How to secure your web applications?

icon Posted by: Praveen Joshi
icon January 28, 2022

In Brief:

 

Here are a few more findings that require your attention:

85%

of breaches involved a human element

13%

of non-DoS incidents involved ransomware

3%

of breaches involved vulnerability exploitation

61%

of breaches involved credentials

Now that’s something to think about! Isn’t it?

The global nature of the web exposes web applications to a plethora of complexities and attacks.

Then how do you secure your web applications?

The answer is fairly simple:

Know about the OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities and their remediation practices.

What is OWASP Top 10?

The Open Web Applications Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit organisation and open community that operates with an aim to better software security.

OWASP Top 10 is a list mentioned on the OWASP’s site that furnishes remediation tips for the top 10 most critical web application risks.

The risks on the list are ranked on the basis of the frequency, extremity and magnitude of
their potential impact.

What are the latest OWASP Top 10 categories?

1. Broken Access Control

Broken Access Control is when the attacker can access user accounts as an administrator or user in the system. It generally occurs when the restrictions are not correctly imposed.

How to prevent it?

  • Customize the error codes so that they don’t disclose database attributes
  • Implement access control mechanisms & re-use them on loop in the app
  • Implement penetration testing in order to detect unintended access-controls
2. Cryptographic Failures

Cryptographic Failures refers to the compromise of data stored or transmitted. It generally occurs when appropriate encryption is not enforced.

How to prevent it?

  • Categorize data on the basis of business needs, regulations & privacy law
  • Keep an eye on how you are storing sensitive information
  • Use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) directive encryption or similar
3. Injection

Injection occurs when the attacker sends invalid data into the web application. Making it do something it wasn’t actually designed for. The most common injection attacks are SQL injections and cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.
How to prevent it?

Introduce Static Application Security Testing (SAST) & Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) tools to identify the injection flaws.

  • Perform source code review & use parameterized queries
  • Use database controls within queries
  • Actively manage patches and updates
  • Ensure data sanitization by limiting special characters
  • Validate User Inputs
4. Insecure Design

Insecure design vulnerabilities are caused due to flaws in architecture and designs. It is caused due to  lack of security controls & business risk planning while developing the software.

How to prevent it?

  • Integrate security controls while designing architecture
  • Implement an SDLC(secure development lifecycle ) with cyber security consultants
  • Initiate credibility check at each tier of the system(frontend to backend)
5. Security Misconfiguration

Security Misconfiguration occurs from a configuration error or shortcoming. Generally occurs when the latest security features aren’t implemented correctly.

How to prevent it?

  • Automate the environment security by running regular scans & audits to identify
    missing patches/misconfigurations.
  • Regularly review and update the configurations of all security notes
  • Disable unused features & limit access to admin interfaces

What are the latest OWASP Top 10 categories?

6. Vulnerable & Outdated Components

This vulnerability refers to the build and run of the components that contain shortcomings while developing an application. Using outdated components is one of  the most common reasons for this vulnerability.

How to prevent it?

  • Remove all the unnecessary features & components
  • Use only official sources and links to obtain components
  • Prevent usage of components that don’t have security patches for older versions
7. Identification & Authentication Failure

When certain functions in an application are implemented incorrectly, it allows attackers to compromise passwords & keywords.

How to prevent it?

  • Introduce multi-factor authentication
  • Initiate automatic static analysis to identify flaws
  • Ensure identical messages for all the outcomes
8. Software and Data Integrity Failures

Software and data integrity failures relate to code and infrastructure that does not protect against integrity violations.

How to prevent it?

  • Perform frequent pentest on the software to enable the highest levels of security
  • Ensure usage of only trusted repositories
  • Ensure the digital signatures for applications and tamper-proof mechanism for
    trusted data sources.
9. Security Logging and Monitoring Failures

Failure to appropriately log & monitor a site leaves it prone to vulnerabilities. This can cause information leakage too.

How to prevent it?

  • Ensure that all the logs are tamper-proof
  • Ensure the alerting is done in real-time
  • Make sure logs are well-formatted to be used by log management solutions
10. Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF)

SSRF vulnerabilities let an attacker send crafted requests from the back-end server of a vulnerable application. Fetching a URL results in an increase in instances of SSRF.

How to prevent it?

  • Make use of whitelist for IP addresses & domains to pass URLs in requests.
  • Validate the response to check if the response is in the expected format.
  • Enable authentication wherever possible even on the local networks.

The Final Word

  • Owasp’s top 10 vulnerabilities demand security at the utmost level. You must consider taking security measures to keep protected your digital assets.
  • The benefit of OWASP Security include a reduced rate of errors and operational failures in the system. It also contributes to stronger encryption.
  • At RSK Cyber Security, we provide robust protection against the OWASP TOP 10 Vulnerabilities. Our comprehensive solution provides detailed and actionable remediation advice. Thereby fully shielding your web applications from the impacts of OWASP TOP 10.

If you’d like to know more about securing your web applications, get in touch with us.
We’d be happy to assist!

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