Understanding the Basics of OWASP Top 10

30.03.23 04:01 PM By Polina

As technology has advanced, so have the tools and strategies used to protect our data and systems. One such tool is OWASP Top 10, a list of the most critical security risks and vulnerabilities commonly found in web applications. As our LinkedIn poll has shown,  61% of respondents are already familiar with OWASP Top 10, while others are just starting to take their first steps towards this tool. In this blog, we will delve deeper into the basics of OWASP Top 10 and how it can help protect your cyber security. 

What is OWASP Top 10?

OWASP Top 10 is a list of the 10 most common web application security vulnerabilities, compiled by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). The list is updated every few years to keep up with the evolving threat landscape and is based on a consensus among security experts from around the world.. It is designed to help developers and security professionals identify the most critical risks and vulnerabilities, and prioritize their security efforts. The OWASP Top 10 can be used by an organization as a standard or as guidelines to help it become more secure when dealing with web apps and websites. Organizations can be sure that they have taken the required efforts to secure their online apps by deploying mitigation methods against each of the Top 10 vulnerabilities. 

The CyberSecure Canada program requires that you secure your website and web applications from the potential threats outlined in the OWASP Top 10.

An investigation of the Top 10 can be performed using a vulnerability scanner to make sure they have been implemented. On the OWASP Top 10 webpage, more details are available.               
                                                                                                                      OWASP Top 10 2017 to 2021 Top 10 mapping 

OWASP Top 10 is divided into two categories:
  • OWASP Top 10 2021 (the most recent version)
  • OWASP Top 10 2017 (the previous version).
The OWASP Top 10-2021 is the more comprehensive tool, with more detailed descriptions of each vulnerability. It also includes two new categories: “Insecure Design”, “Software and Data Integrity Failures” and “Server-Side Request Forgery”.     

Understanding the OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities

The OWASP Top 10 list identifies the most common web application security risks. By understanding these vulnerabilities, developers and security professionals can better protect their web applications from these common risks: 

                                                                                                                             OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities

The Benefits of Implementing 

There are many benefits to implementing OWASP Top 10, including:

  • Improved SecurityImplementing OWASP Top 10 can help improve the security of your web applications by identifying and addressing common security risks.  

  • Increased Visibility: Implementing OWASP Top 10 can help increase the visibility of security issues within your web applications, allowing you to monitor better and respond to security threats. 

  • Reduced Risk: Implementing OWASP Top 10 can help reduce the risk of data breaches and other security issues.  

  • Improved Compliance: Implementing OWASP Top 10 can help ensure that your web applications meet industry standards and regulations, such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS. 

In addition, implementing OWASP Top 10 can help organizations save time and money by reducing the need for costly manual security audits. 

OWASP Top 10 is an invaluable document for developers and security professionals. By understanding the basics of OWASP Top 10, you can better identify and address security risks and vulnerabilities. However, keeping an eye on your web applications and systems  that need to be secured and updated is crucial. The OWASP Web Security Testing Guide says: "Remember that security is a process and not a product."  


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Resources to Help With OWASP Top 10:

If you are new to OWASP Top 10 or need help getting started, there are a number of resources available to help. The OWASP website provides detailed information on the tool, as well as tutorials, videos, and other resources. 

OWASP Foundation: https://owasp.org

OWASP Top 10 page: https://cybersecuritycanada.com/owasp-testing

OWASP Spotlight series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUKo5k_oSrfOTl27gUmk2o-NBKvkTGw0T

OWASP FAQ: https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/cybersecure-canada/en/frequently-asked-questions-open-web-application-security-projectr-owasp

Download OWASP Top 10 Vulnerabilities Infographic