Don’t be sorry, stay alert with Security Testing

The time has elapsed when Security Testing was compared to a ‘strong firewall’. Over the last few years of ‘digital’ uncertainty and ‘transformation’ risks, enterprises have started looking at ‘not so obvious’ security scares. It is generally assumed that security is a concern just for external facing applications. But it is an equally genuine issue for applications that operate within the confines of an organization. The flexibility provided by Digital channels has given way to unexplored security loopholes. Hence, there is a growing need to build a proactive Security Testing strategy as against a reactive one.

According to OWASP, the most popular online security community, many internal facing applications are much more prone to attacks when compared to external facing or consumer facing applications in a much more volatile environment. It is important to look at factors impacting the security of an application or a software.

Application security and the role of Security Threat Modelling

In order to understand the factors impacting the secure interface of an application, it is essential to understand the environment in which the application operates. In the simplest possible way, a software application succumbs to an attack when it’s Network and Operating System is exposed or hijacked during an unforeseen incident. Hence, it is critical to secure your network and the Operating System where the application thrives.

Understanding and studying the application’s architecture is a logical step that teams need to take while building a well-researched Security Testing strategy. This is a critical step that is needed before reviewing the source code that primarily helps to scrutinize the application in the light of an enterprise’s requirements. It further enables experts to look at the application from an attacker’s perspective than just being on the defensive mode.

Threat Modelling is the best possible way to diagnose an application’s structure and in this regard independent bodies such as OWASP have even identified the parameters. Every product or application will have its own loopholes, hence, the parameters for evaluating the risks might differ. Nevertheless, some key factors to consider in your Security Testing strategy could be – Source of the threats, interface of the attacks, potential attacks expected, business impact, and your Disaster Management strategy.

Security Threat Modelling helps to evaluate the risks and sets the stage to build a relevant strategy for the organization or the software application under test. For instance, there are news reports that Samsung, the South Korean tech giant is reportedly testing the first Android Go device in some key markets. While there could be multiple aspects within the testing strategy, but when it comes to security testing, the team would necessarily understand the environment in which the device and software would operate. Threat Modelling can be a big time saver and a smart way to deal with recurring and even unexplored issues.

Build a relevant Test Automation strategy

It is evident from multiple research reports and expert analysis that Test Automation has been adding tremendous business value for enterprises. However, test automation can effectively offer business value only when it is aligned with the overall strategy. With Security Testing, it is important to identify the areas within an application that need rigorous test automation. The team can consider Vulnerability Testing to identify the most vulnerable areas within an application. Depending on the requirements of the project, the test automation tools can be selected and implemented for Security testing. Some tools can perform end-to-end security testing, while some can specifically help to spot a flaw within the application. It will further support the team to prioritize the security testing initiatives and deliver focussed results.

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Adopt a Software Testing strategy that fits you

Choosing the right testing strategy is absolutely critical in the Software Development process. Many teams are considering practices such as DevOps and Agile to deal with the growing challenges posed by Digital Transformation. The core requirement is to bring business agility and make testing a continuous and collaborative approach. Especially, when it comes to Security Testing, it has to be a conscious decision to adopt specific testing practices.

Ultimately, it is important that the expected results and objectives are delivered and no doubt is left unanswered. Adopting a collaborative approach towards Security Testing is always recommended, particularly, with the looming cybersecurity threats.

Introducing DevSecOps

Testing Digital technologies needs a collaborative approach to make it a continuous activity and identify the gaps way ahead in the development lifecycle. DevSecOps is a concept that introduces security factors earlier in the application development lifecycle. This will help to bring down vulnerabilities and cut down the security risks. Moreover, it will enable teams to cut the issue management costs and stay in sync with the overall IT and business objectives.

The IT infrastructure has gone through tremendous changes in the last few years, which has resulted in utilizing shared resources and Cloud Computing to gain velocity, bring agility, and cut down the costs. DevOps brings development and IT infrastructure together, which has given much more stability to the application development process. When these practices are incorporated for Security Testing, it can bring tremendous value.

Gartner predicts that DevSecOps — which is slightly different from SecDevOps — will be embedded into 80 percent of rapid development teams by 2021. Gartner’s research director Ian Head, and distinguished analyst Neil MacDonald, wrote in a report, “In the past 12 months at Gartner, how to securely integrate security into DevOps — delivering DevSecOps — has been one of the fastest-growing areas of interest of clients, with more than 600 inquiries across multiple Gartner analysts in that time frame”

Cigniti possesses rich expertise in Security Testing of enterprise applications, catering to diversified business needs. Cigniti has immense experience in serving clients across different industry verticals and organization sizes.

Connect with our experts to build a relevant and proactive Security Testing strategy for your Application Development needs.

Cigniti Technologies is a global leader in Independent Software Testing Services with offices in US, UK, India, Australia, and Canada.