Posted on 22nd August, 2022

10 Common Web App Security Vulnerabilities With Preventive Measures

Secured web application instils greater trust and credibility among your target users. With the continuous technological change,web app security has been a challenge for site owners.

Studies reveal that hackers target over 30% of online business websites. On top of that, 60% of business websites do not focus on security measures. That’s why their websites are vulnerable to hacking.

The OWASP ( Open Web Application Security Project) is a non-profit charitable organization community of engineers and IT security professionals. The motive behind its foundation is to improve web security and software security for all businesses.

10 Web App Security Vulnerabilities You May Come Across

The OWASP has pulled together a list of common web security vulnerabilities based on their collected data. The  web security vulnerabilities listed below are for site owners, developers, designers, admins, users, and site administrators, so that they know how to deal with them on time.

Proficient web app development companies in India like Futuristic Bug can help you in making your web application secure enough to follow all the proper guidelines.

1. Broken Authentication & Session Management

Broken authentication is one of the most common web security problems that users come across. The validation of the authentication is crucial to identify and validate the access of the users.

Broken authentications can help surpass the attackers to access and have the same permissions that the attacker has targeted. This might provide the attacker unhindered access to all your data and files, thereby causing serious damage to your web application. This can create a lot of vulnerabilities and issues with authentication later on.

Concerned Area:
Broken authentication leads to leakage of data from the targeted user’s account making the authentication more vulnerable. Such vulnerabilities may include password stuffing, improperly set timeouts, improperly salting and hashing the target user’s passwords, direct brute attack etc.

Preventive Measure:
To prevent broken authentication of your web applications and remove all authentication vulnerabilities you can apply multi-factor authentication to validate or verify the correct user login as well as access to your web app. You should always keep in mind that you need to create stronger passwords and update them periodically. Remember to avoid any kind of common passwords like 12345 or user12345, etc.

You can also set session timeouts for unregistered user logins and prevent any authentication vulnerabilities on your web application.

2. Injection Attacks

Injection flaws occur when the attacker uses malicious data to harm the databases or directories connected to your web applications. There are two types of injections flaws that an attacker can use-

  • SQL (Structured Query Language) Injection – It is used to attack the databases.
  • LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) Injection- Such attack may damage the directories.

Concerned Area:
Injection flaws are such attacks that use input fields which directly interact with directories and databases to execute against vulnerabilities. The input fields are vulnerable as they lack any kind of input filter during the development of the database or directory. Such web security vulnerabilities may include usernames, passwords, email addresses, etc- any area that may interact with the target.

Preventive Measure:
You can easily prevent injection attacks by adding filters to your input fields. Firstly, the best defensive method with SQL databases is that you can use prepared statements to prevent attackers from manipulating the queries.

Secondly for LDAP injection attacks is that you can use protocols like escape variables as the best defence. Characters that were used in the injection attacks previously, will be prevented from manipulating the directory.

3. Broken Access Control

Your web application’s access control model closely works with the content and functions of the website. Therefore, you need a reliable access control mechanism without any flawed control scheme. If any attacker discovers this flaw, the person may delete content, take over site administration, or even unauthorize functions.

When the back-end is vulnerable and open to attacks due to a server-side misconfigured or missing or broken authorization- this process is called broken access control. Frequently, any web application faces broken access control due to multi-administrative interfaces. These interfaces are targeted by users for their huge access control and functions both from inside and outside.

Concerned Area:
Broken access control leaves your web application prone to attack and vulnerable both from outside and inside. Attackers can gain access to crucial data elements like your website, content, sensitive files, data, etc, and thereby wreak havoc and deface your site, if your site is not configured properly. Any hacker may seek control over the admin function and exploit the flaw with malicious requests.

Preventive Measure:
Firstly, an access control policy should be implemented and documented. The code that is implemented for the access control policy should be well-structured, centralized, and modular. You can review the code in detail and also use penetration testing to know about the flaws in your access control scheme. Remember that your server-side authentication is active, configured, and prevents unwanted access.

4. Cross-Site Scripting Or XSS

Cross-site scripting or XSS attacks by injecting malicious HTML or client-side scripts into your website’s pages viewed by others and surpassing the access controls. XSS exploits the access controls of any web browser using JavaScript.

Concerned Area:
The cross-site scripting (XSS) is such a web app security vulnerability that can have access to your browsing history, sensitive data, etc. It can also allow attackers to steal cookies from the user’s browsers. The attacker executes the malicious code through social engineering or phishing and might also gain access to your webcam, location, etc.

Preventive Measure:
By sanitizing input this web app security vulnerability can be prevented. This way it prevents the attackers from manipulating the access controls or injecting malicious codes into your website. Additionally, by validating and escaping the user input the XSS or any malicious attack or injections can be prevented.

5. Sensitive Data Exposure/ Crucial Data Leakage

The next on the list of OWASPs is sensitive data exposure. This type of web application security vulnerability transport or store sensitive data  without any encryption or any other layer of protection.

