The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) was founded in 2001. OWASP operates with the goal of bringing together the best minds in web application security. This non-profit works to build an open-source library of videos, articles, and other information about the constantly evolving landscape of web application risks.
OWASP has grown to become the web application industry’s standard for security. Here’s why web app developers need to be familiar with OWASP.
Your Introduction to OWASP
OWASP’s history goes all the way back to 2001 when the internet was still young and web application risks looked a lot different from what they look like today. OWASP’s primary goal is to maintain a digital library of information and technologies designed to help web application developers improve their security.
To achieve this goal, OWASP maintains open-source projects with a team of thousands of volunteers, hundreds of employees, and over 40 agency partners. Here’s a few of the open-source projects that OWASP makes available to devs all over the world:
- Security Documentation
- Open-Source Security Research
- Digital and In-Person Events
- Open-Source Web App Security Tools and Technology
OWASP is most known for their OWASP Top 10. These are the 10 largest security threats facing web applications today. Cybersecurity experts often test web application performance against the OWASP Top 10 and use this list as a benchmark for good security performance.
OWASP is not a static organization. They routinely update their top 10, open-source tools, and documentation based on changing web application trends.
Why Devs Need to Be Familiar With OWASP
The work done by OWASP is vital for web application developers. Their list of top 10 web application security threats combined with the open-source tools that they provide are essential resources for our industry.
Staying up-to-date with the information provided by OWASP is the first step in more than just improving your web app security. This information can also protect your business.
Financial Losses for Your Business
A web application security threat can cause serious financial problems for your business. Not only is it expensive to repair the damage that’s been done after a hack or exploitation, there’s also the risk of lawsuits and other damages after having a data breach.
The resources provided by OWASP can help prevent these losses before they happen.
Damage to Your Reputation
If your web application suffers a breach of security, you could deal with some serious damage to your company’s reputation. OWASP provides not just security resources, but also ways of protecting your web app from embarrassing data breaches. With threats like cross-site scripting becoming more popular, even basic web application devs need to keep this in mind.
Building Successful Applications
Security is no longer a secondary concern for web application developers. It’s now the core of how we create our applications. The resources provided by OWASP are essential when it comes to designing today’s best applications. Everyone from Apple to the Federal Trade Commission relies on OWASP to keep their web applications secure.
The OWASP Top Ten Web App Security Risks
These are the top 10 web application security risks that OWASP has currently identified. A few of these risks were brand new for 2021 while others were evolved versions of threats from previous years.
These risks might change over the coming years. OWASP works with their own internal team of experts as well as external agencies to shape their top 10 list. These are the current threats as outlined by OWASP.
- Broken Access Control
- Cryptographic Failures
- Insecure Design
- Security Misconfiguration
- Vulnerable and Outdated Components
- Identification and Authentication Failures
- Software and Data Integrity Failures
- Security Logging and Monitoring Failures
- Server-Side Request Forgery
How OWASP Helps AppSec and Web App Devs
OWASP provides countless resources for web application developers and other individuals interested in web application security. These resources include everything from educational material to security tools. This is why OWASP is recognized as an essential component of web application development.
Whether you’re new to your web application development career or you’re looking to improve your approach to security, these are the resources that OWASP creates for app devs:
- OWASP is the main source of information on current web app risks
- OWASP provides free open-source security tools
- A rich community of experts in cybersecurity and web application development
- A library of resources to prevent, and resolve, security threats