A complete guide to security testing
As part of software testing, security testing detects vulnerabilities and risks in a software application and protects the application from malicious attacks. The main goal of the security test is to detect all loopholes and weaknesses of the software system which might lead to information & business loss and can also hamper the company’s reputation.
Security testing provides the organisation the opportunity to fully understand vulnerabilities and understand the potential risk. Security testing identifies possible threats in the system and also measures the vulnerabilities to ensure the system doesn’t stop functioning. It is a crucial way to detect all possible security risks and ensure developers fix them through coding.
While security testing is important in desktop applications, it becomes more important in case of the web. If an online system fails to protect its transaction data, no one will think of using it.
Know different types of security testing
Usually there are seven types of security testing as stated below:
- Vulnerability Scanning: It is performed through automated software in order to scan a system against vulnerability.
- Penetration Testing: This kind of security penetration testing fakes an attack from a malicious hacker. It involves analysing a particular system in order to check potential vulnerabilities due to hacking.
- Security Scanning: It consists of identifying network and system weaknesses and then provide suitable solutions to curtail these risks. It is possible to perform both manual and automated security scanning.
- Ethical Hacking: As the term itself suggests, it is a legitimate hacking of the company’s software systems. Unlike fraudulent hackers who steal for their own profits, this type of hacking is done to find any security flaws in the system.
- Risk Assessment: It involves analysis of different security risks which can arise in the organisation. Here, risks can be classified as low, medium and high. This type of testing focusses on curtailing risks.
- Security Auditing: It is an internal inspection of applications and operating systems to find any security flaws.
- Posture Assessment: It blends risk assessment, security scanning and ethical hacking to present an overall security picture of the company.
Let’s discuss myths and facts about security testing
Myth 1: There is no need for security policy if the size of the company is small.
Fact: Irrespective of the size of the company, it is essential to have a well- defined security policy.
Myth 2: Security testing should be avoided as there is no return on investment.
Fact: With the help of security testing it is feasible to find out areas for improvements that can help in improving efficiency and curtailing downtime. It also prevents the loss of business.
Myth 3: Unplugging is the only way to secure it
Fact: The best way to secure the company is to find the right security mechanism which can be achieved by doing a posture assessment and comparison of the same business and legal justifications.
Myth 4: As the internet is not safe, it is best to buy software or hardware to protect the system and business.
Fact: One of the major concerns is to buy software and hardware for security. Instead of doing so, it is good if the organisation carefully understands the security first and then apply the same.
For any organisation, security testing is paramount to ensure applications are running smoothly and there is a confidentiality of data. Here the tester plays the role of a hacker and then play around the system in order to find any security related threats. While security testing is essential for every company, its importance is more in software engineering where data needs to be protected by all means.