Web Application Security
Web application security is a core component of any web-based business. The global nature of the Internet exposes web properties to attacks from different locations and at various levels of scale and complexity. Web application security specifically addresses the security that surrounds websites, web applications, and web services, such as APIs.
What are common web application security vulnerabilities?
Attacks on web apps range from targeted database manipulation to large-scale network destruction. Let’s explore some of the commonly used attack methods or “vectors”.
- Cross site scripting (XSS) – XSS is a vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject client-side scripts into web pages to access important information directly, impersonate users, or deceive users to reveal important information.
- SQL injection (SQL) – SQL is a method by which an attacker exploits vulnerabilities in the way a database performs search queries. Attackers use SQL to gain access to unauthorized information, modify or create new user permissions, or otherwise manipulate or destroy sensitive data.
- Buffer overflow – A buffer overflow is an anomaly that occurs when software writes data to a specific location in memory called a buffer. Overriding the buffer capacity makes nearby memory spaces overwritten with data. This behavior can be used to hack malicious code into memory, which can create vulnerabilities in the targeted device.
What are the best practices for mitigating vulnerabilities?
Important steps to protect web applications from exploitation include using up-to-date encryption, requiring proper authentication, continually correcting discovered vulnerabilities and having good hygiene in software development. The reality is that smart attackers can find vulnerabilities even in a very robust security environment, and a holistic security strategy is recommended.