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7 Ways an Old Tool Still Teaches New Lessons About Web AppSec

Are your Web applications secure? WebGoat, a tool old enough to be in high school, continues to instruct.

In the fast-changing world of IT security, using a 15-year-old tool can seem foolhardy — the security equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest in gear from the 1920s. But when it comes to figuring out whether a Web application is secure, a tool old enough to be in high school still has valuable lessons to teach.

WebGoat is a project of the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) that uses a deliberately vulnerable Web application to demonstrate Web vulnerabilities. In doing so, it instructs on how to recognize the vulnerabilities, exploit them, and protect against exploitation.

WebGoat is now in its eighth major version and has continued to evolve to include and respond to OWASP's annual top 10 list of security risks. As the threats have changed, the contents of WebGoat have adapted, though, as OWASP points out, many of the risks dating back to 2013 are still among the top risks in 2018.

So what can you learn from a teenage tool? Which aspects of WebGoat should you be using? You might be surprised by how much you still have left to learn.

(Image: OWASP)

About the Author(s)

Curtis Franklin, Principal Analyst, Omdia

Senior Analyst, Omdia

Curtis Franklin Jr. is Senior Analyst at Omdia, focusing on enterprise security management. Previously, he was senior editor of Dark Reading, editor of Light Reading's Security Now, and executive editor, technology, at InformationWeek, where he was also executive producer of InformationWeek's online radio and podcast episodes

Curtis has been writing about technologies and products in computing and networking since the early 1980s. He has been on staff and contributed to technology-industry publications including BYTE, ComputerWorld, CEO, Enterprise Efficiency, ChannelWeb, Network Computing, InfoWorld, PCWorld, Dark Reading, and ITWorld.com on subjects ranging from mobile enterprise computing to enterprise security and wireless networking.

Curtis is the author of thousands of articles, the co-author of five books, and has been a frequent speaker at computer and networking industry conferences across North America and Europe. His most recent books, Cloud Computing: Technologies and Strategies of the Ubiquitous Data Center, and Securing the Cloud: Security Strategies for the Ubiquitous Data Center, with co-author Brian Chee, are published by Taylor and Francis.

When he's not writing, Curtis is a painter, photographer, cook, and multi-instrumentalist musician. He is active in running, amateur radio (KG4GWA), the MakerFX maker space in Orlando, FL, and is a certified Florida Master Naturalist.

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