How to perform a security architecture review at Level 1

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How to perform a security architecture review at Level 1

If you are performing an application security verification according to the OWASP ASVS verification requirements, then you will need to perform an analysis of the application’s security architecture. The security architecture analysis requirements are found in the “Documentation Requirements” in ASVS section “Application Security Verification Levels”, and in section “V1 – Security Architecture Verification Requirements”. The depth and breadth of the security architecture analysis increases as one moves up the levels, just like the individual verification requirements increases as one moves up the levels.


The ASVS Level 1 security architecture requirements read in part:

“... the web application can be defined by simply listing its components. Components may be defined in terms of either individual or groups of source files, libraries, and/or executables... the list need not be sorted or otherwise organized; the web application can be treated as groups of components within a single monolithic entity...”

The level of detail, and corresponding depth and breadth of analysis, is the same for ASVS Levels 1, 1A, and 1B. The above requirements can be met by simply listing web application and IT environment components, as described in the ASVS article “How to meet verification reporting requirements”:


The Target of Verification (TOV) can be described in terms of the following components:

  • <application component name> – <1-2 sentence description>
  • <application component name> – <1-2 sentence description>
  • <application component name> – <1-2 sentence description>

The intended environment of the TOV can be described in terms of the following components:

  • <environment component name> – <1-2 sentence description>
  • <environment component name> – <1-2 sentence description>
  • <environment component name> – <1-2 sentence description>


Examples of IT environment components are application servers and operating systems.