Accessibility mode is enabled

Skip to Top / Tab to View Menu Options
Skip to Left Navigation / Tab to View Content

Web Application Scan

Web applications are susceptible to attacks that may result in exposure or modification of sensitive data, or impact on availability of services to authorized users. Application testing is conducted to identify security flaws introduced in the design, implementation or deployment of an application. Developers and application administrators must identify functions that are critical to security, and test those functions to verify correct operation. The City of Sacramento follows the OWASP Standard for web application development for internal and public facing systems.


  • Web applications must be reviewed and tested for security vulnerabilities. Applications that store, process or provide access to Level 1 or Level 2 information must be tested to an appropriate level of detail based on assessed risk.
  • Level 1 applications must have an vulnerability assessment must be coordinated with and approved by the Information Security Officer.
  • All security flaws must be entered into a defect tracking system, clearly identified as a security defect, and categorized according to severity. This information must be protected appropriately, prioritized, and fixed before the application is released.
    • The likelihood that the security flaw would be exposed
    • The impact on information security, integrity and application availability
    • The level of access that would be required to exploit the security flat
  • Emergency procedures for addressing security flaws must be defined and documented prior to production deployment.

Web application development OWASP top 10 development standards quick guide:

  1. Validate input from all untrusted data sources. Proper input validation can eliminate the vast majority of software vulnerabilities. Be suspicious of most external data sources, including command line arguments, network interfaces, environmental variables, and user controlled files.

  2. Heed compiler warnings. Compile code using the highest warning level available for your compiler and eliminate warnings by modifying the code.

  3. Architect and design for security policies. Create a software architecture and design your software to implement and enforce security policies. For example, if your system requires different privileges at different times, consider dividing the system into distinct intercommunicating subsystems, each with an appropriate privilege set.

  4. Keep it simple. Keep the design as simple and small as possible. Complex designs increase the likelihood that errors will be made in their implementation, configuration, and use. Additionally, the effort required to achieve an appropriate level of assurance increases dramatically as security mechanisms become more complex.

  5. Default deny. Base access decisions on permission rather than exclusion. This means that, by default, access is denied and the protection scheme identifies conditions under which access is permitted.

  6. Adhere to the principle of least privilege. Every process should execute with the least set of privileges necessary to complete the job. Any elevated permission should be held for a minimum time. This approach reduces the opportunities an attacker has to execute arbitrary code with elevated privileges. Sanitize data sent to other systems.

  7. Sanitize all data passed to complex subsystems such as command shells, relational databases, and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components. Attackers may be able to invoke unused functionality in these components through the use of SQL, command, or other injection attacks. This is not necessarily an input validation problem because the complex subsystem being invoked does not understand the context in which the call is made. Because the calling process understands the context, it is responsible for sanitizing the data before invoking the subsystem.

  8. Practice defense in depth. Manage risk with multiple defensive strategies, so that if one layer of defense turns out to be inadequate, another layer of defense can prevent a security flaw from becoming an exploitable vulnerability and/or limit the consequences of a successful exploit. For example, combining secure programming techniques with secure runtime environments should reduce the likelihood that vulnerabilities remaining in the code at deployment time can be exploited in the operational environment.

  9. Use effective quality assurance techniques. Good quality assurance techniques can be effective in identifying and eliminating vulnerabilities. Penetration testing, fuzz testing, and source code audits should all be incorporated as part of an effective quality assurance program. Independent security reviews can lead to more secure systems. External reviewers bring an independent perspective; for example, in identifying and correcting invalid assumptions.

  10. Adopt a secure coding standard. Develop and/or apply a secure coding standard for your target development language and platform.