Owasp Top Ten 2021 in Web Applications

Web application security is becoming increasingly critical in the ever-evolving digital era. Security breaches can result in financial losses, personal data exposure, reputational damage, and even endanger lives. Therefore, the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) regularly releases the "OWASP Top 10" list, which includes the ten most critical web application security risks that developers and security professionals need to be aware of.

In 2021, OWASP updated the OWASP Top 10 list to address the latest cyber threats. In this article, we will discuss the OWASP Top 10 2021, understand each security risk clearly, and provide guidance on how to address them to keep your web applications secure.

1. Injection

Injection is the most common and damaging web application security risk. In injection attacks, attackers inject malicious code (such as SQL, NoSQL, or system commands) into unvalidated inputs. This can lead to unauthorized code execution, open doors for unauthorized access, and even compromise the entire database.

2. Broken Authentication

Broken authentication allows attackers to steal user identities, passwords, or authentication tokens. Common mistakes that lead to vulnerabilities include weak passwords, invalid sessions, or neglecting to secure the authentication mechanism.

3. Sensitive Data Exposure

If sensitive data is not properly encrypted or protected, attackers can easily steal or access such sensitive information. This can lead to identity theft, critical data loss, and privacy breaches.

4. XML External Entities (XXE)

XXE attacks occur when applications receive XML from users and process it without adequate validation. Attackers can exploit this vulnerability to read system files, execute arbitrary code, or cause Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks.

5. Broken Access Control

If an application fails to enforce proper access controls, attackers can gain unauthorized access to features, functions, or data they should not have access to. Proper access control settings are essential to prevent misuse.

6. Security Misconfiguration

Errors in security configurations can expose sensitive information or grant access to resources that should be restricted. Always ensure proper security configurations to prevent such attacks.

7. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

XSS occurs when an application injects untrusted data into web pages, which is then executed by the user's browser. XSS attacks can lead to session theft, information stealing, or redirecting users to malicious websites.

8. Insecure Deserialization

Insecure deserialization can result in the execution of unauthorized code by attackers. By manipulating serialized data, attackers can cause system damage or gain unauthorized access.

9. Server-Side Request Forgery (SSRF)

SSRF is an attack where a web application is forced to make requests to other servers without the user's knowledge. Attackers can exploit this vulnerability to manipulate requests, access internal resources, or cause DoS attacks.

10. Insecure Logging and Monitoring

Insecure logging and monitoring can allow attackers to collect sensitive information or exploit vulnerabilities without detection. Ensure proper logging and monitoring to identify suspicious activities.


Web application security is a shared responsibility among developers, security professionals, and business owners. By understanding and addressing the risks they face, we can ensure that web applications remain secure and protect data and users from digital threats. Complying with OWASP Top 10 2021 is a crucial step in safeguarding our web applications in this ever-evolving digital age.