How to fix cross-site scripting (XSS) in static analysis tools reports

Many organizations use static code analyzers like Fortify SCA and CxSAST to find security flaws in applications. But to many developers, reports from Fortify SCA and CxSAST are viewed to create additional work by revealing vulnerabilities (both real ones and false positives), while offering no solution to advance their remediation. Who fixes the vulnerabilities in the report?

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to inject malicious code into a web page or application. XSS can compromise the privacy and security of users, as well as the integrity and functionality of the web site or application.

Here are some guidelines for fixing cross-site scripting vulnerabilities:

  • Sanitize your inputs and outputs using a library written in the language you use. Sanitization means removing or encoding any characters that could be interpreted as code by the browser.
  • Enforce the use of safer functions whenever applicable (for example, innerText instead of innerHTML in JavaScript). Safer functions prevent the browser from executing any code that is embedded in the input or output.
  • Validate your inputs to ensure they meet specific criteria. Validation means checking if the input matches a certain format, length, range, etc. Validation can help prevent XSS attacks by rejecting any inputs that do not meet the expected criteria.

Here are some examples of how to fix cross-site scripting vulnerabilitie:

sda = new SqlDataAdapter("SELECT * FROM Employees", conn);
if (dt.Rows.Count > 0)
    string name = dt.Rows[0]["Name"];
    lblEmployeeName.Text = Encoder.HtmlEncode(name);

Statement stmt = conn.createStatement();
ResultSet rs = stmt.executeQuery("SELECT * FROM Employees");
if (rs != null)
    String employeeName = Encoder.htmlEncode(rs.getString("name"));

let name = Cookies.get("name");

let message = 'Hi ' + Sanitizer.sanitize(name) + ', welcome!';

main.innerHTML = html;

What if there was a way to fix cross-site scripting (XSS) automatically?

Lucent Sky AVM works like static analysis tools and is able to pinpoint the exact location of a vulnerability. But unlinke SAST tools, Lucent Sky AVM also fixes the vulnerabilities it found. It generates "Instant Fixes" - code-based remediation that can be immediately placed in source code to fix the common vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and path manipulation.

Developers can review Instant Fixes and apply them individually or en masse, or integrate Lucent Sky AVM with a CI pipeline so vulnerabilities are checked, fixed, and tested automatically whenever new code is introduced.

Using static analysis tools and Lucent Sky AVM together

While SAST tools like Fortify SCA and CxSAST only tell you where vulnerabilities are, Lucent Sky AVM will tell you where they are and how to fix them (and actually do it for you, if you like). Most SAST tools were designed to be used by security professionals, and calibrated to find large number of results, then relying on security experts to fine-tune it to weed out false positives. Lucent Sky AVM focuses on finding vulnerabilities that will cause real impact on the application's security, and only fix what can be fixed with confidence, based on settings set by you as well as your development and security teams. You can learn more about Lucent Sky AVM's remediation process.

Lucent Sky AVM + static analysis tools = effortless compliance

If your organization's compliance requires the remediation of all results found by Fortify SCA and CxSAST (or results that fit a certain criteria, critical and high, for example), Lucent Sky AVM can be customized to find the same results while providing additional functional value - automatically fixing those vulnerabilities.

Actionable reporting

Many static code analysers are designed for and to be used by security professionals. This means they require expert users, and their assessments and outputs aren't developer friendly. Lucent Sky AVM offers clear reporting that caters to both security professionals and developers, providing both analysis results and Instant Fixes (code-based remediation to common vulnerabilities like cross-site scripting and SQL injection) that a non-expert can use to secure their code.

For organizations needing compliance reporting, Lucent Sky can help teams pass static analysis tools scans and cut out the noise of false positives, while drastically reducing the time and effort required to secure an application.

Download a report comparison between Lucent Sky AVM and SAST tools to see the difference.

Fixing cross-site scripting (XSS) in your static analysis tools report can be done fast and efficiently

96% of applications have vulnerabilities — known security risks that bad actors can exploit. The main hurdle of implementing any security process is the actual remediation of vulnerabilities found. Developers and security engineers simply don't have the capacity to resolve vulnerabilities efficiently. That is why hundreds of companies and organizations have chosen Lucent Sky AVM to replace or supplement existing SAST tools, and help development teams actually fix vulnerabilities and accelerate their application security process.

To learn more about how Lucent Sky AVM can be used in combination with static analysis tools in your environment, request a demo or get in touch.

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