Web Application Security Vulnerabilities You Must Be Aware Of

Web Application Security

Before contracting a new company to build your web application you need to be completely positive that the security foundation of your new product will never be compromised. More common than not, companies build extensive applications only to have them riddled with bugs, hacks, and a barrage of errors terrorizing their platform.

Open Web Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit organization that guides the web experts and the general public in generating awareness about web security. This organization has announced, in extensive detail, the top web security threats based on the data of other security organizations. The biggest issues seen in web application security can be narrowed down to three categories — exploitability, detectability & the impact.

  • Exploitability — How exposed is your web-based application to the world? What tools would need to be used in order to take advantage of your web application and how vulnerable are breaches?
  • Detectability — How visible is your code? Can it be easily manipulated and changed?
  • Impact — What sort of damage can be created when there is a breach? Is it easily repairable or something that takes more time and effort to fix?

We have built a list of the some of the top web application security vulnerabilities you must be aware of.

SQL Injection

According to W3 Schools, an SQL injection is one of the most common web hacking techniques. SQL Injection allows an attacker to modify the backend SQL statements by deploying nefarious data into the data field and executing it in order completely destroy your database. This vulnerability is exposed when the information of the user is supplied to an interpreter as a query and tricks the interpreter to execute the unopened command. This phenomenon gives access to your private data that could not be accessed before injection. Data can be modified and administrative operations can be carried out like transactions, theft or fraud.

Cross Site Scripting

This is also more commonly known as XSS. This vulnerability focuses on the pages that are primarily on the client side i.e. user browser, not on the server side. This happens when a web based application takes untrusted data and forwards it to the browser without validation. The result is the redirecting of web page towards malicious websites. While this may not attack the user directly, this rather creates a platform to deliver malicious script.

Broken Authentication and Session Management

A large number of websites create a specific cookie & ID for each valid session. These cookies contain private data like passwords, usernames, etc. If these cookies are not re-validated on occasion, attackers can expose this data for their personal benefit and login to these applications using your users personal data. Without automatic logout, applications can be exposed and personal data can be exposed. This is important when it comes to protecting your user and ensuring that their account or data cannot be taken easily.

Insecure Direct Object References

This happens when a website developer exposes the reference to an internal object like a file, picture, or directory. The attacker gets this information from your URL and gets access to the personal database of the developers. This leads to the internal modification of your system resulting in malfunction of the application or misuse of the information for manipulation.

Cross Site Request Forgery

This happens when a malicious website or program indicates a user to complete an unwanted action on a trusted site. A link is sent by an attacker to the user, so when the user clicks on the URL and logs in the original website the data is stolen. This enables the attacker to use or change the user related information.

Security Misconfiguration

All applications, web servers, database servers, and frameworks must be well configured. If configured properly, then attackers are unable to access the sensitive data. Any software update is an indication of good security measures. Some questions you can ask to make sure that you have the highest security are:

  1. Are any unnecessary features enabled or installed (e.g., ports, services, pages, accounts, privileges)?
  2. Are default accounts and their passwords still enabled and unchanged?
  3. Does your error handling reveal stack traces or other overly informative error messages to users?
  4. Are the security settings in your development frameworks (e.g., Struts, Spring, ASP.NET) and libraries not set to secure values?

Failure to Restrict URL Access

In most of the applications, the resources and locations are not exposed to the privileged user. However, if URL access isn’t restricted on all pages, hackers can gain access into databases or other sensitive information within your database. This can be the gateway for bigger issues and can cause your users and your business a lot of risk.

Insufficient Transport Layer Protection

Almost every user in a web application exchanges two-way information. This flow of information between the user and the server mostly includes sensitive data. The use of expired certificates or weak algorithms can favor the hackers access to this communication. To avoid this, you should enable a secure HTTP and enforce credential transfer to ensure that your certificate is not expired.

There are many different ways that security attacks can happen on your new web application. Grey Sky Media take deliberate care in our work and the projects we build. Serving the greater Sacramento Area, Grey Sky Media has delivered top-tier web based applications for businesses of all sizes. We have provided the highest quality of development and security to ensure that our clients never have a problem once we launch. Take the time to get into contact with us and discuss your project, the security flaws that you run into, or maybe just an idea you have. We are more than happy to help!