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Avoiding Common OWASP Pitfalls

By Tom Seest

Are You Overlooking OWASP Security Failures?

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Logging and monitoring functions provide raw data that helps detect unusual patterns in system traffic. These processes serve as the foundations of a robust security framework.
However, sometimes things can go awry, and logging is compromised. In such instances, it becomes impossible to ascertain exactly what is occurring with the system.

Are You Overlooking OWASP Security Failures?

Are You Overlooking OWASP Security Failures?

How can Insufficient Logging Leave Your System Vulnerable?

OWASP security logging and monitoring failures are the vulnerabilities that prevent applications from quickly detecting, alerting, and responding to security incidents. They also impact forensics, visibility, and attribution.
Logging and monitoring are the processes of gathering data from various systems, analyzing it to detect anomalies, then storing and compressing it in a secure location. This is an essential element in effective cybersecurity measures.
Organizations that neglect to record information about a security incident may not be able to act quickly enough to stop the breach and protect their company from further harm. This could result in further breaches, loss of customer data, financial losses, and disruption to essential business operations.
The OWASP 2018 Top Ten list indicates that insufficient logging and monitoring is the most frequent cybersecurity vulnerability. This issue ranks high in prevalence, medium in opportunity, and low in detectability.
Insufficient logging and monitoring capabilities are often exploited by attackers to avoid detection and remain undetected for extended periods. This is especially true of advanced persistent threats (APTs), who employ complex techniques to circumvent traditional detection mechanisms while remaining undetected in the background.
Hackers may manipulate log files or alter timestamps in an effort to obscure their activities and draw attention away from the threat. They can also take advantage of logging and monitoring blind spots, such as when an application fails to log failed login attempts.
An additional vulnerability that can arise due to inadequate logging and monitoring is privilege escalation. This occurs when an attacker gains administrative rights on a system and uses those powers for malicious activities.
However, organizations that implement robust logging and monitoring processes can reduce this risk by ensuring all activity is accurately recorded and tracked. Furthermore, organizations may implement mechanisms to prevent attackers from injecting false information into logs or using legitimate user accounts with elevated privileges for malicious actions.
A reliable cloud-based log management and analytics solution can help companies identify these vulnerabilities. It also assists companies in implementing proactive controls to address them and prevent future incidents from arising. This may include following best practices for logging and monitoring activities, as well as setting up an effective data retention policy to safeguard forensic records.

How can Insufficient Logging Leave Your System Vulnerable?

How can Insufficient Logging Leave Your System Vulnerable?

What impact do insufficient monitoring practices have on cybersecurity?

Monitoring and logging deficiencies are a cybersecurity risk that negatively affects visibility, incident alerting, login failures, system errors and breaches. That is why having an effective logging and monitoring system that SOC staff and administrators can use is so essential.
OWASP defines security logging and monitoring as the processes that record events in IT systems. They are essential to cybersecurity because they enable us to trace back any abnormal behavior within a system, as well as provide timely alerts when something goes awry.
This is an essential step to ensure any potential threats are detected quickly and addressed before they cause significant harm. It can be particularly beneficial in detecting internal attacks which may go undetected by traditional firewalls.
In 2010, the Stuxnet worm, responsible for an attack on Iran’s nuclear program, exploited insufficient log management to gain elevated access. It used local USB drives to inject data into SCADA systems, but they had inadequate logging and monitoring mechanisms.
Without adequate logging and monitoring, hackers have the ability to steal sensitive information and destroy important documents. This is because they can easily alter logs by adding unexpected inputs, making it difficult for organizations to trace threats and respond appropriately.
Another example of inadequate logging and monitoring occurs when an organization’s quality assurance team lacks sufficient knowledge about its logs or performs regular checks to guarantee all systems are logging accurately in a consistent format. This can lead to the company’s logs being altered or missing audits or compliance regulations.
Insufficient logging and monitoring are among the top cybersecurity risks OWASP ranks as a Top Ten concern in its annual ranking. Although this issue has moved up one spot from #10 this year, it remains a major threat to cybersecurity.
Although there are various solutions to this issue, OWASP suggests the most effective approach is ensuring all logs contain sufficient details and are retained long enough for delayed forensic analysis. Doing this will enable suspicious accounts to be quickly identified and deleted, while providing law enforcement agencies with crucial info they need to track down and prosecute malicious actors.

