Thursday, October 19, 2023

How To Do Software Security Testing Without Security Experts?

Table Of Contents

    Over the past year, data breach has cost US$4.45 million to organizations who haven't invested adequately in software security testing, as per IBM research.

    While functional software testing is already regarded as a critical component of the software development lifecycle, unfortunately, automated software security testing remains an afterthought for the majority of software teams.

    At this point, web applications are more likely to be subjected to cyber-attacks usually because security testing isn't performed often enough during the software development lifecycle. Organizations must look to increase security scanning by using automated vulnerability testing tools in their software development process.

    Software security testing is different from conventional functional and load tests as it combines security scanning with meticulous scrutiny by advanced security experts who test potential vulnerabilities within web apps and APIs. This combined process serves as the shield against external security threats while functional testing assures adherence to specifications and user expectations.

    Security testing for web applications and APIs would require you to consult with advanced security experts and penetration testers. One of the most cost-effective ways in which you can ensure that your applications are screened for security issues is by using Cyber Chief in your SDLC and CI/CD pipeline.

    Cyber Chief is a developer-friendly automated vulnerability scanning tool, which is user-friendly and doesn't require any cybersecurity expertise to operate.

    But first, let me tell you about the impact that software security testing can have on your application and APIs.

    What is software security testing?

    Software security testing is conducted to assess potential security issues that can be exploited, leading to data breach. To ensure that your applications are secure, unauthorized individuals (or machines) should not be able to access any sensitive information that is stored by your web applications.

    While web application security testing can be done manually, it is advisable to invest in automated security testing tools for your web applications and APIs.

    Automated security testing tools, will be beneficial for your organization as these tools will provide you with detailed analysis and possible solutions for the detected security issues, whereas manual pen testing analysis and fixes might last for a few days or weeks.

    Automated security testing tools such as Cyber Chief help in continually protecting your application from security threats with each new update that is released.

    Cyber Chief can be easily integrated into your DevOps or CICD pipeline and can perform automated authenticated vulnerability tests. You can view the detailed report for the security test and implement the possible solutions in your application.

    Saving your organization the expense of consulting security experts every time a new security hole has been detected and ensuring that your web applications are shipped with zero known vulnerabilities.

    Want to make your developers self-reliant with application security? Cyber Chief can help you reduce reliance on external security consultants (and save money)

    What are the types of security testing?

    1. Penetration Testing

    Penetration Testing, often referred to as ethical hacking, is a proactive security assessment method that closely replicates real-world cyberattacks.

    • Realistic Simulations: Penetration testing mimics genuine cyber threats, offering a lifelike environment for security experts to test an application's defences. This authenticity helps in uncovering vulnerabilities that might remain hidden in theoretical assessments.

    • Vulnerability Exploitation: Advanced security experts actively attempt to exploit security vulnerabilities within the web application. They employ a range of techniques, tools, and attack vectors to gain unauthorized access, providing valuable insights into potential weaknesses.

    • Holistic Assessment: Penetration testing offers a comprehensive evaluation of an application's security posture. It goes beyond identifying vulnerabilities to assess how these vulnerabilities can be leveraged to compromise the system, helping organizations prioritize and address critical security flaws effectively.

    Penetration testing as a service can be done using automated security testing tools like Cyber Chief. Cyber Chief is a developer-first testing tool that has a user-friendly interface and is easy to set up. This automated software security testing tool can schedule and execute tests for your web applications.

    Cyber Chief will provide your development team with a detailed analysis of the security issues, along with possible fixes. It is a collaborative automated security testing tool that can conduct static and dynamic application security testing for your web applications.

    It is easier to shift left & automate security scanning for your apps, APIs and cloud environments than you think. Want to see how Cyber Chief can help you get started in mere minutes?

    2. Web Application Security Testing

    Web Application Security Testing is a vital practice for securing web-based applications. Using automated web application security testing tools for a targeted approach helps in focusing on common web threats, whereas dynamic assessment ensures that web applications remain resilient against evolving cyber threats.

