Overcoming the High Risk Web Application Vulnerability via CSP

By CIOReview | Thursday, April 6, 2017

The code injection attacks such as Cross-site scripting (XSS) and click jacking are the most prevalent and impactful vulnerabilities associated with web applications, which is often overlooked by developers. Today, there is a huge demand for an effective approach to protect the web applications from high risk computer security vulnerabilities. That’s when Content Security Policy (CSP) comes into picture. When an application is developed with strict content security policies, an attacker who discovers an XSS bug will not be able to force the browser to execute malicious scripts on the browser page. This policy will ensure that only authorized scripts are executed, which prevents attackers from injecting their own scripts. However, there are instances where even after the strict policies usage; the attackers always find ways to bypass those filter securities. It is not possible to be 100 percent sure that no one can break the filters. To overcome these challenges, here are few ways to ensure that content security plan strikes the perfect balance and safeguard enterprise documents.

Create a Robust Security for Documents

IT administrators must ensure that every time when the document is created, a security should automatically be applied alongside. This is vital because usually people fail to apply security and repent later when the document is injected with malicious content. Professionals can create security settings for document in a simple way by granting permission to specific things. Permissions can be automatically assigned by the person who created the document based on—the type of document, location, business rules, and workflow that assigns permissions. These methods ensure that every document is assigned with a fundamental level of security.

Follow Best Practices

Enterprises using a strict CSP policy must integrate with other security best-practices such as adopting template systems with strict contextual auto-escaping, vulnerability scanning, and a manual security review. This can help in significantly decreasing the risk caused by the bug in script and it can be exploited against users of modern browsers.

Create a Effective Policy

Enterprises can be specific or broad according to the requirements, while creating a CSP and ensure that it meets all the requirements exactly. With the help of policy directives enterprises can describe the policy for a certain resource type or policy area. The standard policies that an enterprise must possess are as follows: default-source policy directive, it’s a backup for other resource types when they fail to have policies of their own, script-source directive to avert inline scripts from running, as well as blocking the use of eval, and a style-source directive to restrict inline styles from being applied from a style attribute.


One mistake that every organization make is letting management and IT define the security rules. Employees’ today work with each other by collaborating and sharing documents. If they want to work effectively they have to to bypass the systems. The aim is to strike the perfect balance between protecting the organization's information while allowing staff to easily do their work. This is a fragile move, but it's the one that can assure a secure and productive environment for document collaboration with the help of a content security policy.