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Owasp Web Application Security Testing - Importance, Guidelines And How To Conduct

Last Updated On Sunday, Apr 9, 2023 | Written By - Mudit Jain

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Owasp Web Application Security Testing - Importance, Guidelines And How To Conduct

This article shall briefly discuss the relevance of opting for the OWASP methodology for your WAST (Web Application Security Testing).

Along with this, the article will also mention the general OWASP guidelines that can help secure a company’s data and other sensitive information from any potential breaches.

The article finally mentions how to conduct an OWASP Web Application Security Testing by using certain resources. Let’s find out!

Why Is OWASP Web Application Security Testing Important?

Web security testing is important because organizations rely on web applications to conduct business and store sensitive data.

The compromisation of these applications could lead to the use of information with criminal intent. In addition, attackers can exploit vulnerabilities to take control of an application and use it as a tool to attack other systems.

OWASP Guidelines for Web Application Security Testing What?

The OWASP Guide to the building of Secure Web Applications provides general guidelines for WAST. It covers topics such as threat modeling, vulnerability scanning, and penetration testing.

The guide also includes a section on secure coding practices that should be followed during the development of web applications.

OWASP guidelines for web application security testing are:

Develop and enforce secure coding policies : Many organizations lack a clear policy for secure development.

This is problematic because software developers may not always understand the negative implications of particular code decisions on security.

OWASP recommends that all applications follow at least one model such as MISRA, JSF, or CWE/SANS Top 25 to ensure vulnerable coding practices are avoided.

Secure the application architecture : A secure architecture is important for mitigating attacks that may occur during the design phase of an application. OWASP recommends using defense-in-depth techniques to help protect against common vulnerabilities.

Perform comprehensive vulnerability scanning : Vulnerability scanning should be performed early in the software development life cycle (SDLC) to find security problems before the application is deployed.

OWASP provides several resources that can help developers perform vulnerability scanning of web applications, including an open-source tool called ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy).

Perform external penetration testing : Penetration testing should be performed on production sites by experienced testers with specific knowledge of how attackers think and work.

OWASP provides several recommendations on how penetration tests should be performed, including the use of automated testing tools and manual techniques to find vulnerabilities in web applications.

Perform internal scanning : Internal scanning is the process of attacking your systems from within to identify potential security issues with a pre-production implementation before release.

In some cases, this may be the only way to find certain types of vulnerabilities. OWASP provides guidelines for internal scanning, including the use of automated tools and manual techniques.

Secure web application session management : Session management is vital for any web application. Incorrectly implemented sessions can lead to attackers being able to gain access to sensitive data or take control of the site.

OWASP provides a list of best practices for session management, including how to handle logout functionality and cross-site request forgery (CSRF) vulnerabilities.

Secure authentication : Authentication is the process that allows users to access web applications by providing credentials such as usernames/passwords or tokens used in OpenID Connect implementations.

OWASP provides many recommendations for implementing authentication properly, including using random session IDs and avoiding the use of reusable credentials.

Secure authorization : Authorization is a key part of any web application as it allows users to perform actions such as viewing sensitive data or modifying account information.

OWASP recommends following security best practices when designing an authorization model by limiting access to the least amount of data needed and using role-based access controls.

Secure data storage : When storing sensitive information in a web application, it is important to ensure that the data is encrypted properly.

OWASP provides several recommendations for securing data, including using strong encryption algorithms and proper key management.

Ensure software is up to date : A large number of security vulnerabilities can be avoided by keeping software up to date.

OWASP recommends using a system such as the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) database to track known vulnerabilities in software and apply updates/patches as soon as they are released.

Develop and enforce secure coding policies : Many security vulnerabilities can be avoided by ensuring that developers follow secure coding practices.

OWASP provides several resources to help organizations develop and enforce secure coding policies, including the OWASP Top Ten for web application security.

Train developers in secure coding techniques : Developers are often the first line of defense when it comes to securing an application. OWASP provides several resources to help developers write secure code, including the OWASP Secure Coding Standard.

Perform IT security audits : IT security audits can help identify vulnerabilities in an application that may not be found through other means. It is recommended to use third-party auditors with web application security assessment experience.

By following the OWASP recommendations for web application security testing, organizations can help ensure that their applications are secure and compliant with industry standards.

How To Conduct OWASP Web Application Security Testing? :-

Organizations can use the OWASP Testing Guide to conduct security tests on their web applications.

The guide provides a comprehensive methodology for assessing the security of an application and includes information on how to test for common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.

The OWASP Top Ten is also a useful resource for conducting security testing. The list includes the most common security vulnerabilities found in web applications.

By following the OWASP recommendations for testing, organizations can help ensure that their apps are secure and compliant with industry standards.

Conclusion :-

Knowing web application security testing in a more detailed manner can help you decide which methodology to choose, which one meets your requirement the best.

This is why it is crucial to know about the OWASP methodology and its detailed guidelines as it is the most widely employed WAST technique out there!

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