Top 6 fundamentals of Cloud-based Application Security TestingCigniti Technologies
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Millennials with new technology interfaces are shifting the entertainment zones from television to mobile-based or device-based applications. Preferences are changing, which is impacting the overall application development cycle. There is no scope for any downtime or hiccups in customer experience. For instance, how long would you prefer to stick on to an application if it keeps getting hung and doesn’t offer you the expected smooth experience? Likewise, Application Security Testing is a growing concern, as most of our applications carry highly sensitive financial or personal data. Hence, enterprises are considering Cloud-based Application Security Testing to validate the results and ensure quality.
Why is Application Security Testing critical?
The need to ensure that the application is secure and the data that it holds doesn’t get leaked is getting much more critical. As per the statistics from 2016 and 2017, Cybersecurity threats are on the rise, which is dwindling the confidence of enterprises to venture in the consumer market. Application security activities bring in software, hardware, and procedures to safeguard applications from any potentials threats in the digital space.
Application Security Testing is gaining a lot of significance in the recent years. Traditionally, it was an aspect that could get missed in the software design, but today, there is no scope for that. Today, applications are more accessible over networks, which make them vulnerable to cyber threats. There is need for a robust application security strategy and mechanism that minimizes the possibility of attacks and makes the application much more resilient.
The key objective is to stop any malware from accessing, stealing or manipulating any sensitive data.
In the current scenario, there is a probability that all the active enterprise applications are hosted on the Cloud. This poses another set of challenges in Security Testing of enterprise applications – Right from ensuring accessibility of the application – to exploring its scalability across various features. Cloud-based Application Security Testing induces a different perspective. It explores the feasibility of hosting the security testing tools on the Cloud for testing the applications on the Cloud.
It is not a new, but a relatively fresh process for conducting application security testing. With this process, the applications are tested by hosting the solutions or tools on the Cloud. This is contrary to the traditional application security testing pattern, where you need on-premise tools and infrastructure. Enterprises moved to Cloud-based testing patterns to make the process much more scalable, faster, and even cost-effective.
Likewise, the focus is shifting from just ensuring security of the applications to accelerating the testing process. Cloud-based application security testing has been considered to solve many such queries, and make security testing much more flawless and hassle-free. While we say so, we are trying to estimate the key essentials that your Cloud-based security testing strategy must consider.
Key factors to consider for Cloud-based Application Security Testing strategy
Cloud-based testing has its own set of challenges. To name a few; building distributed computing capabilities, standardizing processes, ensuring security of the applications, and many more challenges related to accessibility of the Cloud at any point. Hence, any Cloud-based testing activity needs to have set fundamentals.
These fundamentals must be especially considered while selecting and implementing a solution/tool for Cloud-based Security Testing. These basics will help you to further develop your strategy and make it much more result-oriented.
Look at Speed
What could be the main reason for any strategy change? One of the key objectives would be to bring speed and accelerate the testing process. Cloud-based application testing must help scan the software faster for any potential errors and reduce the turnaround time. There should be capabilities within your solution to run parallel scans even from distributed locations.
This would be much more applicable in an Agile and DevOps set-up, where teams could be co-located. This will bring speed to the testing activity and also efficiency in the process, resulting in faster development and testing cycles.
Your testing activity should bring scalability to the testing process. This clearly implies that the solution that you implement must be scalable and must expand as organizations grow and need better configurations and updates. If scalability becomes an issue, it can impede the testing activity and create issues in terms of speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
In an Agile set-up global teams are co-located and all the teams work around the clock to deliver on the application. Hence, the solution/tool has to be available online across the browser at any point of time. It must also provide a centralized dashboard that offers features for collaborating seamlessly in the security testing process.
All the global businesses need cost-efficiency to keep launching fresh propositions for the customers. This aspect of ensuring cost-effectiveness goes down to every level of application development. Any tool/solution applied for security testing must bring higher RoI and pull down the testing costs.
Rapid scanning of the devices and parallel execution of tests will certainly bring down the testing efforts and also the costs. Ultimately, with the tool, any number of iterations must not incur higher costs.
Monitor Quality outcome
We have decided to mention this towards the end, as this is the ultimate achievement point for any team. The solution or tool must provide precise quality metrics for constant monitoring. This has to translate into performing accurate scans, contextual reporting, and resolving issues, tracking the code and test cases and many more parameters.
Application Security Testing has to eventually result in minimizing risks and building robust software. The parameters related to risks must be defined to ensure that nothing is missed. Even when the tool/solution is selected you must ensure that all the listed risk areas are covered in the security testing strategy. This can be a foolproof way to ensure quality and keep a track of the threats that your application can foresee.
Application Security is a broad topic and a lot can be explored and experimented to ultimately bring down the risks. Cloud-based model can prove to be successful and applicable if the process is well-strategized. Logically, it begins by defining the testing parameters and accordingly taking the next steps. What’s your take on factors to consider while working on a Cloud-based Application Security Testing strategy? Do share your views in the comments or write to us.
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