6 Most Common Web Security Vulnerabilities

You are reading this post on six most common web security vulnerabilities depicts that you are inclined towards web security. It has been observed that the web security vulnerabilities are not a top priority for most organization. Usually, IT security professionals and the organizations do not act until they have experienced of a security breach.

All the web assets including your website, cloud servers, all kinds of data and software must be protected proactively. Security or data breach is a result of your ignorance and invokes doubts about business credibility.

Web Security Vulnerabilities

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Here is a list of six most common web security vulnerabilities that each IT security professional and every organization on web must beware of

The SQL Injection Flaws:

When you bypass filter process for incoming data input and uploads this unfiltered data to the SQL server, browser, or XSS, LDAP server, and/or elsewhere, it results in web security vulnerability. Attackers, hackers, and crackers can insert command lines in these vulnerable segments. You lose your data in case of such injection breach. If the SQL is successful, the attacker can add or delete database and access e-mails, passwords, and private information of website users.

Measures to remain safe:

  1. Never and by thumb rule, never-ever upload any unfiltered inputs, not even one. Single web security vulnerability is enough to bring the entire website down.
  2. Do not even put the SQL query into another query if the database is not trusted. When the database is secure, SQL query generation must be filtered. Remove or block all the inputs from untrustworthy sources.
  3. Never use blacklist sources to get results. Always use authentic sources and white hat techniques.

Broken Authentication:

Authentication refers to credentials verification of a user. Authentication mechanism could be put down by faulty credential functions including change of password, forget password, account update, and other functions. Thus, broken authentication can arise multiple causes for example; URL displays the session id, improper encryption of the password, breakage of password encryption in transits, predictable session ids, unimplemented timeout strategy, and missing SSL, etc.

Measures to remain safe:

Implementing a framework is the safest and swiftest answer to such web security vulnerability. If you wish to design your own code, then you must educate yourself on the drawbacks of Authentication.

XSS or Cross-Site Scripting:

Cross Site Scripting is result of input sanitization failure. Attackers can use cross-site scripting by planting a link, a JavaScript tag, HTML or client side scripts into webpage viewed by users. As a result, the browser will not able to verify whether the incoming requests coming from the same domain and it will bypass the access controls. An attacker can gain control to sensitive page content, cookies and other client side objects.

Measures to remain safe:

When HTML code should not be shared with anyone, it could welcome attacker to make HTML injection attack therefore, it is necessary to hide HTML code from users.

Convert all the HTML characters to their escaped counterparts, for example, will return to as .

Insecure Direct Object References:

Developer or a trusted user might leave a file, URL or database parameter i.e. an internal implementation object vulnerable without authentication. Attackers can exploit other objects that has broken authorization or not enforced and intercept, as they want. One such common vulnerability is the password reset option where an attacker can modify username field in the URL and reset the password. For example, if download.php module lets users to download files with the help of a CGI (common gateway interface) parameter but the developer has not authorized the code then, attacker can take advantage of it.

Measures to remain safe:

Use appropriate, consistent, and encoded authorization all across the site. Store all data internally but do not rely on data transmitting from client using CGI parameter.

Improper Security Configuration:

There are more than one ways in which the security configuration might be left vulnerable.

  • Improper configurations,
  • Inadequate encryption strength,
  • Improper debugging configurations,
  • Outdated plug-in and software,
  • Outdated frameworks,
  • Not resetting keys on regular intervals, and
  • Not resetting default passwords on regular intervals.

The above are a few well-known vulnerabilities found in web security configuration.

Measures to remain safe:

An automated, build and deploy system to run tests on deployment is highly recommended. Do not implement codes without securing them with encrypted passwords. Built in security and development stuff is helpful as well.

Exposure of the Sensitive Data:

It is a common misconception that all sensitive data by default is encrypted. However, all data remains in a plain text during transition. Stored data or travelling data, including credit card information, passwords, personal details of the users, administrators and visitors, must be hashed and encrypted to save it from hackers and crackers.

Measures to remain safe:

It is mandatory that you ensure encryption of all the sensitive data, at all times.

  1. Use strong encryption/crypto algorithm. AES at least 256 bits and RSA at least 2048 bits are safe standards.
  2. Unhook the session ids and other sensitive data in the URLs.
  3. Secure sensitive cookies with secure flags.
  4. Use original, authentic and proper SSL certificates along with Perfect Forward Secrecy.
  5. Do not store unnecessary sensitive data on your servers.
  6. Never store credit card information on your servers.
  7. Use secure, reliable, recommended, and highly authentic payment processors.
  8. Do not store encryption keys near the data being protected. Store encryption keys separately and in a private secured environment.
  9. Keep backups in encrypted environment and update them regularly.

A MOP-Up word:

The reason behind web security vulnerability is outdated software and lack of security awareness, which could drag the organization to a disaster situation. Whether he/she is a programmer, project manager, or developer, they should recognize the importance of application and website security. Taking inadequate care of basic security measures may harm the reputation of the most important web service.