OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities 2022 - Illume Intelligence India Pvt. Ltd.


In the highly unpredictable environment of today's development cycles, security can often be neglected. Understanding the vulnerabilities for securing the applications on time is the only way to ensure overall security hygiene. The OWASP Foundation puts out a list of the Top 10 vulnerabilities for helping organisations and developers.


The OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) Foundation is a non-profit organisation helping to strengthen software security across industries. Below is the list of the vulnerabilities


1. Broken Access Control

This limits the access to the users according to their roles. The failure to maintain access control results in allowing the users to access the functions that they are not allowed or assigned leading to unauthorized information disclosure, modification, or data destruction.


2. Cryptographic Failures

This is a breakdown of deficiency in cryptography, leading to system compromise or sensitive data exposure. Personal information and financial information need extra protection. The protection methods are determined by the type of data and the privacy laws. 


3. Injection

Injection vulnerabilities are found in the source code. This category includes cross-site scripting, SQL injection, XML injections and more. We have to make sure all parameters and data inputs are tested to identify vulnerabilities. Applications become vulnerable when user-entered data is not secured or hostile data is used to extract sensitive information.


4. Insecure Design

A secure design if implemented imperfectly will lead to vulnerabilities and similarly, an insecure design can't be fixed through implementation. A failure to precisely assess business risk associated with the software or system under development leads to insufficient levels of security.


5. Security Misconfiguration

These can be caused by an array of inappropriately configured controls and others contributing to an application vulnerability. This includes


* Misconfigured permissions for cloud services

* Enabling unwanted features, leading to needless opened ports, services etc

* Unchanged default account login credentials


6. Vulnerable and outdated components

Unpatched & legacy components that remain in production well after vulnerabilities are discovered and disclosed can be a major risk. Applications must be running the latest software version else they can be vulnerable. Unclear libraries or component versions can lead to vulnerability. Unscanned components are also at big risk.


7. Identification and authentication failures

Authentication and identification failures are caused when users' identity, authentication and session information aren't authenticated before the user is allowed to access systems and data. Factors putting applications at risk are allowing weak passwords, weak hash, plain-text password data stores, allowing bots that may perform automated attacks.


8. Software and Data Integrity Failures

This is new to the OWASP list of vulnerabilities. This may happen by trusting data and software updates without checking their integrity. The Attackers may have used the supply chain to issue malware through updates. Many of the systems use automated software update features that do not verify the integrity of updates.


9. Security Logging and Monitoring Failures

This category focuses on issues with audit logs and monitoring during an attack. Security monitoring & logs are essential to detect and mitigate an active breach. Reasons for failures are


* No tracking of transactions with high value, login attempts, and failed login attempts.

* Unclear log entries of errors and warnings.

* Unmonitored suspicious activities for APIs and applications

* Locally available security logs

* No or late alerts for attacks in progress by the applications


10. Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF)

This category focuses on weaknesses within user-convenience features. When web applications fetch user-requested remote sources without verifying the destination first leads to this flaw. Specific requests can be sent to the application through an unexpected source.


Protecting against application security vulnerabilities


Security is no more an option but is a compulsion for survival in the business. Following security and the best practices right from the designing phase to using security tools can help in detecting issues early so they can be addressed on time. Security is important as it ensures design security, and compliance requirements and helps in building consumer trust.


Following best practices of application security helps in securing data storage and transmission.


* Authentication - This must be robust and reliable. Passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), pin codes etc are examples of authentication methods.


* Authorization - Allowing access as per the employee roles. Using policies and setting boundaries for securing important data.


* Encryption - Securing data at rest and in the transmission is essential to protect the assets.


* Log files - Maintaining essential system and network level logs to ensure security incident investigation.


* Monitoring, vulnerability awareness & alerts - Applications keep on evolving through rapid development cycles, and they need continuous monitoring to ensure vulnerabilities and other security issues. Vulnerabilities can change from version to version and hence need regular assessments.


Regular assessment and review of the security vulnerability alerts are mandatory by the development and security teams to keep the applications running smoothly over time. Every organisation must conduct regular security testing for securing the organisation and must be conducted after updates in the IT Infrastructure and applications.  

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