    • Targeted Assessment: Web application security testing specifically focuses on web-based software, assessing vulnerabilities and threats unique to online platforms. Automated testing tools use the pinpointed approach to ensure that web applications are protected.

    • Identification of Common Web Threats: Security experts employ a range of techniques and tools to identify common web threats, including SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), cross-site request forgery (CSRF), and more. This comprehensive coverage safeguards against prevalent cyber threats. Along with manual testing, automated testing tools can also help you in the identification of common web threats.

    • Dynamic Assessment: Web application security testing includes dynamic testing where application testers interact with the application similar to the way real users would. This allows them to discover possible security issues that may only manifest during actual usage, providing a holistic view of security risks.

    An automated web application security testing that you can use is Cyber Chief. It will help your development team fix low-level security issues without the need to consult security experts.

    Once the automated testing for your web application is completed on Cyber Chief, you can view the detailed report and possible fixes. Your development team can fix the vulnerabilities with the possible solutions, ensuring that your web applications are shipped with zero known vulnerabilities.

    Along with this, Cyber Chief can conduct cloud posture security tests for industry and region-specific compliances. With its intuitive cloud posture security compliance dashboard, you can know the security status of your applications.

    Want to do a software security assessment without exposing your code? If you have Cyber Chief you can do this from your CI/CD pipelines.

    3. Mobile Application Security Testing

    Mobile application security testing is focused mainly on mobile apps, accounting for platform diversity and real-world user interactions to identify security risks effectively.

    • Mobile-Centric Focus: Mobile application risk assessment is focused on mobile applications, recognizing the unique security challenges and risks associated with mobile platforms. It aims to address vulnerabilities and threats that are prevalent in the mobile ecosystem.

    • Platform Diversity: Mobile application testing accommodates various mobile operating systems such as Android and iOS along with various device types. It conducts a security audit for mobile apps across different environments to identify security issues that can pose a threat to applications' functioning and security.

    • Device Interaction Simulation: Testers simulate user interactions with mobile apps, mimicking real-world usage scenarios. Interactive application security testing helps uncover vulnerabilities that may only become apparent during actual user interactions, enhancing the app's security posture.

    Looking for expert mobile application penetration testing services?

    4. Network Security Testing

    Network security testing provides a comprehensive evaluation of an organization's network security posture by assessing network infrastructure, monitoring traffic, and validating the functionality of security devices. This helps in safeguarding against potential cyber threats and protecting the integrity and availability of network resources.

    • Network Infrastructure Assessment: Network security testing delves into the organization's entire network infrastructure, including routers, switches, firewalls, and servers, to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses.

    • Traffic Analysis: Testers analyse network traffic patterns to detect irregularities or suspicious activities that may indicate a security breach. This approach aids in identifying potential threats in real time.

    • Security Device Testing: The testing process includes evaluating the effectiveness of security devices like firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS/IPS) to ensure they are configured correctly and capable of detecting and blocking any malicious activities.

    5. Cloud Security Testing

    Cloud risk assessment and vulnerability scanning are necessary to ensure that cloud-based assets are secure from cyber threats. This is a cloud-centric approach, emphasising configuration validation, and thorough data security examination to help organizations maintain a secure posture in the cloud.

    • Cloud-Centric Assessment: Cloud security tests are tailored specifically for cloud environments, addressing the unique security challenges and risks associated with cloud-based solutions.

    • Configuration Validation: It focuses on validating the configuration of cloud resources to ensure they align with security best practices. Misconfigurations tend to be a common source of security vulnerabilities in most cloud environments.

    • Data Security Examination: Cloud security tests can assess the security firewall of data stored in the cloud, ensuring that sensitive information is adequately encrypted and access controls are in place to prevent unauthorized access.

    What are the 5 phases of security testing?

    Software security testing typically follows a structured approach consisting of five key phases. Adding these five phases to your software development lifecycle can collectively form a structured approach to security testing, helping organizations identify and mitigate security risks and vulnerabilities systematically.

