Security Misconfigurations: 6 Ways They Happen and How to Solve Them


Security misconfigurations are among the most common issues in the domain of web security, and their solutions are also some of the easiest and most novice to implement. Other types of vulnerabilities can also take place, including Cross-Site Scripting and broken authentication protocols on servers and databases. This article will focus on vulnerabilities from security misconfigurations.

Web servers, applications, libraries, and open cloud storage face security misconfigurations are more than other web vulnerability issues. According to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP), misconfigurations can take place due to insecure default configurations, incomplete or faulty configurations, and headers that are unsecured or faulty, among other risks.

Users and systems can experience loss of data or access to system resources thanks to these vulnerabilities. The likelihood of responding to attacks quickly and in real-time if these vulnerabilities aren’t detected in time is minimal unless countermeasures are employed. An EssayWriter Review will help college students who are looking for help with their information security papers get the help they need from credible writing companies.

This article delves into 6 easy ways in which security misconfigurations are likely to happen and ways to solve them or avoid them.

  1. Unnecessary Services Running on the Server or Machine

Running only the applications that are necessary for your server or system is useful as it reduces the possibility of hackers gaining a foot into your system through open network services and also improves resource utilization. The solution for this kind of problem is to have a clear process for streamlining server and desktop systems, including new applications, for example, by hardening the network. For a simple desktop, a lot of the apps that you have installed may not be necessary, so you should clean out your PC.

  1. Enabling Debug While the Application Is in Production

Running the development server or debugger in production mode allows the source code to be accessed from your browser and is thus a window for hackers who have access to the system online. While it may be pin or password-protected, this still leaves considerable security risks, especially on a network, as hackers can gain access to the source code and manipulate it often with detrimental effects.

  1. Running Outdated Software and Plugins

Viruses, malware, and phishing attacks have gotten more sophisticated with improvements in technology. Running software without implementing patches or upgrades leaves your computer or system vulnerable. Software vendors, in particular, stop making patches to outdated software, so you must upgrade.

  1. Outdated Or Weak Passwords and Authentication Information

One of the easiest ways for hackers to gain a foothold in your system or steal data is by not ensuring proper password authentication or encryption. There have been numerous data breaches that have occurred simply by hackers making educated guesses on passwords or by conducting brute force attacks.

Types of authentication vulnerabilities include weak user-generated passwords and recycled passwords. Large-scale breaches password attacks can also be conducted on entire systems databases. Two-Factor authentication and password managers are methods of mitigating this risk.

  1. Enabling Server Directory Listing

Unchecked directory listing leads to the potential of largely unchecked information disclosure. The listing of such information on a web server with no index files is an easy way for hackers to get access to large swathes of related information. This could, for example, be a local excel file with customer names and contact information that is included as a directory extension.

It is also worth noting that a lot of directories, including those accessed by web servers, usually have their contents in backup storage. If the folder permissions for these “secret” directories are indexed and protected, but information from the backup folder isn’t, hackers can still gain access to this sensitive information.

A simple way to solve this problem, especially on web servers and networks, is to set the directory file path to an empty index. However, this is a temporary measure that won’t solve this problem when new directories are added or when migrating to a new file server. An alternative for larger, multilayered networks is to disable directory listing for individual web servers such as Tomcat and Nginx.

  1. Incorrect Error Handling

Hackers and unsuspecting users might encounter internal error messages, for example, by trying to log in with the wrong credentials. While the information might not mean much to the average user, hackers can quickly take advantage of any error messages that display information such as stack traces, error logs, and database dumps. Thorough testing of the system should be done to check the site’s response to such error calls.

Protecting Your Data and Your Customers Starts with You

Numerous security vulnerabilities can affect personal computers, databases, and large-scale web systems. While many of these issues require trained expertise and significant cost to fix, security misconfigurations are amongst the easier classes of problems that can be dealt with on a personal level.

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