Quality is delighting customers
The prime objective of security testing is to find out how vulnerable a system may be and to determine whether its data and resources are protected from potential intruders. Online transactions have increased rapidly of late making security testing as one of the most critical areas of testing for such web applications. Security testing is more effective in identifying potential vulnerabilities when performed regularly.
Ask more queries in q2a of software testing professionals
With so many techniques and approaches to web and mobile app security testing it can be difficult to understand which techniques to use and when to use them. Experience shows that there is no right or wrong answer to the question of exactly what techniques should be used to build a testing framework. In fact, all techniques should probably be used to test all the areas that need to be tested.
Although it is clear that there is no single technique that can be performed to effectively cover all security testing and ensure that all issues have been addressed, many companies adopt only one approach. The approach used has historically been penetration testing. Penetration testing, while useful, cannot effectively address many of the issues that need to be tested. It is simply “too little too late” in the software development life cycle (SDLC).
A correct approach is a balanced approach that includes several techniques, from manual reviews to technical testing. A balanced approach should cover testing in all phases of the SDLC. This approach leverages the most appropriate techniques available depending on the current SDLC phase.
Of course, there are times and circumstances where only one technique is possible. For example, a test on a web application that has already been created, but where the testing party does not have access to the source code. In this case, penetration testing is clearly better than no testing at all. However, the top software testing companies should be encouraged to challenge assumptions, such as no access to source code, and to explore the possibility of more complete testing.
Security Testing Overview
Security testing techniques and approaches scour for vulnerabilities or security holes in applications. These vulnerabilities leave applications open to exploitation. Ideally, security testing is implemented throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC) so that vulnerabilities may be addressed in a timely and thorough manner.
Vulnerability analysis is usually the process of looking for vulnerabilities in an app. Although this may be done manually, automated scanners are usually used to identify the main vulnerabilities. Static and dynamic analysis are types of vulnerability analysis.
Static Vulnerability Analysis
During static analysis, the application’s source code is analyzed to ensure appropriate implementation of security controls. In most cases, a hybrid automatic/manual approach is used. Automatic scans catch the low-hanging fruit, and the human tester can explore the code base with specific usage contexts in mind.
Manual Code Review
A human reviewer performs manual code review by manually analyzing the application's source code for security vulnerabilities. Methods range from a basic keyword search via the 'grep' command to a line-by-line examination of the source code. IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) often provide basic code review functions and can be extended with various tools.
Automatic Code Analysis
Automated analysis tools can be used to speed up the review process of Static Application Security Testing (SAST). They check the source code for compliance with a predefined set of rules or industry best practices, they typically display a list of findings or warnings and flags for all detected violations.
Although some static code analysis tools incorporate a lot of information about the rules and semantics required to analyze apps, they may produce many false positives, particularly if they are not configured for the target environment. A security professional must therefore always review the results.
Dynamic Vulnerability Analysis
The focus of dynamic analysis (also called DAST, or Dynamic Application Security Testing) is the testing and evaluation of apps via their real-time execution. The main objective of the dynamic analysis is finding security vulnerabilities or weak spots in a program while it is running. Dynamic analysis is conducted both at the platform layer and against the back-end services and APIs, where the application's request and response patterns can be analyzed.
Dynamic analysis is usually used to check for security mechanisms that provide sufficient protection against the most prevalent types of attack, such as disclosure of data in transit, authentication and authorization issues, and server configuration errors.
Avoiding False Positives: Automated testing tools' lack of sensitivity to the application’s context is a challenge. These tools may identify a potential issue that's irrelevant. Such results are called "false positives."
Penetration Testing (a.k.a. Pentesting)
The classic approach involves all-around security testing of the target application that's available at the end of the development process. A typical security test is structured as follows:
Preparation - defining the scope of security testing, including identifying application security controls, the organization's testing goals, and sensitive data. More generally, preparation includes all synchronization with the client as well as legally protecting the tester (who is often a third party). Remember, attacking a system without written authorization is illegal in many parts of the world!
Intelligence Gathering - analyzing the environmental and architectural context of the application to gain a general contextual understanding.
Mapping the Application - based on information from the previous phases; may be complemented by automated scanning and manually exploring the application. Mapping provides a thorough understanding of the application, its entry points, the data it holds, and the main potential vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can then be ranked according to the damage their exploitation would cause so that the security tester can prioritize them. This phase includes the creation of test cases that may be used during test execution.
Exploitation - in this phase, the security tester tries to penetrate the application by exploiting the vulnerabilities identified during the previous phase. This phase is necessary for determining whether vulnerabilities are real (i.e., true positives).
Reporting - in this phase, which is essential to the client, the security tester reports the vulnerabilities he or she has been able to exploit and documents the kind of compromise he or she has been able to perform, including the compromise's scope (for example, the data he or she has been able to access illegitimately).
The purpose of a security test approach is to discover the vulnerabilities of the web application so that the developers can remove these vulnerabilities from the application and make the web application and data safe from any unauthorized action.