As software becomes the foundation of our digital—and sometimes even physical—lives, software security is increasingly important. But developers have a lot on their plates and asking them to become familiar with every single vulnerability category under the sun isn’t always feasible. Even for security practitioners, it’s overwhelming to keep up with every new vulnerability, attack vector, technique, and mitigation bypass. Developers are already wielding new languages and libraries at the speed of DevOps, agility, and CI/CD.

The controls discussed do not modify application development lifecycle, but ensure that application security is given the same priority as other tasks and can be carried out easily by developers. All security details, such as application features, modules, database details, modules functioning and security implementation in modules should be mentioned in an application. It should be defined that all secure coding practices in any application should be implemented at the time of development. But it is a known fact that industry tested security features are not readily available in programming languages.

Force All Requests to Go Through Access Control Checks¶

Much of the material in this section is drawn from the OWASP Integration Standards project. Make sure you track the use of open source libraries and maintain an inventory of versions, their licenses and vulnerabilities such as OWASP’s top 10 vulnerabilities using tools like OWASP’s Dependency Check or Snyk. Recently, I was thinking back at a great opening session of DevSecCon community we had last year, featuring no other than Jim Manico. The session cookie value should never be predictable, and should comply with strong complexity for better security. But this vulnerability can be exploited by converting sensitive information into a hashed format, like in salted MD5 or SHA2 hash format or in encrypted form. Here this expression shows that username should include alphabets ‘a-z’, numbers ‘0-9’ and special characters underscore ‘_’ only.

Ensure that all request go through some kind of access control verification layer. Technologies like Java filters or other automatic request processing mechanisms are ideal programming artifacts that will help ensure that all requests go through some kind of access control check. It is impractical to track and tag whether a string in a database was tainted or not. Instead, you build proper controls in the presentation layer, such as the browser, to escape any data provided to it. Authentication and secure storage is not just limited to the username-password module of an application.

OWASP Top 10 Proactive Controls 2018

Ensure that access to all data stores is secure, including both relational databases and NoSQL databases. While the current OWASP Proactive Controls do not match up perfectly with the OWASP Top Ten for 2021, they do a fair job of advising on controls to add to your applications to mitigate the dangers the Top Ten describes. Logging is storing a protected audit trail that allows an operator to reconstruct the actions of any subject or object that performs an action or has an action performed against it.

  • From this discussion, it is clear that username and password are the elements of authentication that prove your identity.
  • First, security vulnerabilities continue to evolve and a top 10 list simply can’t offer a comprehensive understanding of all the problems that can affect your software.
  • If the database is compromised at the same time, the attacker will be able to access the user account easily.

Asymmetric method or Public Key Cryptography (PKC) uses two sets of keys to perform encryption and decryption. Public Key is used for data encryption and Private Key is used for data decryption. In the first part of this series, we covered the Top 5 and learned how they can prove to be of great use in securing applications. In this part, we will look at the last 5 OWASP ProActive Controls and learn more about them. Interested in reading more about SQL injection attacks and why it is a security risk? Incident logs are essential to forensic analysis and incident response investigations, but they’re also a useful way to identify bugs and potential abuse patterns.

OWASP Proactive Control 9 — implement security logging and monitoring

It is used by many types of applications (web, webservice, mobile) to communicate over a network in a secure fashion. TLS must be properly configured in a variety of ways in order to properly defend secure communications. owasp controls A prominent OWASP project named Application Security Verification Standard—often referred to as OWASP ASVS for short—provides over two-hundred different requirements for building secure web application software.

When developers start developing any application, either they don’t implement secure coding practices or use third party libraries for implementing security features. But most programming languages or development framework have built-in security functions and libraries which can be leveraged to implement security features in applications. Developers should use those built-in features instead of third party libraries. Data encoding helps to protect a user from different types of attacks like injection and XSS.

The unauthorized disclosure or modification of these secrets could lead to complete system compromise. As a general rule, only the minimum data required should be stored on the mobile device. But if you must store sensitive data on a mobile device, then sensitive data should be stored within each mobile operating systems specific data storage directory. On Android this will be the Android keystore and on iOS this will be the iOS keychain. It’s critical to classify data in your system and determine which level of sensitivity each piece of data belongs to.

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