Top 10 Application Security (AppSec) Threats

    Top 10 Application Security (AppSec) Threats

    With increasing types and events of security attacks on multiple applications, security testing at every iteration has now become a crucial part of software development. But being unprepared for potential attacks is not an option. Check out the top 10 AppSec threats listed by the OWASP.

    Security testing has become a crucial part of the software development process. Earlier, it was done after the design and development of apps, but today, security is an integral process throughout the development life cycle, from application planning to production use.

    Integrating AppSec from the beginning makes it easier to significantly cut back on the possible security vulnerabilities –in the own code or third-party tools, or even plug-ins used within applications.

    Even though numerous security threats affect software applications each year, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has mentioned the top 10 most terrible, prevalent, and most likely threats to affect the apps in production.

    AppSec initiatives have to focus on at least one of these top 10 threats while developing applications:

    Broken Authentication – Even after numerous attacks, many applications still have malfunctioning or poor authorization and authentication functions. Such issues allow an attacker to hack into systems with or even without user credentials.

    Injection Attacks – With the help of a query or command, the software application can be hacked with malicious and untrusted data. The most common attack is SQL injection, but even the systems with NoSQL, different operating systems, and LDAP servers can get affected.

    XML External Entities (XXE) – The external entity references in XML documents have many vulnerabilities because of old XML parsers and can be used by attackers. These XML references can be used to scan ports, access internal files, and perform any code via a remote connection.

    Sensitive Data Exposure – The vulnerability of applications and APIs exposing sensitive data of the organization or its customers is never zero. Attackers lust behind this data as it includes PII (personally identifiable information) and financial data that can be used for fraud.

    Security Misconfiguration – Any application, no matter the scale, has security features, yet there are chances of being misconfigured. This error generally occurs when no one modifies the app’s default configuration. This issue also happens when there is a failure to update the security patches or stable code version of any framework, app, or operating system.

    Broken Access Control – When the validations for authenticated users are not checked correctly, it creates a door to attackers. This erratic control facilitates attackers to access unauthorized data or functions, information on another user’s account, sensitive files, or modify permissions on different levels.

    Insecure Deserialization – When there are critical errors in how data is passed from a file to build an entity or a function, it can cause DDoS attacks, allow malicious code execution, and bypass authentication.

    Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) – With the use of XSS, an attacker can run a malicious script in any user’s browser. This script can cause stealing the session data, mainly in financial transactions, redirect users to harmful sites, cause systems to crash, introduce a virus, or cause website defacement.

    Using Components with a Known Vulnerability – Components like frameworks, libraries, and other software modules, execute on the same permissions/privileges as the application. So, attacking these can cause severe data loss or even server takeover. These attacks are common because it is far easier for hackers to exploit known vulnerabilities when nothing else works.

    Insufficient Logging & Monitoring – Several applications do not have any means of tracing or logging previously attempted attacks. So, poor logging and monitoring can cause the breaches to go unidentified and allows hackers to perform any steps to compromise the system further.

    You can follow these basic AppSec processes, which involve the following levels:  

    • Listing all types of corporate assets
    • Identifying how these assets are affected by the applications
    • Making a security profile for every app
    • Recognizing and classifying potential threats
    • Recording and storing the attack incidents and attempts at mitigation


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