Getting Started

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Getting Started in Application Security

Application security is simply the process of developing, maintaining, and purchasing applications that your organization can trust. However, application security is inextricably tied into almost every aspect of organizations' information technology, and can be maddeningly difficult to tackle. This "Getting Started" page is intended to provide a roadmap of the various topics in application security and where OWASP materials can help you and your organization master them.

Application Security Overview

Drivers, market, business reasons. Links to articles about metrics, ROI, need for application security, what other companies are doing.

About Vulnerabilities

A good place to start thinking about application security is by understanding software vulnerabilities. One of the best ways to learn about vulnerabilities is to study some real vulnerabilities and learn how they work. OWASP has developed OWASP_WebGoat_Project to provide hands-on examples of application vulnerabilities to learn from. WebGoat is a full J2EE application and training environment that contains real vulnerabilities to experiment with and learn from. You can read about the Vulnerabilities on the OWASP website to learn more.

A writeup about application vulnerabilities and how to figure out their risk. This section would give people the background on the technologies and types of mistakes people make. Links to articles about:

 Design flaws and Implementation Bugs
 Common areas (Top 10)

Root Causes of Vulnerabilities

A writeup of how vulnerabilities get created and left undiscovered. This section points out weaknesses in most software development lifecycles. At a project level, this section talks about problems in staffing, roles, responsibilities, budget, and technology. At the organizational level, this section links to information about management structure, how to raise global organizataion awareness, establishing metrics, and standardizing technologies to help.

Project Improvements

A writeup of how application security fits into the software development lifecycle. The discussion would link to templates, tools, additional reading. (This is not intended to be a complete list (yet))

 Security Requirements
 Threat Modeling
 Architecture Review
 Code Review
 Penetration Testing
 Vulnerability Scanning
 Project Responsibility and Roles

Organizational Improvements

The discussion would link to templates, tools, additional reading. (This is not intended to be a complete list (yet))

 Training and Awareness
 Application Security Teams (Infosec, Audit, Appsec, CSO)
 Standard Tools
 Community of Interest
 Executive Responsibility and Roles
 Organizational Budget