Friday, April 19, 2024

OWASP top 10 Challenges 2020 – Security Risks and Vulnerabilities

OWASP is an online community that deals with different security challenges and OWASP stands for the “Open Web Application Security Project.” So, while managing a website, it’s essential to learn about the best critical security risks and vulnerabilities.

OWASP has completed the top 10 security challenges in the year 2020. Today we will discuss all the OWASP top 10 challenges 2020 that deal with security risks and vulnerability.

What is OWASP?

OWASP is an Open Web Application Security Project; it is a worldwide non-profit organization that is devoted to web application security. One of the core principles of OWASP is that all of their elements and bodies will be easily accessible and readily attainable on their website.

That’s why they have created it in such a manner that it will be feasible for anyone to develop their web application security. OWASP has nearly 32,000 volunteers throughout the world who conduct security assessments and analysis at different levels.

Every year, OWASP issues the report of the top 10 web application security risk and vulnerabilities that are regularly used by most of the hackers and suggestions to deal with these types of attacks.

The list acts as a key component for security experts and companies to assist them in better understanding, in their modern security posture, and become better outfitted to find and decrease all sought of cybersecurity risks.

By using Free web security scanners such as AppTrana, you can check your security issues on your website.

Top 10 OWASP Risks and Vulnerabilities

OWASP top 10 challenges were issued every year; these challenges help users to deal with risks and different vulnerabilities.

  • Injection
  • Broken Authentication
  • Sensitive Data Exposure
  • XML External Entities (XXE)
  • Broken Access control
  • Security Misconfigurations
  • Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
  • Insecure Deserialization
  • Using Components with known vulnerabilities
  • Insufficient Logging and Monitoring

And OWASP perceives the Top 10 challenges as security compliance, and they suggest that all the companies should include the report into their methods to reduce and decrease the security risks and vulnerabilities.


Most of the injection attacks appear when any untrusted data is transmitted to a code editor by a form of input or some extra data servility to a web application. The most frequent and well-known injection attack is the SQL injection (SQLi), well in this kind of attacks, the attackers insert an SQL statement that reveals the contents of a database table.

The LDAP injection is a related type of attacker towards a directory system. OWASP suggests you check incoming applications to fix their trustworthiness and to manage untrusted data that has been departed from the systems that are running on your application.

Moreover, in injection challenges, the database admin can place controls to reduce the amount of data an injection attack can reveal.

Broken Authentication

Broken authentication is a web application with defective or weak authentication that can be readily identified by attackers and they launch brute force/dictionary and session management attacks.

These application functions such as authentication and session control are often performed incorrectly, enabling attackers to negotiate passwords, keys, or session tokens, or to utilize other implementation flaws to consider other users’ identifications either temporarily or permanently.

The technical result of this attack is quite severe, exploitation allows attackers to log in as anybody else, and they get access to all sources on their website or application.

By deploying a regular web application firewall you can keep track of such vulnerabilities and protect from exploits targeting it.

Sensitive Data Exposure

Sensitive data exposure is a severe problem for anyone who is operating the web application that includes user data. The applications and APIs that don’t accurately protect the delicate data such as financial data, usernames, and passwords, or health data, could allow attackers to get access to such information to perform different frauds or steal identities.

Attackers may take or alter the weakly protected data to carry out credit card fraud, identity theft, or other crimes. The sensitive data may be negotiated without additional security, such as encryption at rest or in transition, and it needs proper anticipations when it gets exchanged with the browser.

XML External Entities (XXE)

XML external entities (XXE) is an attack toward a web application that parses XML* input. Well, the input reference is an external entity that attempts to utilize a vulnerability in the parser. An ‘external entity’ context refers to a warehouse unit, just as a hard drive.

That’s why an XML parser can be tricked in sending data to an illegal external entity that can pass delicate data immediately to an attacker. Well, the *XML uses an extensible markup language; it is a markup language that expected to be both human-readable and machine-readable. And due to its complexity and security vulnerabilities, it is now being phased out of use in many web applications.

Broken Access control

Broken Access Control is the vulnerability that merges the “Missing function level access control” and the “Insecure direct object references.” This vulnerability occurs when users perform different functions above their levels or get access to other users’ data.

The Broken access control introduces as a weakness that is present in the access control system that enables attackers to circumvent authorization and easily gain access as furnished users.

OWASP is a WAF security that supports several ways to defend your applications, which includes learning “deny by default” rules to concede function access only to those users whom you trust and then perform access to control checks for each user-accessible object.

Security Misconfigurations

Security misconfiguration refers to an application security system that are inadequate, or we can say that they are poorly managed. Well, the security misconfiguration may happen at any level and in any part of an application.

The result of security misconfiguration is quite common, as it is an insecure default configuration, and these are incomplete or ad hoc configurations, open cloud warehouse, misconfigured HTTP headers, and repetitive error messages carrying sensitive information. In the security configuration, there are multiple methods in which you may be unsafe for software misconfiguration. Therefore, they prefer the user to read the configuration report carefully.

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a defect that happens whenever an application involves untrusted data in a new web page without any proper validation or jumping, or updates a current web page. Along with the user-supplied data that has been used as a browser’s API, it can also generate HTML or JavaScript.

The XSS application enables attackers to administer scripts in the victim’s browser later that can be used by the attacker to hijack the user sessions, damage web sites, or redirect the user to ill-disposed sites as well.

Insecure Deserialization

Insecure deserialization is also a type of security flaw that allows an attacker to perform code in the application remotely, tamper, or remove serialized. If deserialization defects do not appear in remote code execution, then it can be utilized to execute attacks that involve replay attacks, injection attacks, and privilege escalation attacks.

Insecure deserialization vulnerability is hard to exploit, and it is also difficult to detect, so, OWASP suggests limiting the types of objects to be deserialized or not deserializing untrusted objects.

Using Components with known vulnerabilities

Several advanced web developers use elements like libraries and frameworks in their web applications. Certain elements are bits of software that assist the developers in bypassing unnecessary work, and consequently, they provide the required functionality.

There are some common examples of these components, which include front-end frameworks such as React and smaller libraries that are practiced to add share icons or a/b testing. Some attackers look for vulnerabilities in these elements, which they can then utilize to organize such attacks.

Some more popular components are used on hundreds of thousands of websites; an attacker obtaining a security hole in one of these elements could leave hundreds of thousands of sites vulnerable to exploitation. Applications and APIs using elements with identified vulnerabilities may ruin the application support and allow multiple attacks whose impacts are severe.

Insufficient logging and monitoring

Insufficient logging and monitoring are a type of vulnerability that is linked with missing or inefficient integration with conflict response that enables attackers to attack the systems. Further, it keeps a proper resolution, axis to more systems, and tamper, remove, or simply destroy data.

Several violation investigations show time to identify a breach, that could take over 200 days, typically identified by external parties rather than internal methods or monitoring. According to the experts maintaining individual logs will help you to track down the features and aspects of any attack immediately.


OWASP Foundation, are the authorization for every developer and technologist to ensure and defend their digital lives, as it helps to bring awareness to what scares the integrity of websites.

So, we have described briefly regarding OWASP and its top 10 challenges of 2020. OWASP helps to keep hackers at the window by permitting developers and site owners to stay modernized and notified about what’s exactly happening.

As security is one of the crucial and sensitive things that can’t be taken lightly as the digital field is packed with potential risks and dangers.


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Guru baran
Guru baran
Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.


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