    1. Planning and Preparation

    In this initial phase, the development and testing team defines the scope and objectives of the security testing effort. This includes identifying the target systems, specifying testing methodologies and tools, and determining the resources required.

    2. Information Gathering:

    This information-gathering phase involves collecting relevant data and insights about the target application or system. The testing team needs to identify assets, such as web servers, databases, and APIs, as well as understand the application's architecture and potential security issues that need to be assessed.

    3. Vulnerability Assessment and Scanning

    During this phase, security experts use automated scanning tools and manual techniques to identify vulnerabilities and weaknesses within the target system. Common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and misconfigurations are assessed, which are then documented and probed further.

    4. Exploitation and Analysis

    In this phase, security testers attempt to exploit identified security issues to assess their impact and potential risks. Ethical hacking techniques such as manual pen testing are employed to simulate real-world attacks and understand how attackers could leverage these vulnerabilities.

    5. Reporting and Remediation

    In this final phase, a detailed report of the various security tests is created, including identified vulnerabilities, severity of security issues, and recommendations for mitigation. This report is shared with stakeholders, including development teams and management, to prioritize and address security issues.

    Is security testing a part of QA?

    Security testing should be an integral part of quality assurance, however, testing applications for security issues is usually an afterthought among software development teams. There are various reasons why this happens. Firstly, consulting security experts to assess a web application's security firewall every time a new update is released is expensive.

    Secondly, many developers are unaware that neglecting cyber security can heavily cost the company and damage its reputation. Not to mention the loss of sensitive data that can happen due to negligence towards software security testing.

    To ensure that your applications are thoroughly tested for potential security issues, security testing needs to be a part of your software development lifecycle. Organizations can do this by integrating automated vulnerability testing tools for continuous development and design and development processes for applications.

    What is the difference between QA and security testing?

    Quality Assurance (QA) primarily focuses on ensuring that a software application responds correctly, meets user requirements, and delivers a positive user experience, i.e. validating the functional aspects of the software.

    Whereas, software security testing focuses on scanning an application for possible security issues, particularly concerning vulnerabilities and weaknesses that could lead to cyber threats and data breaches.

    While QA ensures the correctness and reliability of the software application, security testing assesses the application's resilience against potential attacks. Both are critical for protecting your software.QA confirms that the software works as intended and security testing safeguards it against cyber attacks and data breaches.

    How can Cyber Chief Assist in Software Security Testing?

    Cyber Chief is an automated vulnerability scanning tool. It can conduct dynamic and static application security testing processes for your web application. It is used by renowned companies across the globe for securing their web applications. The automated security testing tool has a user-friendly interface for cloud posture management compliance tests, so you can have a quick overview of all the security assessments.

    Unlike other security testing tools, Cyber Chief is a developer-first product that is very easy to set up. Your development team can schedule and execute tests for automated API testing, pen testing and cloud posture compliance assessments.

    Benefits of integrating Cyber Chief in your SDLC & CI/CD pipelines:

    • Detailed report of vulnerability scanning.

    • Provides possible solutions (code fixes) your development team can use for applications.

    • Can perform authenticated vulnerability scanning.

    • Intuitive dashboard for a quick overview of cloud security compliances for various industry standards.

    • Schedule scanning for your web applications.

    • Quick set-up and easy to integrate into your current development infrastructure.

    To know the details about Cyber Chief, its pricing and features you can book a demo call.

    Why Should You Use Cyber Chief for Security Testing?

    So, while there are a ton of security testing tools, why should you use Cyber Chief for security testing? Well, it is easy to integrate cyber chief in your organization's software development life cycle and CI/CD pipelines

    Not just that, Cyber Chief can conduct automated authentication security tests for your web applications. We all know that even if you test the user pages for security issues, the real threat to sensitive data lies beyond the user authentication pages. Cyber Chief can help your organization save money and upscale by scanning potential security threats in your web application.

    Security testing is a crucial aspect of software development. Even if thoroughly assess your applications for their functional issues, testing its security firewall with every new update released is also important. Make security assessment a part of your quality assurance tests to protect your applications from cyber attacks.

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