Common Types of Software Vulnerabilities to Protect Against

In order to improve your team’s ability to anticipate potential issues and guard against them, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of the many types of software vulnerabilities.

While there are certainly more than we’ve been able to list today, we’ve collected some of the most common software vulnerabilities you’re likely to run into. We’ve also included solutions to prevent these cybersecurity vulnerabilities from affecting your applications.

Common Software Vulnerabilities

SQL Injection

SQL Injection is a common form of attack where malicious actors manipulate SQL queries to gain unauthorized access to a database. By injecting malicious code, attackers can bypass authentication protocols and steal sensitive information.

Some ways to protect against SQL injection include parameterized statements, object-relational mapping, and restricted privileges. Regular security audits and testing can also help identify and patch potential vulnerabilities.

Buffer Overflow

This application vulnerability occurs when a program writes more data to a buffer than it can handle, leading to memory corruption and potential exploitation. Buffer overflow is often exploited to execute arbitrary code or crash the system.

Preventing buffer overflows involves implementing proper input validation, using secure coding practices, and employing technologies like address space layout randomization (ASLR) and data execution prevention (DEP). Regular code reviews and static analysis can further enhance the resilience of software against such attacks.


Misconfiguration refers to the incorrect setup of software, servers, or network devices, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation. This can include using default passwords, unnecessary services, or overly permissive access controls.

Organizations should always follow the latest security best practices, conduct regular audits, and utilize automated tools to identify and rectify configuration errors. Many misconfiguration issues are the result of human error, and automation can significantly reduce the number of problems you have. Establishing robust change management processes can also prevent unintentional misconfigurations.

Outdated Code

Using outdated code can pose a significant security risk, since it may contain known vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit. Failure to update libraries, frameworks, or third-party components can leave your software exposed to threats.

Implementing a robust patch management process is crucial to addressing outdated code vulnerabilities. Regularly monitoring for updates, utilizing automated tools, and staying informed about security patches can help organizations keep their software stack secure.

Susceptible APIs

APIs are a necessary part of modern software development, but they can introduce vulnerabilities if not properly secured. Susceptible APIs may expose sensitive data or allow unauthorized access to your application. It’s essential to implement proper authentication, authorization, and encryption mechanisms for your APIs.

Server-Side Request Forgery

Server-side request forgery (SSRF) occurs when attackers trick a server into making requests on their behalf. This can lead to unauthorized access to internal resources or services. Preventive measures may include input validation and using whitelists for allowed resources.

Poor Access Control

Inadequate access controls can result in unauthorized users gaining privileges beyond what is intended. Implementing proper access controls, enforcing the principle of least privilege, and conducting regular access reviews are important steps in mitigating this type of software vulnerability.

Encryption Issues

Encryption is vital for protecting sensitive data, but issues such as weak algorithms or improper key management can compromise its effectiveness. Ensuring strong encryption standards, key rotation, and secure key storage will help you maintain robust encryption.

Cross-Site Scripting

This type of software vulnerability occurs when attackers inject malicious scripts into web pages, leading to the potential theft of sensitive information or session hijacking. Preventive measures for cross-site scripting include input validation and output encoding to mitigate cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Unrestricted URLs

Unrestricted URLs can be exploited by attackers to manipulate the behavior of web applications. Implementing proper input validation for URLs and restricting access to sensitive functionalities are essential preventive measures.

Using Outside Code

Incorporating external code, especially from untrusted sources, can introduce security risks. Code reviews, dependency scanning, and verifying the integrity of third-party components will help your team prevent this type of software vulnerability.

How to Protect Against Software Security Vulnerabilities

Always Be Testing

If your team is always testing their application throughout the development cycle, you’ll have a much better chance of catching software security vulnerabilities. It’s best to use a mix of both manual and automated testing to benefit from the strengths of both approaches.

These tests can include static code analysisdynamic analysispenetration testing, and continuous monitoring to identify and remediate vulnerabilities promptly.

Make Regular Updates

Be sure that your team always keeps their software, libraries, frameworks, and third-party components up to date. Regularly apply security patches and updates to address known vulnerabilities and enhance your overall security posture.

Conduct Audits

Perform regular security audits to identify and fix misconfigurations, access control issues, and other vulnerabilities. Automated tools help with this process by scanning systems for potential security weaknesses.

Train and Educate Staff

Educate development teams, IT staff, and other stakeholders on secure coding practices, the importance of following security policies, and staying vigilant against emerging threats. Awareness and training are crucial elements in building a security-conscious culture that knows how to defend against many types of software vulnerabilities.

How Kiuwan Can Help

Kiuwan is a comprehensive application security platform designed to identify and mitigate software vulnerabilities. With features like static code analysis, dynamic analysis, and software composition analysis, Kiuwan provides a holistic approach to secure software development.


Static application security testing scans for cybersecurity vulnerabilities without needing to run the program. SAST tools can reveal vulnerabilities such as SQL injection before the QA phase, which helps developers shift left in their software development lifecycle to minimize potential attack surface area and prevent a security breach.


Since the overwhelming majority of developers use open-source code for the application, having a software composition analysis tool is a significant asset. It will help your team track and analyze the components of your code, including their libraries, software licenses, and dependencies.

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