The OWASP Prevention Cheat Sheet Series was created to provide a concise collection of high value information on specific web application security topics. These cheat sheets were created by multiple application security experts and provide excellent security guidance in an easy to read format.
Ensure all entities go through an appropriate and adequate form of authentication. All the application non-public resource must be protected and shouldn't be bypassed.
For more information, check Authentication Cheat Sheet
Use secure session management practices that ensure that users authenticated users have a robust and cryptographically secure association with their session.
For more information, check Session Management Cheat Sheet
Ensure that a user has access only to the resources they are entitled to. Perform access control checks on the server side on every request. All user-controlled parameters should be validated for entitlemens checks. Check if user name or role name is passed through the URL or through hidden variables. Prepare a ACL containing the Role-to-Function mapping and validate if the users are granted access as per the ACL.
Input validation is performed to minimize malformed data from entering the system. Input Validation is NOT the primary method of preventing XSS, SQL Injection. These are covered in output encoding below.
For more information, check Input Validation Cheat Sheet
Output encoding is the primary method of preventing XSS and injection attacks. Input validation helps minimize the introduction of malformed data, but it is a secondary control.
For more information, please see the XSS (Cross Site Scripting) Prevention Cheat Sheet.
Ensure that adequate controls are present to prevent against Cross-site Request Forgery, Clickjacking and other 3rd Party Malicious scripts.
For more information, check Cross Site Request Forgery
Ensure that all the applications pages are served over cryptographically secure HTTPs protocols. Prohibit the transmission of session cookies over HTTP.
For more information, check Transport Protection Cheat Sheet
Ensure that all the security related events are logged. Events include: User log-in (success/fail); view; update; create, delete, file upload/download, attempt to access through URL, URL tampering. Audit logs should be immutable and write only and must be protected from unauthorized access.
Ensure that admin pages are segregated from user page. Appropriate and adequate access controls must be utilized to prevent users from gaining access to admin pages. Ensure that necessary audit trails are saved for all the administrative transactions.
Ensure that the size, type, contents and name of the uploaded files are validated. Uploaded files must not be accessible to users by direct browsing. Preferably store all the uploaded files in a different file server/drive on the server. All files must be virus scanned using a regularily updated scanner.
Detailed exceptions and stack traces should never be displayed to the user. Instead a generic error page should be displayed for all the application error scenarios. All exceptions must be logged and examined later on. The application must always fale safe from all the error scenarios.
Cheat Sheets List
The following cheat sheets are currently available.
OWASP Cheat Sheets Project Homepage
The following alternate formats are under development
- A single PDF version containing all of the OWASP prevention cheat sheets
- An OWASP lulu book with the prevention cheat sheets
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