Everything You Need to Understand About Security Testing

Security Testing

Security Testing is a must to consider for companies of any scale. Imagine what would happen if big sites or software like Facebook and Amazon were hacked, users’ data leaked, and other confidential data revealed?

I know it might be unimaginable for you as these are such big sites to be hacked or their data be leaked.

But there are many popular websites and software because of some vulnerabilities; their users and confidential data were leaked, their applications and websites crashed, and so was their image in the market.

So if you want that your’s or your client’s website not to face the same issue, you need to learn and constantly do security testing.

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And in this article, we will discuss “Security Testing” and all its related aspects in detail. 

What Is Security Testing?

In very simple terms, It is also a type of software testing that will help you find out threats, risks, and vulnerabilities in the software application and prevent malicious attacks from intruders.

This is done by finding the possible weakness or loopholes in the software system which might hamper the system data and result in loss of important information and secrets.

Basically, it sees the flaws in the security system of the software or website that works on it so that any loss does not occur anytime by any means.

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Security Testing

Testgrid’s Security Testing Services.

Web Security Testing

Web security testing makes sure that any type of malicious attack does not hamper the website’s functioning by involving a collection of security control frameworks into the website. 

Big websites or web-software companies with massive data need to make sure that they properly analyze and work accordingly so that users do not face issues and even the valuable data is not lost.

Also Read A Comprehensive Guide to Testing SaaS Products

Software Security Testing

With the regular increase in the use of mobile applications, hackers are targeting more application-based software, so today, application security is crucial. 

It basically involves removing all the vulnerabilities and flaws from the software, creating cyber security issues in the future. 

Software security testing is a bit costly and not a one-time process, so hiring or freelancing for the software security testing job might not be a cost-effective option for you. 

And for that very reason, many firms and organizations have started using automation testing software like TestGrid.io.

Principles Of Security Testing 

Here are a few of the many principles that you must keep in mind while doing any type of security testing, be it web security testing, application security testing, data security testing, or else!

#01 Confidentiality

Set of rules which ensures that information is only seen and used by the entity who is authorized to access it. 

Proper security measures are taken, so that private or confidential information remains private and does not get in the hand of an unauthorized or wrong entity. 

Basically, access is restricted to authorized personnel only, and other information is restricted.

#02 Integrity

As the word suggests, integrity involves maintaining trustworthiness, consistency, accuracy of data. Also, to make sure that accurate transfer of data takes place from sender to the desired receiver. 

It makes sure that an unauthorized entity does not change data.

#03 Authentication

It includes confirming the user’s identity and ensuring that the user has confidence that information is from a known source.

#04 Authorisation

The work itself tells what it is; basically, it means to authorize the user with the specific access rights according to the user’s role.

#05 Availability

You might have to guess what it is; basically, the user’s role is to make sure readiness of information when required by an authorized person.

The information must be available to the authorized person when they require it. 

To ensure there is no issue in availability, you need to maintain all hardware, ensure proper hardware repairs when required, ensure and maintain the proper function of your operating software, and secure all data.

#06 Non – Repudiation

If you google repudiation, you will know that it means rejection or to deny something. 

Non- repudiation makes sure that the originator or sender of the message or document cannot deny the originality or authenticity of that information(message, doc, signature)

#07 CIA or AIC 

This includes confidentiality, integrity, and availability is a model designed to guide or make policies for information security in the company.

Types Of Security Testing

Knowing about the types of security testing becomes very important because, after that, only you can wisely choose which test you need to opt for based on your need.

So, here are the types of software security testing:

#01 Vulnerability Scanning

It is the process of identifying security issues and flaws in the software. It is a very crucial process to ensure the security of the organization’s data. 

This process prevents the breaching of sensitive data. In this process, we find out vulnerabilities in a software system, evaluate them and identify the risk to the organization.

#02 Penetration Testing 

It is basically a simulation of a real-life cyber attack against an application to see the vulnerabilities in the software application. Basically, it tries to find the weakness in the software, system, or networks through simulation of cyberattacks.

