Web Application Security. Vulnerabilities and Prevention

Web security has become a common concern in today's business world. The number of cybercrimes unquestionably rose in recent years. In 2017 the damage resulted from cyberattacks was estimated at $1,4 billion, while in 2020, the loss reached $4,2 billion.

Web applications are one of the most common targets for hacker attacks because they provide easy access to a wider audience, allowing malicious code to spread more quickly.

Understanding the most common web application vulnerabilities

Here are the most common vulnerabilities to be aware of if you want to provide your clients with reliable and stable custom web apps:

1.   Injection. It occurs when untrusted or unfiltered data is sent as part of a query to a server or browser. This way, attackers get access to important web application data such as user private information, credit cards, passwords, etc.

How to prevent it?

  • Input validation - it prevents improperly formed data from entering the system

  • Statements with parameterized queries

  • Limited user rights

2.   Broken Authentication. It happens when the session ID or user credentials have been compromised.

How to prevent it?

  • Multi-factor authentication

  • Rejection of weak passwords

  • Automatic closing of the session

  • Security alerts

3.   Sensitive Data Exposure. It refers to the revealing of customers’ sensitive information such as phone numbers, account info, credit card numbers, etc.

How to prevent it?

  • Enhanced data protection

  • Use of security protocols such as HTTPS, SSL, and TSL

4.   Security Misconfiguration. The majority of web applications are vulnerable because of incomplete configurations, default configurations that have stayed unaltered for too long, unencrypted files, unnecessary running services, etc. This may result in serious data breaches, tarnishing a company's image and causing substantial financial losses.

How to prevent it?

  • Consistent vulnerability scanning

  • Updates

5.   Cross-Site Scripting (XSS). Hackers may use the SS vulnerability to run malicious scripts in the user's browser through the inserted link. If the user clicks on it, the intruder will gain access to sensitive information (webcam, location, etc. ), hijack the user's session, redirect them to unsafe websites, and so on.

How to prevent it?

  • Escaping

  • Validating

6.   Insecure Deserialization. Through remotely executing harmful code, bypassing authentication, and altering app logic, untrusted data causes harm to the web application.

How to prevent it?

  • Monitoring

  • Deserialization with limited access

7.   Insufficient Logging and Monitoring. This lets attackers stay undetected while trying to achieve their harmful goals.

How to prevent it?

  • Monitoring

  • Logging analysis

Modern web app development requires a high level of security. Having enough knowledge of the most popular web application security vulnerabilities will help you secure your web app and improve your company's reputation.

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