The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the security of software by providing resources and tools for developers, security professionals, and users. One of the key resources provided by OWASP is the OWASP Top 10, a list of the most common and most critical web application security risks.
The OWASP Top 10 is updated every three to four years, with the latest version being released in 2021. The current OWASP Top 10 includes the following risks:
This risk occurs when an attacker is able to inject malicious code or commands into a web application, often through user input fields. This can allow the attacker to access sensitive data, modify or delete records, or execute arbitrary code on the server.
2. Broken Authentication and Session Management:
This risk occurs when an application’s authentication and session management mechanisms are inadequate or flawed, allowing an attacker to gain unauthorized access to the application or its data.
3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS):
This risk occurs when an attacker is able to inject malicious code into a web page that is then executed by the browser of a user who visits the page. This can allow the attacker to steal sensitive data, such as login credentials, or to perform other malicious actions.
4. Insecure Direct Object References:
This risk occurs when an application exposes direct object references, such as file or database records, to users without proper authorization checks. This can allow an attacker to access sensitive data or to manipulate the application’s data.
5. Security Misconfiguration:
This risk occurs when an application is improperly configured, leaving it vulnerable to attack. This can include issues such as default accounts with known passwords, unnecessary features enabled, or insecure communication channels.
6. Sensitive Data Disclosure:
This risk occurs when an application stores or transmits sensitive data in an insecure manner, allowing an attacker to access or intercept the data.
7. Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF):
This risk occurs when an attacker is able to trick a user into making unintended actions on a web application, such as changing their password or transferring funds. This is achieved by sending a malicious link or form to the user, which is then executed by the browser when the user clicks on it.
8. Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities:
This risk occurs when an application uses components, such as libraries or frameworks, that have known vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by an attacker to gain access to the application or its data.
9. Insufficient Logging and Monitoring:
This risk occurs when an application lacks sufficient logging and monitoring capabilities, making it difficult to detect and respond to security breaches.
10. Failure to Restrict URL Access:
This risk occurs when an application lacks proper access controls, allowing an attacker to access restricted areas of the application.
To mitigate these risks, it is important for developers to follow secure coding practices, to properly configure and secure their applications, and to regularly test and monitor their applications for vulnerabilities. Security professionals can also play a role in protecting against these risks by performing penetration testing and vulnerability assessments, and by implementing security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and access controls.
In summary, the OWASP Top 10 is a valuable resource for developers and security professionals, highlighting the most common and critical web application security risks. By understanding and addressing these risks, organizations can improve the security of their applications and protect against potential attacks.