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5 Major Application Security Threats and How They Can be Prevented

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By AMSAT Nov 16,2020

5 Major Application Security Threats and How They Can be Prevented

Although cybersecurity experts are typically aware of the most prevalent application security threats, vulnerabilities still exist because organizations, both large and small, tend to have a lackadaisical approach towards taking strong measures to prevent them and ensure security.


Therefore, it’s imperative for developers, security teams, managers and enterprises to make the most of the following roster of known application attack vectors. Organizations, by becoming more security-conscious at every level, can more effectively thwart security incidents that may cost them dearly.

SQL injection vulnerabilities

This is arguably among the worst application security threats. SQL injections not only leave sensitive data exposed, but they also enable remote access and control of compromised systems. What makes it all the more damaging is the outsourcing of web application development and hosting, as well as dearth of sufficient constant security testing.


To fight SQL injection, organizations must start by recognizing it. Mitigation requires the right tools and refined vulnerability and penetration testing, while commercial vulnerability scanners and source code analyzers spot application security threats, such as SQL injection. Organizations should, therefore, use several analyzers because no single scanner will expose everything.

Cross-site scripting attacks

Cross-site scripting (XSS) flaws are important for successful application threat actors, system administrators and pen testers to comprehend. Not new, XSS vulnerabilities have been abused for more than two decades. Successful XSS attacks allow cybercriminals to steal or create cookies to imitate valid users, which results in using privileged accounts to do everything from changing content to perform remote code execution.

Buffer overflow attacks

Often the outcome of bad programming, buffer overflow attacks are a favorite exploit for threat actors. They occur in a specific block of memory or buffer. When a program or process seeks to put in more data than the buffer is designed to hold, it will spill over, allowing attackers to crash, control or adjust the system. Stack-based is the most widespread type of buffer overflow attack. While a majority of commercial applications have patches available to reduce buffer vulnerabilities, applications designed locally are just as vulnerable to buffer overflow.

CSRF attacks

A cross-site request forgery (CSRF) takes place when a prowler cloaked as a genuine user attacks a website or application. The threat actor influences an authentic user, who is often ignorant of the attack, into executing unauthorized actions. Users may be tricked into sending HTTP requests, allowing sensitive data to be returned to the threat actor. Possible harm includes customized firewall settings, deceptive financial transactions or email address changes. If the counterfeit victim is an administrator, a CSRF attack can land the entire application in trouble.


CSRF attacks, occasionally known as reverse XSS attacks, are more difficult to prevent than XSS. For one, they are less regular. It can also be hard to bear out whether a user’s HTTP request was deliberate. Security measures to prevent such attacks, for example frequent authentication requests, may be met with user aggravation, while cryptographic tokens can be used to provide relentless verification.

Broken access control vulnerabilities

Designed to alleviate risk to an organization, broken access control a security measure that ascertains and regulates which users and processes can view or use resources in a given setting. This type of vulnerability takes place when there is a dearth of or inadequate central access control. Even in situations where organizations are protected against unauthenticated users, cybercriminals can impersonate as a user relied on by the system— for example, when there are lapses in a system’s access control that can result in a attacker’s or malevolent insider’s entry to sensitive data or resources.


Access control must be the top priority of organizations globally. They should increase security by enforcing the principle of least privilege and role-based access control, which restrain user access rights as much as possible for job function. What’s more, enterprises should ensure developers include access control units and devise a rock-hard identity and access management (IAM) framework to manage digital identities.


  • SQL injection
  • Security threats
  • Vulnerabilities
  • CSRF attacks

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