Penetration testing or ethical hacking is done manually by certified ethical hackers. Ethical hackers attempt to breach the system in a controlled environment, basically making sure that no damage is caused to the system. 

Nowadays, a more pocket-friendly option is available for penetration testing: cyberattacks automation testing tools. With automated penetration testing tools, organizations get similar results but at a low cost, saving time at the same time with more accuracy than manual testing.  thatThreatstacksuser’s rolethatwithThe tester authorized.

#03 API security testing 

API security testing assists developers in identifying and remediating vulnerabilities in application programming interfaces (APIs) and online services. APIs give attackers access to sensitive data and can be used to gain access to internal systems. APIs can be protected from unauthorized access and exploitation by extensively testing them regularly.

Man in the middle (MiTM) attacks, in which attackers eavesdrop on API communications and steal data or credentials, API injections, in which attackers inject malicious code into internal systems, and denial of service (DoS), in which attackers flood APIs with fake traffic to deny service to legitimate users, are all threats that APIs are particularly vulnerable to.

To avoid code injection and tampering, an API must be validated to have robust authentication of user requests, authorization of users based on the principle of least privilege, encryption of all communication using SSL/TLS, and sanitization of user inputs.

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Security Testing

#04 Web Application Security Testing

The main aim of web application security testing is to see whether a web application is vulnerable to attack. It covers a variety of automatic and manual techniques.

Web application penetration gathers information about a web application, finds flaws in the system, and evaluates the risk of these flaws by exploiting them.

#05 Security Audits

A security audit is basically a method of systematically analyzing and assessing your application or software against a set of standards already set by the industry. 

It involves Reviewing code for security requirements, investigating security loopholes, and analyzing those flaws in the system.

It is a thorough examination of your company’s information system; often, 

This examination compares the security of your system to a checklist of industry best practices 

It involves checking system hardware, the way the data is shared by people working in your organization, and more. 

A cybersecurity security audit will guarantee that your organization’s networks, devices, and data are adequately protected from leaks, data breaches, and illegal involvement.

#06 Configuration Scanning

Configuration scanning is a technique for identifying and mitigating operating system vulnerabilities, such as software flaws, missing patches, malware, and misconfigurations, that compromise compliance across your operating systems, devices, and applications.

In this type of assessment, your system is compared with the best-established system. 

#07 Security Posture Assessment

A security posture assessment contains security scans, ethical hacking, and risk analysis to identify the threats that an organization faces and its present security policies and their effectiveness. 

It detects security flaws in the present security architecture and suggests recommendations for changes or enhancements to improve the system’s security.

A Security Posture Assessment (SPA) is a starting step for your company that wants to figure out your system security status and what you need to do to get better or retain your present security status. 

#08 Risk Assessment

We will use risk assessment to reduce the risk of an application. In this article, we’ll look at the security risk that the association can detect. 

The danger can be further broken down into three categories: high, medium, and low. The fundamental goal of the risk assessment process is to identify vulnerabilities and manage major threats.

#09 Ethical hacking

Ethical hacking is used to find system flaws and to assist the company in closing those security gaps before a malicious hacker exposes them. 

Because ethical hackers occasionally employ the same strategies, tools, and procedures that malicious hackers do, but with the agreement of the official person, ethical hacking will help us improve the security position of the association.

The actual aim of ethical hacking is to improve security and safeguard systems against attacks by harmful users.

Also Read A Comprehensive Guide to Testing SaaS Products

How To Do Security Testing

Since performing security testing after the program execution and deployment stages of the SDLC (software development life cycle) would cost us more, it is necessary to do software system security testing in the early stages of the SDLC.

Here are the steps which you can follow to do the web security testing or application security testing for yourself or for your clients:

  • #01: The requirement stage
  • #02: The design stage
  • #03: The code development stage
  • #04: The testing stage
  • #05: The execution stage
  • #06: The maintenance stage

There are a few different techniques and methodologies that you can follow to do software security testing:

  • Tiger Box: This type of hacking is usually carried out on a laptop with a variety of operating systems and hacking tools. This testing aids penetration testers and security testers in assessing and attacking vulnerabilities.
  • Black Box: The tester has full authority to test all aspects of the network topology and technology.
  • Grey Box: The tester is provided just partial information about the system, and it is a hybrid of white and black box models.

