With the online world gaining more importance with every passing day, website security needs to be one of the leading priorities for site owners everywhere.
That said, there are some vulnerabilities and issues that are more important, and it’s necessary to prioritise these over others.
Now, that’s where the OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities comes in, which includes the critical vulnerabilities to look out for, in order to secure your website, and keep it free from threats.
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So, what are the vulnerabilities in web applications? Let’s check the infographic here:
OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities list (explained in detail):
Click on the links below to jump to the relevant section
#1 Injection flaws:
This takes place when untrusted data is included and sent as part of a query or indeed a command. Primarily, this is done through an SQL injection, but some other types do often occur.
The entry-point for this vulnerability is usually through unsanitized user info and data – this is what makes this vulnerability a dangerous thing, and one website owners should prioritize.
#2 Authentication problems:
This occurs when authentication and session management solutions are incorrectly implemented.
This results in the administrative accounts being placed in the hands of unscrupulous online attackers who can then access and use credentials (passwords, session tokens, keys and usernames) for their own benefit.
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#3 Sensitive data exposure:
Much like the risk as detailed in the point above, this vulnerability occurs due to the compromising of user inputted info and data. This makes the users’ personal info, such as, addresses, payment details and so forth easily available to attackers.
Now, while this is bad for the customers, this is also a huge worry for businesses and websites as well, as they are likely to lose users and customers for breaches of this nature.
#4 XML External Entities:
Simply put, this vulnerability can be described to be an injection type of attack that is executed by malicious code within Extensible Markup Language (XML) files.
One of the primary ways of fixing this issue is to use a less complex data format such as JSON, wherever possible.
#5 Broken access control:
Controls that determine user permission, usually referred to as access controls, can be broken as well. In this scenario, a user who does not have the necessary permissions is mistakenly allowed to access certain areas, and this could lead to disastrous consequences for the website and business.
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#6 Security misconfiguration:
This typically occurs due to the improper configuration of the application leading to various flaws. Therefore, this vulnerability can result in much the same risks as vulnerabilities associated with permission breaches.
This issue should be addressed as soon as possible, to ensure continued smooth and risk free operation of the website.
#7 Cross-site scripting (XSS):
This occurs when attackers take the advantage of executing scripts in the users system and then ‘hijack’ the browser and computer of the user.
This threat must be kept at bay, as this is one of the basic and vital issues, as far as user trust and relationships are concerned.
#8 Insecure deserialization:
Sensitive data can be exposed & made available to attackers when untrusted data is being serialized and deserialized. This might even lead to remote code execution.
The data that can be exposed includes, API authentication tokens, caches, databases and much more. Deserialization attacks can also result in privilege escalation attacks, injection attacks, and even replay attacks.
#9 The use of components with known vulnerabilities:
Many components enjoy the same privileges that the applications enjoy – these components include, libraries, frameworks, and other software modules.
When the vulnerability of a particular component is exploited, this can result in a significant loss of data or even a server takeover. Therefore, the use of components with known vulnerabilities should be avoided at all costs by the website owner.
#10 Insufficient logging and monitoring:
While this is not a direct vulnerability, your website can fall prey to any of the risks and threats as mentioned in the last nine points, if insufficient or no logging and monitoring is carried out by the business or website manager.
What’s more, if they do not carry out the necessary amounts of logging and monitoring, you may not even be aware that your site is under attack, and this can lead to a whole host of problems.
We do hope you found this blog on OWASP top 10 vulnerabilities, useful, and we do encourage you to pay attention to these vulnerabilities to ensure that your web application remains secure.
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