Security Threats and How To Protect

Top 10 Security Threats and How To Protect Against Them According To OWASP

Cyber security industry is evolving at a rapid pace and becoming more and more sophisticated with each passing day. There are many types of cyber criminals that are using different methods to hack into your system. The best way to protect yourself is to stay well informed about the latest cybersecurity threats and how to mitigate them.


OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) is an organization that helps businesses fight against cyber-attacks. They also release their top 10 most common types of vulnerabilities every few years. In this article, you will learn about top 10 cybersecurity threats and how to overcome them according to OWASP.

Top 10 OWASP Security Threats

Here are top 10 cybersecurity threats according to OWASP.

1.   Malware Injection

Malware injections are nothing new. In fact, if you follow cybersecurity, you might be familiar with SQL injection. What most people don’t know is that there are many different types of malware injections such as LDAP, NoSQL and operating system injections. Hackers fully leverage these flaws to inject malicious code in your database query. This gives them access to your database so they can steal your data.

Malware Injection

2.   Poor Authentication

Another area that most businesses tend to ignore is user authentication. Most businesses are still using passwords as a user authentication method. Even if they have switched to a more secure authentication method, they are not set up properly, which increases the risk of account takeovers. It is not just about passwords either as attackers can also steal your session tokens and keys. Simply put, it gives them more opportunities to inflict even more damage on your business. They can even bypass poor authentication by resorting to cheap tactics such as credential stuffing and brute force attacks.

Even if you are still using passwords, remember to follow password best practices. Enforce password policies and ask your employees to follow them. It is highly recommended that you switch to multi-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security on top. Yes, this might complicate your login process but it is a step in the right direction as far as security is concerned. If possible, you should explore more secure user authentication methods.

3.   Sensitive Data Exposure

One of the main reasons behind most application data leaks is a lack of proper data protection. They use an unencrypted HTTP protocol to transmit data which makes them more vulnerable to data breaches. This allows hackers to steal information at any node during transit. This is why it is imperative to know how your data is being collected, shared and stored. Keep an eye on devices, as well as users who have access to sensitive data. Adopt a zero-trust approach and calculate risk before granting access to your sensitive data to anyone.

Sensitive Data Exposure

4.   XML External Entities

Despite the advancements in web development technologies, XML is still being used to transfer data over the internet. Poorly configured XML processors tend to process references to external sources present inside the document. This gives cybercriminals an opportunity to get access to confidential files. Moreover, they can also perform remote code execution, which they can use to launch a DDoS attack. This is why it is important for businesses to invest in DDoS protection.

5.   Poor Access Control

Most businesses don’t monitor access and privileges the way they should. As a result, they end up granting more access to people who don’t have them or give more privileges to users. This comes back to haunt them in the long run. Make sure that every user has the right access required to complete their job.  Otherwise, hackers can compromise high privileged accounts and wreak havoc on your business.

6.   Security Misconfigurations

Among all the common cybersecurity threats, this one is probably the most common. Security misconfigurations, cloud misconfigurations, server misconfigurations are just a few examples that make businesses an easy target for hackers. From unpatched systems to using the default security settings on network and security devices, these misconfigurations can create loopholes which hackers can exploit.

Security Misconfigurations

7.   Cross-Site Scripting

Another common type of tactic cybercriminals use is cross-site scripting. The core purpose of cross site scripting attack is to inject malicious code in a legitimate website. As soon as the user loads that website, that code is executed in the user browser. The success ratio of this type of attack is high because web browsers treat the code they need to load the page as secure. Once the cross-site scripting attacks succeed, attackers can make changes to your webpage, hijack user sessions and divert users to malicious websites.

8.   Vulnerable Components

With the rise of open-source technology and third-party components, we are seeing more and more developers use them for developing applications and software. This includes everything from libraries to frameworks. Since these components contain vulnerabilities, the software or application you develop using these components can negatively impact the security of your software and application.

Vulnerable Components

9.   Insecure Serialization

Irrespective of which programming language you choose to develop web applications, serialization and deserialization is common. Serialization can be defined as changes made to an object into a transmittable disk format. On the flipside, deserialization transforms the serialized data into a usable object. If the application does not secure this process correctly, hackers can perform remote code execution or inject malicious code as well as launch privilege escalation attacks.

10.   No Logging and Monitoring

Last but certainly not the least is poor logging or monitoring mechanisms or lack thereof. Most businesses that become the victim of cyberattacks come to know about it too late, since they don’t maintain and monitor their logs regularly. As a result, they miss out on warning signs and fail to detect suspicious and malicious activities taking place on their network. This is why it is important to maintain a log and review it regularly to detect and prevent damage caused by cyberattacks.

Which is the top cybersecurity threat in your opinion? Share it with us in the comments section below.

Mark Anthony

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