Example Test Scenarios for Security Testing

Here are a few of many test scenarios of software security testing to give a quick glimpse of the test cases:

  • In payment or financial sites, make sure that the back button does not work.
  • Site or application should make sure that invalid or unauthorised users should not enter the system.
  • The password/passcode should always be in an encrypted format.
  • Always keep checking the cookies and session times for an application you must be using.
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Security Testing

Security Testing Roles

There are many roles or responsibilities that you can match as a security tester: 

  • Hackers – A person who can access computer system or network without authorisation
  • Crackers – A person who can break into the systems to steal or destroy data
  • Ethical Hacker – A person who performs most of the breaking activities but with permission from the owner
  • Script Kiddies or packet monkeys – An inexperienced hackers with programming language skill

Recommended Security Testing Tools

#01 Intruder

The intruder is a user-friendly enterprise-grade vulnerability scanner. 

It performs over 10,000 high-quality security checks across your IT infrastructure, including, but not limited to, configuration flaws, application flaws (such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting), and patches that are missing. 

It will literally save a considerable chunk of your time and keep your organization (irrespective of the size) safe from hackers by providing intelligently prioritized results as well as proactive scans for the latest threats.

Super Features:

  • AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure integraters.
  • top-quality and advanced reporting.
  • Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, Zapier integrations.
  • API integration with your CI/CD pipeline.

#02 OWASP

OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) is a well-known non-profit organization that aims to improve software security.

As part of the project, multiple tools are available for pen testing various software environments and protocols. The project’s flagship tool includes:

  • Zed Attack Proxy (ZAP – an integrated penetration testing tool) is a programme that allows you to test your network for vulnerabilities.
  • Check for OWASP Dependencies (it scans for project dependencies and checks against know vulnerabilities)
  • Web Testing Environment Project (OWASP) (collection of security tools and documentation)

#03 Acunetix

Acunetix by Invicti is a straightforward and straightforward tool that assists small and medium-sized organizations in protecting their online applications from costly data breaches.

It does so by detecting and supporting security and development experts in promptly resolving a wide range of web security vulnerabilities.

Super Features:

  • Advanced scanning for over 7,000+ online vulnerabilities, including OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities like SQLi and XSS.
  • Web automation asset discovery can help you find websites that are not in exitence anymore.
  • Advanced web crawler with multi-form and password-protected regions for the most complicated web apps.
  • Using multiple combinations of interactive and dynamic application security testing to find flaws that other technologies overlook
  • For a very wide variety of vulnerabilities, proof of exploit is provided.
  • Integrations with common issue tracking and CI/CD systems enable DevOps automation.
  • PCI DSS, HIPAA, ISO 27001, NIST, and other regulatory standards require compliance reporting.

#04 WireShark

Wireshark, formerly known as Ethereal, is a network analysis tool. It catches real-time packets and shows them in an understandable fashion.

It’s a network packet analyzer that tells you all you need to know about your network protocols, decryption, packet information, and so on. It’s free and open-source, and it runs on Linux, Windows, OS X, Solaris, NetBSD, FreeBSD, and a variety of other operating systems.

Using a GUI or the TShark Utility in TTY mode, anyone can view the information that you acquire from this utility.

#05 W3af

W3af is a framework for web application attacks and auditing. It features three sorts of plugins: discovery, audit, and attack, all of which connect with one another in order to find any vulnerabilities on the site.

For example, in w3af, a discovery plugin looks for different URLs to test for vulnerabilities and forwards them to the audit plugin, which subsequently searches for vulnerabilities using these URLs.

Approaches To Follow While Doing Security Testing

Here is the approach that you may consider while planning for and executing security testing.

