Cyber Security Career Guide
Cyber Security Career Guide

Security issues for the web

Many companies forget about website security when they are building websites. Even if they have a website security specialist on their team, they will still be focusing on when and how to make their websites live. This can leave major vulnerabilities unattended.

It is important to realize that website security should be both proactive and defensive. This is a reminder that website security should be taken seriously. It is a good idea to be concerned about its negative effects on your business and reputation.

Common security issues are:

  • Injection Mistakes
  • Cross-Site Scripting (“XSS”)
  • It is not possible to update security settings
  • Exchanging sensitive data
  • A lost function level access control

1: Injection Mistakes

Injection flaws should be avoided if you want to filter untrusted input smoothly. An injection flaw allows you to pass unfiltered data to any of the following: the SQL server, the browser, LDAP server injection, or elsewhere. Hackers can use these website layers to inject commands. This could lead to data loss and even hacking of your website. It can even infect other websites.

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2: Cross-Site Scripting, (XSS).

Another form of injection vulnerability can cause input sanitization failure. Hackers can set up JavaScript tags in your web application JavaScript on input. The user’s browser will execute the code if the input is not cleaned up. You can create a link to persuade users to click it or do something more complicated. The script is executed upon page load and can be used, for instance, to send your cookies to hackers.

3: Security settings not updated

Any security personnel responsible will make sure you personalize your security settings, such as passwords or authentications. Some people may still be human and miss important details in their jobs. Some concrete scenarios are:

  • They allow the application to run in production with debugging enabled.
  • They did not change passwords and default keys.
  • They left the directory listing enabled for the server. This leaks valuable information.
  • They permit unnecessary services to run on the machine.
  • They used outdated software (think WordPress plugins and old PhpMyAdmin).
  • Some pop-up messages regarding error information were not fixed.

4: Exposing sensitive data

A website security staff member who fails to encrypt or protect sensitive data is a major failure. Credit card numbers and passwords (such as user passwords) should not be sent or stored unencrypted. Passwords should be hashed. Session IDs and other sensitive data should not travel in URLs, it is obvious. Sensitive cookies must have the secure flag enabled. This is extremely important and cannot be stressed enough.

5: An Access Control System with a Lost Function Level

A website can be disrupted if authorization fails. This means that a function called on the server was not authorized. Website developers often rely on the fact the server-generated the UI. The client cannot access functionality that isn’t provided by the server, they believe. This isn’t as simple as they thought. Hackers can easily make requests for the “hidden functionality” and are not prevented simply because the UI doesn’t allow them to access it. An attacker can find this functionality and abuse it without authorization.

Keep in mind that these 5 security issues with websites are only a few. As technology advances and changes, there are many more security issues for websites that security personnel must deal with.

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