What impact do insufficient monitoring practices have on cybersecurity?

What impact do insufficient monitoring practices have on cybersecurity?

Are You Making These Reporting Mistakes?

OWASP security logging and monitoring failures are critical vulnerabilities that allow attackers to avoid detection, persist, pivot to other systems, tamper with data, or extract it completely. These flaws can exist across many areas of an organization’s cybersecurity ecosystem, such as logging, reporting, and incident response.
According to OWASP, security logging and monitoring should be a top priority in the cybersecurity space as they help detect suspicious activity quickly or in real time. This can be accomplished through setting appropriate alerting thresholds, monitoring logs for suspicious activity, and responding promptly to alerts.
According to OWASP, insufficient logging and monitoring are a primary cause of breaches since it allows attackers to go undetected for over 200 days. Furthermore, lack of logging and monitoring can result in slow incident response times which only compound the damage caused by a breach.
The OWASP Top 10 list of web application vulnerabilities is widely used by organizations around the world to guarantee their applications are secure. It is based on survey data compiled by OWASP and regularly updated to reflect recent advances in AppSec technology and threats.
This year’s Top 10 list includes three new entries and two categories that have been merged together. These include Insecure Design and Server-Side Request Forgery, both previously listed as distinct vulnerabilities.
Insecure Design is the term used to describe a web application’s architecture or design that isn’t properly secure. This can be due to several reasons, such as missing security controls, implementation errors, and misconfigured components.
For instance, websites that aren’t designed with security in mind can be vulnerable to various attacks and exploits, such as cross-site scripting. Furthermore, Insecure Design is becoming a growing concern for data protection laws and other regulatory requirements; therefore, proper safeguards must be put in place against these potential hazards.
OWASP also suggests that security logging and monitoring be part of an overall cybersecurity strategy, including incident response and recovery planning. This entails setting up or strengthening a comprehensive program to keep track of unauthorized access, malware infections, and other threats.

Are You Making These Reporting Mistakes?

Are You Making These Reporting Mistakes?

What are the Consequences?

According to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10, inadequate logging and monitoring are the top cybersecurity risks. It’s essential to understand these weaknesses so you can detect them before they cause serious harm to your applications.
According to OWASP, insufficient logging is a widespread security vulnerability that can enable attackers to circumvent application-level protections and access sensitive data. This could lead to the loss of customer and business information, compromise critical processes, as well as reputational damage.
Many companies have taken a proactive approach to detecting threats in their environments. By utilizing log management software and SIEM systems, companies can monitor various events in real-time to quickly respond to any security breaches or malware attacks.
Recently, a client of mine reached out to me seeking information on how to avoid A10 Server Side Request Forgery (SSRF). This is an exploit where malicious users can supply applications with URL addresses that allow them to download and run any file on their local computer.
The OWASP Top Ten lists and provides remediation guidance for the most frequent and severe vulnerabilities in web applications and services. This list is regularly updated based on feedback from members of the OWASP community as well as survey data.
Security professionals and developers around the globe use it as a guide for improving application security. Furthermore, testing tools and implementation frameworks utilize it to help users detect security flaws in their applications.
For the third year in a row, broken access control was named the top weakness in 2021 by OWASP. This flaw allows an attacker to gain access to user accounts and conduct various malicious activities such as falsifying financial documents or hacking social media websites and other web services.
Last year, this entry was the number five vulnerability in OWASP Top Ten. While it remains a serious concern, it no longer ranks as the top threat.
Insufficient logging is a common security vulnerability in the cloud, where many organizations rely on cloud service providers for the management and protection of their infrastructure. Since these providers often don’t have to back up logs or provide real-time monitoring, it’s essential that your organization has an effective log storage and monitoring solution in place.

What are the Consequences?

What are the Consequences?

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