major projects is the maintenance of the OWASP Top 10, a list of the top 10 security risks that are faced by web applications.

The Open Web Application Security Project Top 10 is not just a list. It evaluates each defect class using the OWASP Risk Rating Methodology and presents examples, best practices and guidelines to prevent attacks, and references for each risk. By understanding the flaws on the OWASP Top 10 chart and the ways to resolve them, application developers can take tangible steps towards a more secure application that would aid users to be protected when it comes to malicious attacks.

Organizations should implement this document and initiate the process of ensuring that their web applications curtail these risks. Using the OWASP Top 10 is the most vital initial step to produce secure code.

The Top 10 Web Application Security Risks

  1. Injection: Injection defects such as SQL, LDAP, OS, SQL, NoSQL injection occur when unreliable data is sent to an interpreter as a component of a query or a command. The attacker’s aggressive data can trap the interpreter into implementing accidental commands or access information without appropriate authorization.
  2. Broken Authentication: Application utilities that are related to session management and authentication are generally executed erroneously, permitting attackers to compromise keys, passwords, or session tokens, or to exploit other execution defects to presume other users’ identities permanently or temporarily.
  3. Sensitive Data Exposure: Several APIs and web applications do not shield sensitive information such as healthcare, financial, and PII. Attackers may alter or modify such feebly protected data to perform credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. Sensitive information may be compromised without additional protection, such as encryption in transit or at rest, and would need exceptional precautions when exchanged with the browser.
  4. XXE (XML External Entities): Several older or weakly configured XML processors assess external entity references within XML documents. External entities can be used to disclose internal files using internal file shares, remote code execution, file URI handler, internal port scanning, and denial of service attacks.
  5. Broken Access Control: Limitations on what authenticated users are allowed to do are usually not imposed accurately. Attackers can make the most of these defects to access illegal functionality or information such as edit other users’ information, view sensitive files, access other users’ accounts, modify access rights etc.
  6. Security Misconfiguration: The most commonly seen issue is that of security misconfiguration. This is generally a result of adhoc or incomplete configurations, insecure default configurations, open cloud storage, misconfigured HTTP headers, and verbose error messages containing sensitive data. All the applications, frameworks, libraries, and operating systems must not only be securely configured but also must be upgraded/patched in a well-timed manner.
  7. Cross-Site Scripting XSS: Generally XSS defects occur whenever an application includes unreliable information in a new web page without appropriate escaping or validation or updates an existing web page with user-supplied information using a browser API that can create JavaScript or HTML. XSS permits attackers to execute scripts in the victim’s browser that can ruin websites, hijack user sessions, or redirect users to malicious sites.
  8. Insecure Deserialization: Usually insecure deserialization results in remote code execution. If deserialization defects do not result in remote code execution, they can be used to execute attacks, including privilege escalation attacks, injection attacks, and replay attacks.
  9. Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities: Components like frameworks, libraries, and other software modules, execute with the same privileges as the application. If a susceptible component is exploited, such an attack can ease server takeover or serious information loss. APIs and Applications using components with identified vulnerabilities may weaken the application defenses and facilitate various attacks and impacts.
  10. Insufficient Logging and Monitoring: Missing or ineffective integration coupled with insufficient logging and monitoring with incident reaction, permits attackers to additionally attack systems, maintain diligence, turn to more systems and destroy, tamper, or extract, data. Most breach studies demonstrate time to detect a breach is above 200 days. It is usually detected by external parties, rather than monitoring or internal processes.

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