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  • Writer's pictureAppsec360 Team

OWASP Top 10 2021: The Most Critical Web Application Security Risks

The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving software security. OWASP releases a list of the top 10 web application security risks every few years, called the OWASP Top 10. These risks are based on data from real-world attacks and are intended to help developers, security professionals, and organizations prioritize their security efforts.

The latest version of the OWASP Top 10 was released in June 2021.

Here's a rundown of the top 10 risks and what you can do to mitigate them. In the next version of this blog, we will map this to control and remediation activities across various Secure SDLC phases.


Injection flaws occur when untrusted data is sent to an interpreter as part of a command or query. This can lead to arbitrary code execution or sensitive information disclosure.

To prevent injection flaws, you should use parameterized queries, prepared statements, or stored procedures rather than building SQL statements on the fly.

Broken Authentication and Session Management

Broken authentication and session management occur when authentication and session management mechanisms are not implemented correctly, allowing attackers to gain unauthorized access to user accounts or sensitive data.

To prevent these flaws, you should use strong password policies, implement multi-factor authentication, and secure session management techniques to prevent these attacks.

Insufficient Logging and Monitoring

Insufficient logging and monitoring make detecting and responding to security incidents difficult. You should implement comprehensive logging and monitoring systems and establish procedures for analyzing and responding to security incidents.

Insecure Design

Insecure design occurs when security is not considered during the design phase of software development. During the design phase, you should conduct threat modeling and risk assessments to identify and mitigate potential security risks.

Security Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration occurs when security controls are not configured properly, leaving vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit. You should follow security best practices for the technology stack in use and use automated tools to scan your systems for misconfiguration.

Vulnerable and Outdated Components

Attackers can exploit vulnerable and outdated components to gain unauthorized access to your systems. You should use up-to-date software and libraries and monitor for vulnerabilities in third-party components.

Insufficient Attack Protection

Insufficient attack protection occurs when applications do not protect against common attack techniques such as cross-site scripting (XSS) and cross-site request forgery (CSRF). You should use secure coding practices and web application firewalls to protect against attacks.

Poor Code Quality

Poor code quality can lead to security vulnerabilities and make it difficult to maintain and update software. You should follow secure coding best practices and use code analysis tools to identify and remediate security issues.

Insecure Communication

Insecure communication occurs when sensitive data is transmitted over unencrypted channels. You should use secure communication protocols such as HTTPS and ensure that sensitive data is encrypted during transmission.

Risky Business Logic

Risky business logic occurs when application logic is incorrectly implemented, leading to security vulnerabilities. You should thoroughly test and validate your application logic to ensure it is secure.

IThe OWASP Top 10 2021 is a valuable resource for anyone involved in web application development and security. Following the best practices outlined in the Top 10, you can mitigate the most critical web application security risks and better protect your users and data.

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