Common Web Application Security Vulnerabilities and How to Prevent Them

March 28, 2022

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Web application security is a cause for concern in today’s world and one that is becoming ever so critical. The number of cybercrimes is increasing. According to some estimates, in 2017 the damage from cyber attacks was around $1.4 billion, while in 2020, the loss reached $4.2 billion. Then, web applications are at the top of the list for cyber attackers to target since it’s comparatively easier to spread malicious code in web applications. However, the good news is that these web app security threats are preventable. Having an understanding of the most common web app security threats will help in prevention.

There are quite a few common web application security issues that we need to tackle from the get-go. So, some of these security issues and solutions to prevent them.

SQL Injection 

SQL injection attack is one of the most commonly used methods by hackers to gain access to the database. Hacker inserts malicious SQL statements into form fields and other injection points, with the intention of gathering information from and controlling the database. The attacker uses this information to modify or even destroy the information and to attack the underlying system. This is commonly used to collect vital customer information such as their contact information, passwords, or even credit card info.

How to prevent it

  • Validation of the inputs. Input validation prevents improperly formed data from entering the system. Thus, trying to prevent injections, it’s crucial to validate all the input.
  • Prepared statements with parameterized queries. It is an effective way to forestall SQL injections. Some of the parameters are not specified when creating a statement but added during the execution process. Thus, hackers can’t modify the query even if the command itself was theirs.

Broken Authentication

Authentication is used to verify a user’s identity by using incoming information and verifying it with a person’s id (like date of birth, biometric data, etc.). Broken authentication, suggests that session ID or user credentials were hijacked. It can happen from insufficient protection of user credentials, weak password and login, passing the session ID as a URL, and other reasons.

How to prevent it

  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA). Using various ways of authentication solves verification issues and helps in identifying the true user.
  • Rejection of weak passwords. It is always in the best interest that the application should have a set of requirements for the password’s length and complexity. In case the password doesn’t comply with one of the requirements the user should improve it until it conforms to the whole set.

Protecting Sensitive Data

Such a security issue can cause customers’ sensitive information (like bank details, credit card numbers, phone numbers, etc.) to be revealed in the public domain. This is a serious breach of security and can lead to huge losses (financial, reputational, and emotional).

How to prevent it

  • Enhanced data protection. It’s crucial to encrypt both stored and transmitted data by using modern encryption techniques.
  • Security protocols. All the incoming information should come through advanced security protocols such as HTTPS, SSL, and TSL.

Improper Logging and Monitoring Functionality

Inefficient logging and monitoring allow hackers to stay undetected while they try to cause harm. This vulnerability is the most common reason why companies can’t resolve data breaches.

How to prevent it

  • It’s necessary to make an overview of your application and establish more efficient monitoring that will be able to send alerts in case of suspicious activities.
  • Ensure that your logs are collected and aggregated to the central platform, where they can more easily be analyzed. Moreover, to prevent data leaks, keep sensitive information out of logs.

Security Mis-configuration

It is one of the more common issues with a web application. It is a problem related to the lack of security control implementation or issues caused by security errors. The majority of applications have this vulnerability due to incomplete configurations, default configurations that have stayed unaltered for long, unencrypted files, unnecessary running services, etc. Security misconfiguration can lead to grave data breaches that tarnish company reputation and cause significant financial losses.

How to prevent it

  • Consistent vulnerability scanning. To avoid security misconfigurations it’s crucial to conduct a regular scan of your system to detect any flaws that can become an easy target.
  • The web application requires regular updates to eliminate cyber threats and protect customer information.

Conclusion

Security is the vital element of present-day web application advancement. To remain competitive & relevant in the market, organizations need to think of new security features for going up against hackers and help their clients with strong and safe applications.

Although, a large part of the web application security relies upon the engineers’ consciousness of cyber security dangers and time to time checking of the application threats. In this manner, guaranteeing that your programmers have adequate information about the most widely recognized web application security weaknesses will assist you with safeguarding your web application and constructing a superior & safe organization.

 

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