Concerned Area:
Sensitive unprotected data are vulnerable and prone to attack during the given below tasks.

Firstly, during the transportation of the sensitive data from the user to the client.

Secondly, after all the data is stored.

During the first process, anyone can attack in the middle of the transportation process and steal all the data from the packets. During the second process, the unprotected data may be exposed through encryption keys as well as through improper or weak hashing and salting of user credentials and passwords.

Preventive Measure:
You can easily prevent the exposure of vital data and sensitive information by covering up your web application’s security and information by implementing the following for all incoming data on your website-

  • HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) with the combination of SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)
  • PFS (Perfect Forward Secrecy)
  • Cyphers

You can always encrypt all the data while transporting and storing them to prevent any sudden attacks or data risk exposure. Keeping the encryption keys stored separately while storing all the data will minimize your data hacking risk and exposure.

Even eliminating or removing outdated data will also reduce the risk of data exposure exponentially. Additionally, to prevent the leakage of crucial data, you can also disable data caching to prevent the storage of any sensitive information or vital data.

6. Security Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration for your web applications provides scope for your attackers to capitalize on it. Your website’s security misconfiguration vulnerabilities include unused web pages, outdated software, unprotected database or files or directories, unpatched flaws, running software in debug mode, etc.

Concerned Area:
Security misconfigurations can affect your whole web application. Therefore, security misconfigurations are very vital for your website’s vitals. To find your security misconfiguration vulnerabilities you need to run a security audit on your web application. This will help you figure out any security flaws, attacks, breaches, or any loose ends on your web app.

Preventive Measure:
Deployment protocol can easily prevent security misconfiguration vulnerabilities. This security protocol will continuously develop and deploy all updates on your overall web app environment to make it secure. It will also prevent all vulnerabilities in all your segmented application architecture- thereby keeping your web application up to date.

7. Remote File Inclusion Or RFI

Remote File Inclusion (RFI) is a type of web application security vulnerability that exploits the ‘dynamic file include’ mechanism of your web app. When a web app takes user input and references them to include commands, the web app might be tricked into including remote files with malicious codes. In other words, the goal of the attacker is to exploit the referencing function while referencing external scripts.

Concerned Area:
The RFI web security vulnerability is concerned with compromised data and passwords, information theft, site takeover, server hijacked, content modification, defaced web pages, etc.

Preventive Measure:
Firstly to prevent any kind of Remote File Inclusion (RFI) you need to sanitize your inputs and look out for any kind of malware injection. Always remember that your parameters should be accurate and has proper parameter value while referring. Otherwise, unauthorized file uploads.

8. Insecure Direct Object References

Insecure direct object reference vulnerability exists once the users get exposed to the database keys or files. Thus, the attackers can exploit the exposed internal objects and can access them to gain data on all the sensitive pieces of information. This usually happens when the authentication is non-existent or missing or broken.

Concerned Area:
Such web app security vulnerability is concerned with the URL parameters of the database objects exposing serialized data keys. The data keys and static files can be manipulated to access sensitive information and other users’ data.

Preventive Measure:
Vulnerability can be prevented by limiting the server-side validation providing access to sensitive files and databases the insecure direct object references. You can even test the input server-side for any kind of malicious attack or manipulation from the attackers. Additionally, you prevent this web security vulnerability by limiting the permission to access or change files and sensitive databases.

9. Cross-Site Request Forgery Or CSRF

Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF) vulnerability manipulates the users into clicking a link and other social engineering tricks to take control of the sessions. They may feed the links to the target user through social comments, email, etc -tricking the authenticated users and taking over authenticated sessions, the attacker can easily perform any changes to deface the web app, steal data, etc.

Concerned Area:
Such web security vulnerabilities put your authentic sessions at risk. In other words, CSRF vulnerability along with social engineering, makes the user of the web application perform tasks that they do not want to perform. This way the attacks compromise your sessions and make them prone to hacking.

Preventive Measure:
To prevent the CSRF vulnerability, you can use proper authentication methods like dual authentication or cross-site token, secret tokens, cookies, etc tied to the user’s sessions. Additionally, you can use the POST and GET requests to validate the URL information through view or read-only actions.

10. Insecure Cryptographic Storage

Insecure cryptographic storage is such a web app security vulnerability that prevails when there is insecure storage of sensitive data and information.

Concerned Area:
The improper storage of sensitive information and data gives scope for this vulnerability to exploit. Such sensitive data lacks encryption or hashing or salting, thereby making them vulnerable to malicious attacks. The attacker can steal your deity, modify data, conduct identity theft, fraud, etc.

Preventive Measure:
To prevent this web security vulnerability, you can ensure appropriate strong standard algorithms. Remember to use only approved public algorithms for such cases as AES, RSA public key cryptography, etc. Additionally, you can encrypt your offsite backups but keep in mind to manage and back up the keys separately.


These web app security vulnerabilities will brief you on the idea of how to deal with them and prevent them from affecting your web application. Connect with the best web app development service provider in India to guide you in taking all the preventive measures needed for your web app to run seamlessly.

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