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What are the Common Software Security Flaws?

Security bugs, errors, holes, faults, vulnerabilities, or weaknesses within the software application are known as software security flaws in software development. It can happen because of software security design flaws and coding errors or software architecture holes etc.
Once these security flaws, application vulnerabilities occur in an application the security issues are likely to be exploited by unauthorized users or cybercriminals. Hence this will cause the loss of secret information and exposure of sensitive data to cybercriminals.

Effects of Software Security Issues

Suppose the hacker discovers that there are some software security design flaws within your application, your software system can be damaged and they can launch malicious attacks on your application. Risks associated with cyberattacks can be like stealing money and sensitive data and information to get access to your email addresses and login credentials.
Apart from losing sensitive data exposure, your organization can also face financial losses. Moreover, your business can lose the trust of your users also, forcing them to find other companies for software solutions.

Some Common Software Security Flaws

There’s no definite answer to which software security issues can be a threat to your business. So it’s important to address all the software security design flaws. Here are the most common software security issues and solutions to avoid malicious attacks from cybercriminals.

  • Session Management and Broken Authentication
    Despite doing best efforts, passwords and user authentication are the most common security risks that hackers commonly try to exploit. Because when there are errors related to the functionality of authentication, it doesn’t take long for a cyberattacker to get inside your software application.
    A cybercriminal can exploit the broken authentication to get access to user passwords and session tokens when there is:

    • Strong Password mechanism is not implemented
    • Password Policy for your application is not enforced
    • Session timeout duration within your application not defined
    • When there is no reset of the default generated credentials like for passwords upon login

How to control this flaw:
Analyze your Password Policy and refining all security policies that best protect user accounts, define session timeout duration for your software application. A strong Password mechanism should be implemented so that users sign in with a complex passcode and trigger the reset of the default generated credentials after a user successfully logged in.

URL Manipulation

A hacker tries by changing parts of the URL of a web-based application using a trial-and-error approach in manipulating URL values. So a trial-and-error approach in manipulating URL values can give easy access for hackers to the user accounts and invoices for getting the sensitive as well as valuable data, like credit card details and bank account details, etc. Even now the hackers have some tools that can automate this process for finding vulnerabilities within your URLs.
URL manipulation can pose a threat if your application:

  • Features important ID and keys within any URL, like session tokens, cookies, hidden fields, etc.
  • Can allow to the access user data by tampering with URLs

By restructuring your URLs, pull information from your servers and databases can prevent the URL manipulation threat to your system. Make sure that the web-based application is having the latest security updates, encryptions, and latest threat definitions. During QA testing make sure that URLs cannot be manipulated for any malicious attack or unauthorized access

Broken User Access Control

If there are no proper account configurations or missing account restrictions, then there are chances that any user can access sensitive data which is not associated with their log-in criteria. Most users are only concerned about user data and will not notice the broken user access control. But the cybercriminals are trained to spot these software security flaws.
The broken user access control can pose a threat to your application if your system:

  • Enables authorized access to data for users who should not have authorization
  • Exposing any user permission or access control to an unauthorized user

The malicious attacks can be prevented by restricting authorization for user permissions and access control to admin user accounts only. There should be user verification when requesting access to sensitive account data when signed in.

Sensitive Data Exposure
Financial data, Health information, passwords, and usernames all come under the category of sensitive data for an application. This information can be misused by cybercriminals who want to commit fraud. So whenever this type of sensitive data is not protected carefully within a software system, the attackers are likely to find ways to get this information from your software application.

Sensitive data exposure can pose a threat to your network if your application:

  • Does not mask sensitive information, regarding passwords, banking details, credit card details, and payment activities
  • Does not restrict any unauthorized users from accessing your sensitive data, like personal information, medical records baking details, and account history

Apply extra protection for sensitive data through encryption. Trigger the process of user verification whenever requesting access to sensitive account data within the software system, when logged in.

  • Cross-Site Scripting
    The cross-site scripting attack is commonly referred to as XSS. The hacker executes the malicious scripts on trusted legitimate websites on a web-based software application. These types of scripts allow attackers to bypass the access controls in order to harm users on the app to conduct phishing schemes or to steal their identities. For example, a user may submit their personal data within a contact form request, so that only that can be sent directly to the cybercriminal.
    Cross-site scripting can pose a threat to your application if your system:

    • Supports any untrusted data on a webpage without proper validations
    • Allows a browser API to create the HTML or JavaScript on any webpage updated with user-supplied data
  • To avoid these types of malicious attacks, perform penetration testing on a regular basis and review the cyber security risks and threats during every QA test cycle. Escaping and encoding techniques should be applied as defensive security measures. Treat all user-submitted inputs like this is from unknown public users. Set HttpOnly attribute for all web-based application cookies. Hence these cookies cannot be accessed through client-side JavaScript.

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