Reducing Attack Surface of a Web Application by Open Web Application Security Project Compliance

  • Sumit Goswami Directorate of Management Information System & Technologies, DRDO, New Delhi
  • Nabanita R Krishnan Directorate of Management Information System & Technologies, DRDO, New Delhi
  • Mukesh Verma Directorate of Management Information System & Technologies, DRDO, New Delhi
  • Saurabh Swarnkar IAP Company Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon
  • Pallavi Mahajan Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Punjab
Keywords: Attack surface, DRDO Intranet, project management, open web application security project, security audit, security compliance


The attack surface of a system is the amount of application area that is exposed to the adversaries. The overall vulnerability can be reduced by reducing the attack surface of a web application. In this paper, we have considered the web components of two versions of an in-house developed project management web application and the attack surface has been calculated prior and post open web application security project (OWASP) compliance based on a security audit to determine and then compare the security of this Project Management Application. OWASP is an open community to provide free tools and guidelines for application security. It was observed that the attack surface of the software reduced by 45 per cent once it was made OWASP compliant. The vulnerable surface exposed by the code even after OWASP compliance was due to the mandatory access points left in the software to ensure accessibility over a network.

Defence Science Journal, 2012, 62(5), pp.324-330, DOI:

Author Biographies

Sumit Goswami, Directorate of Management Information System & Technologies, DRDO, New Delhi
Mr Sumit Goswami obtained his MTech (Comp. Sci. & Engg.) from IIT Kharagpur. Presently working as Scientist ‘E’ at DRDO, New Delhi. His areas of interest include network centric operations, mobile ad hoc and sensor networks, web-hosting security, text mining and machine learning. He has published 53 papers/chapters in various journals, books, data competitions and conferences.
Nabanita R Krishnan, Directorate of Management Information System & Technologies, DRDO, New Delhi
Ms Nabanita Radhakrishnan obtained her BTech (Elect. & Comm. Engg.) from Guindy Engineering College, Chennai and M Tech (Electrical Engg.) from IIT Madras. Presently working as  Director, Management Information System and Technologies (MIST) at DRDO Hqrs, New Delhi. In this capacity she has conceptualized and commissioned an upgraded DRDO Intranet with a multi-tier security infrastructure and a number of software applications. She is a Member of Aeronautical Society of India and Instrument Society of India.
Mukesh Verma, Directorate of Management Information System & Technologies, DRDO, New Delhi
Mr Mukesh obtained his MCA from IGNOU, Delhi and MSc (Computer Science) from MDU Rohtak. Presently working as Senior Technical Assistant at DRDO HQr. His research area include: Software development, website designing and hosting, Linux, Windows, MySQL, JAVA, JSP, ORACLE, Crystal Report, Visual Basic, and PHP.
Saurabh Swarnkar, IAP Company Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon
Mr Saurabh Swarnkar obtained his BE (Comp.Sci. & Engg.) from Institute of Information Technology and Management, Gwalior, and PGDAC from CDAC- Advance Computing Training School, Bengaluru. Presently working as a Programmer in IAP Company Ltd, Gurgaon. His research area include: Developing web application, web designing and hosting.
Pallavi Mahajan, Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Punjab
Ms Pallavi Mahajan is pursuing BTech (Computer Science and Engineering) from Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur, Punjab. She is presently doing 6 months internship from DRDO, New Delhi.


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How to Cite
Goswami, S., Krishnan, N., Verma, M., Swarnkar, S., & Mahajan, P. (2012). Reducing Attack Surface of a Web Application by Open Web Application Security Project Compliance. Defence Science Journal, 62(5), 324-330.
Computers & Systems Studies