  • Security Architecture Study: The first stage is to comprehend the business requirements, security goals, and objectives of the organization’s security compliance. You should consider all security factors in the test strategy; just as the organisation may have prepared to attain PCI compliance.
  • Security Architecture Analysis: Understand and analyse the application under test’s requirements.
  • Classify Security Testing: Collect all system setup information used for software and network development, such as operating systems, technologies, and hardware. Make a list of security risks and vulnerabilities.
  • Threat Modelling: Prepare a Threat profile based on the preceding step.
  • Test Planning: Prepare a test plan to resolve these issues based on the identified Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Security Risks.
  • Traceability Matrix Preparation: For each identified Threat, Vulnerabilities and Security Risks prepare Traceability Matrix.
  • Security Testing Tool identification: You should not execute all security testing manually, so identify the tool to manage all security test cases faster & more reliably.
  • Test Case Preparation: Prepare the Security tests case document.
  • Test Case Execution: Perform the Security Test cases execution and retest the defect fixes. Execute the Regression Test cases.
  • Reports: Prepare detailed information of Security Testing that contains Vulnerabilities and threats, detailing risks, and still open issues, etc.

Best Practices Of Security Testing

Again, here are a few of many best practices that you can implement while doing security testing and practice it successfully:

#01 Shift Security Testing Left

Organizations incorporate security practices early in the development process due to the shift to DevSecOps; which involves closer collaboration between developers, security, and operations teams. 

You can frequently integrate security testing technologies into the continuous integration / continuous delivery (CI/CD) cycle.

While developing the software, shifting security testing to the left can help developers identify security risks and implement security best practices.

It can also assist testers in identifying security flaws before the release of the software to the public. 

Finally, operations and security teams can use production security testing to identify concerns and collaborate with other teams to resolve them.

#02 Test Internal Interfaces, not Just APIs and UIs

External dangers, such as user inputs via publicly available web forms, are frequently the focus of security testing. Internal system flaws, on the other hand, are becoming more common among attackers. 

You should do security testing to ensure that internal systems have secure interfaces. And, also to ensure that no one can utilize insider threats or compromised accounts to escalate privileges. 

This brings your company closer to a security strategy based on zero trust.

#03 Automate and Test Often

While human security testing, such as comprehensive penetration tests or security audits, is necessary; organizations must automate security testing and conduct it on a regular basis—ideally with every change to apps or computing infrastructure.

Enterprise applications use a number of components that may require security updates or those software suppliers may no longer support. 

You must thoroughly test the business essential systems should be on a regular basis, and give utmost attention to the security vulnerabilities affecting them and resources devoted to resolving them as soon as possible.

#04 Third-Party Components And Open Source Security 

Security testing for third-party code used in applications, particularly open source components, is required.

You should not trust commercial software and always test all open-source components. This is because they may require upgrades or are not secure enough. 

You should always scan and remediate third-party code the same way you would your own; and you should prioritize unsecured components for upgrades, remediation, or replacement.

Also Read A Comprehensive Guide to Testing SaaS Products

Security Testing with Testgrid

TestGrid.io addresses the security manpower issue by providing security testing governance. And it also allows you to perform your own set of system security tests.

Security Testing with TestGrid

TestGrid.io enables you to integrate a Dynamic Application Security Testing (DAST) solution into their unit testing process; allowing you to address security problems as part of your agile development process. 

In their bug tracking system, tickets get automatically open for developers so that they fix it faster.

With our real-time, false-positive free actionable reporting of vulnerabilities; TestGrid.io can scan any target, including Web Apps, APIs (REST/SOAP/GraphQL), and Websockets to improve DevSecOps and achieve regulatory compliance. 

In addition, our ML-based DAST solution automates the detection of Business Logic Vulnerabilities.

Conclusion

System security testing is critical in software engineering because you need to protect the data at all costs and therefore…

…the most critical testing for an application is security testing, which ensures that personal data remains confidential. 

In this sort of testing; you must take on the role of an attacker and explore the system in search of security flaws.

But doing such tests manually will take a ton of resources in terms of time, money, and manpower; so shifting to automation testing is a way ahead!

TestGrid.io can make your task of web security testing and application security testing way easier than you can ever think.

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