Mid-workshop surprise!

Something weird and nice happened to me today.

Several times a year, I accept requests for guiding cybersecurity workshops for various clients. Usually they fall into the category of web application security, or software development security. Not more than several (max 5) times a year because this will greatly impact my performance in other areas.

So one client requested a web applications security workshop that must be focused on OWASP guidelines. It is awesome for me. I always like OWASPs content. Sometimes, I even have the privilege of contributing to it. When I provide this service, I never prepare exhaustive slides for presenting an already well established material, such as the one from OWASP. I just go on the website and work with that as a prequel to my deep examples.

So what happened? Mid-workshop, the OWASP Top 10 W.A.S.R. changed. Bam! “Surprise M**********R!” Deal with that!

Now, during these events, I usually bring a lot of my experience in addition to whatever support material we are using. Actually, this is why someone would require guidance in going through a well-established and very well built security material, such as the one from OWASP.
When I talk and debate, and learn together with an audience about cybersecurity topics, I always emphasize things that I consider to be insufficiently emphasized by the supporting material. I say emphasized and not detailed, and please be careful to consider this difference.

Insufficiently emphasized topics

Traditionally, OWASP’s guidelines and material did not emphasized enough, in my humble opinion:

  1. The importance of using correct cryptographic controls in the areas of: authentication and session management, sensitive data exposure, insufficient authorization
  2. Insecure design in the areas of: bad security configuration, injection problems, insecure deserialization
  3. Data integrity problems. Loop to #1.

I usually spend spend around 10-11 hours from 16[or more] hours workshop on the three topics above. Very important stuff, and, traditionally overlooked in most teams that I interact with.

What changed?

It was a nice surprise to see that in the new TOP 10 W.A.S.R. OWASP included my three pillars and emphasized concepts the same way I like to do it. They even renamed sections according to my preference. Like the second position (A2) is now called Cryptographic Failures. AWESOME!
They explain stuff in a more holistic manner, as opposed to just enumerating isolated vulnerabilities. AWESOME!
Finally. It was an extremely good argument for the team that I was leading, about the way I spent my time on the three topics. I felt good about them 🙂
Alraaaaight, I felt good about myself too!

Oh, and P.S: For the first time in.. what now, more than a decade (?!) OWASPs Top 10 W.A.S.R. does not have the top position occupied by injection problems. Either the web has grown exponentially again, or we have escaped a boundary. The boundary of absolute stupidity 🙂


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