OWASP ASVS (Application Security Verification Standard) is a set of requirements and guidelines for verifying the security of web applications. It is maintained by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) and is designed to be used by application developers, architects, testers, and security professionals to ensure that their applications are secure against common security vulnerabilities.
The ASVS includes three levels of verification, each with increasing requirements and depth of testing. The levels are designed to be used depending on the sensitivity of the application and the risk associated with its use.
The ASVS covers a wide range of security areas, including authentication, session management, access control, input validation, error handling, cryptography, and more. It provides detailed requirements and recommendations for each area, as well as testing procedures and guidance on how to remediate any identified issues.
OWASP ASVS is not a certification program. Instead, it is a set of guidelines and requirements for verifying the security of web applications. However, you can use the ASVS to guide your security testing efforts and improve the security of your web applications.
If you are interested in getting certified in application security, there are several certification programs available, such as the Certified Application Security Engineer (CASE) offered by the International Association of Computer Science and Information Technology (IACSIT) or the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) offered by (ISC)². These certifications cover various aspects of application security, including secure coding practices, vulnerability management, and threat modeling.
To prepare for these certifications, you can take courses and training programs that cover the relevant topics and practice implementing security controls in web applications. You can also gain practical experience by participating in security assessments and working with application development teams to implement secure coding practices.
OWASP ASVS compliance refers to the process of verifying that a web application meets the requirements and guidelines outlined in the OWASP ASVS. By ensuring compliance with the ASVS, organizations can improve the security of their web applications and reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities.
Compliance with the ASVS involves a thorough assessment of the web application's security controls, including authentication, access control, input validation, output encoding, cryptography, and other areas. This assessment may be conducted by internal security teams or by third-party security professionals.
The ASVS includes three levels of verification, each with increasing requirements and depth of testing. Organizations can choose the appropriate level of verification based on the sensitivity of their application and the risk associated with its use.
Once an organization has identified any gaps in their web application's security controls, they can take steps to remediate any issues and improve their overall security posture. This may involve implementing additional security controls, improving existing controls, or updating application code to address identified vulnerabilities.
There are several benefits to implementing the OWASP ASVS guidelines in web application development and testing:
Improved Security: One of the primary benefits of OWASP ASVS is that it helps to improve the security of web applications. By implementing the recommended security controls, organizations can reduce the risk of vulnerabilities and protect their applications from attacks such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, and other common web application attacks.
Standardization: OWASP ASVS provides a standardized set of guidelines for application security verification that can be used by developers, testers, and security professionals. This helps to ensure consistency and accuracy in security testing across different teams and organizations.
Compliance: Implementing OWASP ASVS can help organizations demonstrate compliance with security standards and regulations, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Cost-Effective: By identifying security vulnerabilities early in the development process, organizations can save time and money by avoiding the cost of fixing security issues after the application has been deployed.
Better Reputation: A secure web application can help build trust with users and customers, leading to a better reputation for the organization and potentially increasing customer loyalty.
The OWASP ASVS (Application Security Verification Standard) is an open-source project maintained by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) and is available for free download from the OWASP website. There is no cost associated with downloading or using the ASVS guidelines.
However, if an organization decides to engage a third-party security assessor to conduct an ASVS compliance assessment, there may be associated costs for the assessment services. The cost of these services will vary depending on the complexity of the web application being assessed, the level of ASVS compliance being evaluated, and the experience and expertise of the security assessor.
Additionally, some commercial security tools and services may incorporate the ASVS guidelines into their offerings. The cost of these tools and services will vary depending on the vendor and the specific features included in the product.
An OWASP ASVS audit is an assessment of a web application's security posture against the guidelines outlined in the OWASP ASVS (Application Security Verification Standard). The audit is typically conducted by a third-party security assessor and is used to identify potential security vulnerabilities in the application.
The audit typically involves a detailed review of the web application's architecture, code, and configuration settings, as well as a series of security tests to evaluate the effectiveness of the application's security controls. The testing may include vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and other techniques to simulate attacks against the application.
During the audit, the security assessor will evaluate the web application's compliance with the ASVS guidelines, including adherence to the recommended security controls for authentication, access control, input validation, cryptography, and other areas. The assessor will identify any gaps or deficiencies in the application's security controls and provide recommendations for remediation.
The output of an OWASP ASVS audit is typically a detailed report that includes an overview of the testing methodology, a summary of the findings, and recommendations for improving the application's security posture. The report may also include a summary of the application's compliance with the ASVS guidelines, including the level of verification achieved.
Conducting verification of an application against the OWASP ASVS (Application Security Verification Standard) involves several steps:
Determine the Level of Verification: The OWASP ASVS includes three levels of verification, each with increasing requirements and depth of testing. Determine the appropriate level of verification based on the sensitivity of the application and the risk associated with its use.
Evaluate Security Controls: Evaluate the application's security controls against the guidelines outlined in the ASVS. This includes authentication, access control, input validation, output encoding, cryptography, and other areas.
Conduct Testing: Conduct testing to verify the effectiveness of the application's security controls. This may include vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and other techniques to simulate attacks against the application.
Identify Gaps and Deficiencies: Identify any gaps or deficiencies in the application's security controls and determine the level of risk associated with each vulnerability.
Remediate Identified Vulnerabilities: Develop a plan to remediate identified vulnerabilities, including implementing additional security controls, improving existing controls, or updating application code to address identified vulnerabilities.
Re-Test: Conduct additional testing to verify that identified vulnerabilities have been successfully remediated.
Document Results: Document the results of the verification process, including any identified vulnerabilities and remediation steps taken. This documentation can be used to demonstrate compliance with the OWASP ASVS guidelines.
The OWASP ASVS (Application Security Verification Standard) certification is important for several reasons:
Demonstrates Compliance: Achieving OWASP ASVS certification demonstrates an organization's commitment to application security and compliance with industry best practices. It provides assurance to stakeholders that the organization has implemented a strong security posture to protect against potential security vulnerabilities.
Improves Security Posture: The ASVS guidelines are designed to improve the security of web applications by providing a comprehensive set of security controls and testing requirements. By following the ASVS guidelines, organizations can improve their overall security posture and reduce the risk of security vulnerabilities.
Mitigates Risk: Implementing the recommended security controls outlined in the ASVS can help organizations mitigate the risk of security vulnerabilities and protect against potential attacks. This can help to reduce the likelihood of data breaches, system downtime, and other security incidents that could result in reputational damage and financial losses.
Enhances Customer Trust: Achieving OWASP ASVS certification can enhance customer trust by demonstrating a commitment to security and a proactive approach to protecting sensitive data. This can be especially important for organizations that handle sensitive customer information, such as financial institutions and healthcare providers.
The time it takes to get OWASP ASVS certified depends on several factors, including the level of certification being sought, the complexity of the web application, and the readiness of the organization. Generally, the certification process can take several weeks to several months to complete.
The process of getting certified typically involves several steps, including:
Preparation: The organization prepares for the certification process by identifying the appropriate level of certification, reviewing the ASVS guidelines, and conducting a self-assessment to identify potential vulnerabilities.
Assessment: A third-party security assessor conducts an assessment of the organization's web application against the ASVS guidelines. This may involve a combination of manual and automated testing techniques to identify potential vulnerabilities.
Remediation: The organization addresses any identified vulnerabilities and implements additional security controls to meet the ASVS requirements.
Re-Assessment: The third-party security assessor conducts a re-assessment to verify that identified vulnerabilities have been remediated and that the organization meets the ASVS requirements.
Certification: The organization receives certification indicating that it meets the ASVS requirements at the appropriate level.