OWASP or Open Web Application Security Project is a non-profit organization that produces free, open data and documentation on web application vulnerabilities. OWASP also grants students who have web security ideas to implement their projects. They also run web security workshops and conferences for industry professionals worldwide. OWASP offers several different ways for people and organizations to become involved with their efforts. Whether it’s organizing events, applying for a grant, or becoming a member of the organization. OWASP also has several products to help organizations protect against web vulnerabilities.

How Does OWASP View Vulnerabilities?

OWASP has a unique way of viewing vulnerabilities. OWASP sees web vulnerabilities as areas that need to be addressed more than individual issues. They also see vulnerabilities as “how” and not just “what”. They mean that creating secure code and programming doesn’t just require secure writing code. Companies and people should take additional steps to prevent certain attacks from taking place against their web applications.

What is the OWASP top 10?

The OWASP top 10 list the most critical web application vulnerabilities. A security experts team from around the world created this list in 2003. It has been updated several times since then, and it continues to be a useful tool for organizations of all sizes to use when creating secure web applications.


OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities:

1. Injection

The injection is the most common vulnerability found within web applications. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most dangerous because it can lead to database breaches and data theft. Injection happens when outside sources control what a program does with user-provided information. OWASP gave this type of vulnerability number 1 on their list for a good reason.

2. Broken Authentication

Broken authentication happens when credentials are passed in the clear over an unencrypted channel or stored on the client side. This opens up a system to unauthorized parties and allows attackers to gain privileged access, resulting in complete system compromise.

3. Sensitive Data Exposure

Sensitive data exposure occurs when the web application does not properly protect the sensitive information it collects, processes, or displays. This can include credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials.

4. XML External Entities (XXE)

External entities in an XML document are references to files outside of the document itself. A common example would be an XML document referencing an external stylesheet. A less common and more serious example would be using external entities for data sourcing. A carefully constructed request can cause the XML parser to access files and information from remote systems outside the intended sphere of control by the client submitting the request.

5. Broken Access Control

Access control is a security measure that prevents unauthorized people from accessing data or performing an action on a system. For example, if a web application allows you to delete items or check an account balance, it should also require authentication. If your site does not have the proper access controls, it’s vulnerable to brute force and privilege escalation attacks.

6. Security Misconfiguration

Security misconfiguration is the most common vulnerability within web applications. It occurs when developers either neglect to implement proper security controls or implement them in an insecure manner. The result is that sensitive data is exposed, and attackers are able to take advantage of known, albeit patched, vulnerabilities.

7. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

An attacker can inject malicious scripts into an application via inputs later displayed to other users without proper sanitization. XSS attacks occur when an attacker tricks a user’s browser to execute a malicious script in the context of a victim’s domain. This enables attackers to access cookies, use the session, and acquire sensitive information to compromise a victim’s website or application.

8. Insecure Deserialization

Insecure deserialization occurs when serialized data is either handled unsafely used without validation. The result of insecure deserialization is that an attacker can execute commands or write malicious code, leading to remote code execution or SQL injection.

9. Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities

Using components with known vulnerabilities makes it more likely that attackers will exploit any identified and disclosed vulnerabilities on the specific component. This especially applies to open source projects with no control of how quickly a vulnerability is disclosed and fixed.

10. Insufficient Logging and Monitoring

Insufficient logging and monitoring open up gaps in understanding what is happening. Attackers can exploit these gaps to bypass security controls, remain undetected in the system for a long time, and ex-filtrate sensitive data needed for other attacks.


OWASP is a well-known authority when it comes to identifying vulnerabilities. In addition, OWASP provides support for application security by maintaining the OWASP Top 10, which is a catalog of web application vulnerabilities that developers should be aware of and mitigate as much as possible.