Does your team have a web application security testing checklist that they follow to make sure sensitive data is protected? If you were crafting a checklist from scratch, what would you want to be certain to add?

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Director in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Keep sensitive data into one place only, secure certified by IT staff
Strategic Banking IT advisor in Banking, 10,001+ employees
We're having a few things:

1. The Security Team has developed a list of guiding principles/best practices
2. Every project has a security contributor that overlooks the general conception of the solution
3. Every project has to present itself in front of an Architecture Design Committee, which is composed of multidisciplinary people (DBAs, Security, Cap & Perf, tech leaders, etc.) and they will review the project and ask questions.
4. Data is categorized (public, sensitive, confidential, secret) and there are guidelines accompanying each level of data sensitivity.   Including temporary storage policies, etc.
5. The Security Team will perform pen testing both at the very end.

It's a mix of different measures that increases the protection.

Chief Information Security Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
As a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), ensuring the protection of sensitive data in web applications is of paramount importance. You can systematically identify and address potential vulnerabilities by implementing a comprehensive web application security testing checklist. Here are some key elements to consider when crafting a list:

Initial Assessment:

Identify the criticality and sensitivity of the application and associated data.
Define the scope of the testing and document the objectives.

Architecture and Design Review:

Evaluate the security controls implemented at the application's architecture and design level.
Assess the proper separation of components, secure communication protocols, and data flow diagrams.

Vulnerability Scanning:

Conduct automated vulnerability scans to identify common security weaknesses, such as outdated software versions, misconfigurations, or known vulnerabilities.

Input Validation:

Test input fields for proper validation to prevent common vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and command injection.

Authentication and Authorization:

Verify the strength of authentication mechanisms, including password policies, multi-factor authentication, and secure session management.
Test authorization controls to ensure only authorized users can access sensitive data and functionality.

Data Protection:

Assess data encryption practices, including encryption at rest and in transit.
Verify that sensitive data, such as passwords and personally identifiable information (PII), is stored securely.

Error Handling and Logging:

Test how the application handles errors and whether error messages reveal sensitive information.
Ensure that appropriate logging mechanisms are in place to capture security events and anomalies.

Session Management:

Verify the creation, management, and destruction of user sessions, preventing session-related vulnerabilities like session fixation or session hijacking.

Security Headers and Secure Communication:

Evaluate the implementation of security headers, such as Content Security Policy (CSP), HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), and X-XSS-Protection.
Ensure that secure communication is enforced through the use of HTTPS and the appropriate SSL/TLS configurations.

Secure File and Resource Management:

Review file upload/download functionality to prevent malicious file uploads or unauthorized access.
Verify that access controls are in place to protect sensitive files and directories.

Business Logic Testing:

Assess the application's behavior under different scenarios to identify any vulnerabilities related to business logic, such as access control flaws or insecure direct object references.

Secure Coding Practices:

Review the codebase for common vulnerabilities introduced by insecure coding practices, such as buffer overflows, insecure deserialization, or insecure use of cryptography.

Third-Party Components:

Assess the security of third-party libraries, frameworks, and plugins used in the application, ensuring they are up to date and free from known vulnerabilities.

Secure APIs:

Evaluate the security of any APIs used by the application, including authentication, authorization, input validation, and proper handling of sensitive data.

Security Testing in Different Environments:

Perform security testing in various environments (e.g., development, staging, production) to identify any configuration-related vulnerabilities or inconsistencies.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements:

Ensure the application meets relevant compliance and regulatory requirements, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or PCI DSS, depending on your industry and geographical location.

Ongoing Security Testing and Maintenance:

Establish processes for regular security testing, vulnerability assessments, and penetration testing to proactively identify and address new threats.
Implement a secure software development lifecycle (SDLC) to integrate security practices throughout the development process.

It's crucial to tailor the checklist to your organization's specific needs, industry regulations, and the complexity of your web applications. Consider engaging security professionals or consultants experienced in web application security to ensure a

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CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
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