OWASP Cheat Sheet Series

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The OWASP 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 various application security professionals who have expertise in specific topics. We hope that the OWASP Cheat Sheet Series provides you with excellent security guidance in an easy to read format.

If you have any questions about the OWASP Cheat Sheet Series, please email the project leader Jim Manico or subscribe to our project email list.

OWASP Cheat Sheets


The OWASP Proactive Controls document is free to use under the Creative Commons ShareAlike 3 License.

What is this?

The OWASP Cheat Sheet Series is a concise collection of high value information on specific web application security topics.

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Project Leader:
Jim Manico @

Michael Coates
Jeff Williams
Dave Wichers
Kevin Wall
Jeffrey Walton
Eric Sheridan
Kevin Kenan
David Rook
Fred Donovan
Abraham Kang
Dave Ferguson
Shreeraj Shah
Raul Siles
Colin Watson
.. and many more!

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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

Session Management

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

Access Control

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.

For more information, check Access Control Cheat Sheet

Input Validation

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

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, check XSS (Cross Site Scripting) Prevention Cheat Sheet.

Cross Domain

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

Secure Transmission

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.

For more information, check Logging Cheat Sheet


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 regularly updated scanner.

  • By June 2014 : Bring Access Control, Business Logic and four other draft cheat sheets into release status
  • By End of 2014: Do an editorial pass of all cheat-sheets and release a print publication