Understanding OWASP and Its Major Risks

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6 min readOct 3, 2023

If you are in Cyber security and didn’t know what OWASP is , OWASP, or the Open Web Application Security Project, is a guiding light in this cyber era. It’s a global nonprofit group focused on fortifying web applications against potential dangers. They offer an array of resources, from handy documentation to insightful videos and forums. At the heart of OWASP is their well-known Top 10 project. Additionally, they run educational programs in the field of cybersecurity.

Find out more from OWASP official website :-

Understanding OWASP Mobile Top 10 Risks

The OWASP Top 10 is like a vital guidebook for developers, highlighting the most important security risks in web applications. let’s understand all these with simple examples :-

1. Broken Access Control

  • What? This happens when an application doesn’t properly limit what certain users can do, allowing unauthorized access to sensitive areas.
  • Why is it important? This risk is critical because it can lead to unauthorized access to sensitive information or functionalities, potentially resulting in data breaches or unauthorized actions.
  • Example: Imagine an online banking system. If it doesn’t properly control who can access account details, a user could potentially view someone else’s private financial information, leading to serious privacy violations.

2. Cryptographic Failures

  • What? This refers to problems related to how information is kept secret and secure. If not done right, it can lead to the exposure of sensitive data.
  • Why is it important? Cryptographic failures can result in sensitive data being exposed, which may lead to identity theft, financial losses, and even legal consequences.
  • Example: Consider a healthcare application that stores patient records. If the encryption used to protect this data is weak, a hacker could potentially intercept and access these records, compromising patient privacy and trust.

3. Injection

  • What? This happens when an attacker injects malicious code into an application, often through forms or user inputs.
  • Why is it important? Injection attacks can lead to unauthorized access, data loss, or even the complete takeover of a system, posing a significant threat to both users and organizations.
  • Example: Think of an e-commerce website with a search bar. If it’s not properly protected, a hacker could inject harmful code, potentially stealing customer data or disrupting the website’s functionality.

4. Insecure Design

  • What? This is a new category focusing on design flaws that can lead to security risks. It emphasizes the importance of planning security from the start.
  • Why is it important? Insecure design can lay the foundation for multiple vulnerabilities, making it crucial to address these flaws early in the development process.
  • Example: Picture a social media platform that doesn’t implement proper access controls for user profiles. This could result in unauthorized access to private information, potentially leading to privacy violations or even cyberbullying.

5. Security Misconfiguration

  • What? This happens when an application isn’t set up securely, leaving it vulnerable to attacks.
  • Why is it important? Misconfigurations can expose sensitive data, leaving it susceptible to unauthorized access or even leakage to the public.
  • Example: Consider a cloud storage service that accidentally leaves a critical folder open to the public. Anyone can access and download files from this folder, potentially leading to data breaches and privacy issues.

6. Vulnerable and Outdated Components

  • What? This is about using software parts that are known to have security issues.
  • Why is it important? Using outdated or vulnerable components can create an entry point for attackers, allowing them to exploit known weaknesses.
  • Example: Think of a company using an old version of a content management system (CMS) that has known security vulnerabilities. A hacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access to the company’s website.

7. Identification and Authentication Failures

  • What? This refers to problems with how an application identifies and authenticates users.
  • Why is it important? Failures in identification and authentication can lead to unauthorized access, potentially allowing malicious actors to impersonate legitimate users.
  • Example: Imagine an email service that doesn’t properly verify user identities during the login process. An attacker could potentially gain access to someone’s email account and misuse it for malicious purposes.

8. Software and Data Integrity Failures

  • What? This is about trusting important updates and data without checking if they’re genuine.
  • Why is it important? Failing to verify the integrity of software and data updates can result in the installation of malicious or compromised versions, potentially leading to system compromise or data loss.
  • Example: Consider a company that automatically installs software updates without verifying their authenticity. If a hacker manages to substitute a legitimate update with a malicious one, the company’s systems could be compromised.

9. Security Logging and Monitoring Failures

  • What? This is about not properly keeping track of what’s happening in an application and not updating logs.
  • Why is it important? Inadequate logging and monitoring can impede an organization’s ability to detect and respond to security incidents in a timely manner, potentially allowing threats to go undetected.
  • Example: Picture a company with limited logging in place. If a cyberattack occurs, the company may not have enough information to understand the extent of the breach, making it harder to mitigate the damage.

10. Server-Side Request Forgery

  • What? This is when an attacker tricks a server into making requests on their behalf, potentially causing problems. For betterment it’s like making fool of web firewall.
  • Why is it important? While not as common, server-side request forgery can lead to unauthorized actions being performed on a server, potentially resulting in data exposure or system compromise.
  • Example: Think of a web application that allows users to provide URLs for images. If proper checks aren’t in place, an attacker could trick the server into making requests to internal resources, potentially leading to data exposure or system disruption.

In a nutshell, these are the key risks OWASP warns us about. Understanding and guarding against them is like putting locks on our digital doors. By following these tips, we can keep our apps and user data safe and sound. Remember, a little precaution goes a long way!

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