The Essentiality of Security Testing
The reality of IT life is that new applications are prone to complexities that are discovered and rectified on a regular basis. Keeping in mind the increase in software complexities and software supply chain, it’s almost impossible to guarantee vulnerable free software. Nowadays, application security testing has become so enhanced, cheaper and easier that software suppliers have no excuse but to test their offerings to avoid any issue that becomes too big to resolve.
Security testing is carried out to make sure that whether the system prevents the unauthorized user to access the resource and data. Ensuring suitable testing of all software is not a petty matter. The category of business software covers a wide area- from desktop tools to enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites, from file-sharing services to software as a service-based (SaaS) customer relationship management (CRM); and from e-commerce platforms to other customer-facing applications that may even include wearable technology.
Taking all the complexities into consideration, it is of extreme importance to find the vulnerabilities of system & determine that its data and resources are protected from possible intruder. The following are important technical and non-technical tasks to perform appropriate security test.
Promise to make security a part of the acquisition
With in-house development; business users first feel the need of security as a required aspect of overall quality. A critical part of committing this promise is communicating with them about risks and rewards, and establishing mutually agreed goals.
Find the right process touch points
Mandatory security checkpoints in project management, contract review and sourcing are a must. But since the availability of free and pay-as-you-go software makes it easy for individuals to acquire software by themselves, additional tools will probably be needed to discover installed software and cloud application use.
Tailor testing activities to the software and sourcing type
Depending on the software, the testing should be carried at least once before going into production. But, not all software need to be tested equally often or in equal depth. Look for some combination of the following: supplier process and testing evidence; third-party testing evidence; third-party certifications and validations; in-house testing during coding and testing (for some outsourcing); pre-release in-house testing; and testing of software once deployed in production. In all cases, test against documented requirements.
Give your expectation in writing to the supplier
Except for full off-the-shelf products or SaaS, create specific contract clauses for the following: the security requirements; how the supplier will show evidence of software security testing processes and outcomes; the security go/no-go criteria for acceptance; in what way, and how quickly, the supplier will communicate discovery of non-trivial vulnerabilities; the allowable time-to-fix for non-trivial vulnerabilities; and the penalties for non-compliance.
Gear up for in-house security testing
Organisations should readily take up the challenge to perform their own application security tests, whether they use a product or a service to do this. Any deployment that is not completely off-the-shelf is a candidate for in-house testing, even if only to validate the supplier’s tests. Some security problems will not show up until deployment into an organisation’s staging or production environment, so such testing is very desirable.
Prepare mitigation tactics
Since most software cannot be guaranteed to be vulnerability-free, and most discovered vulnerabilities cannot be fixed overnight, the ability to isolate vulnerable assets, block attacks or at least detect attacks is essential as a backup. To come full circle, it can also help to identify previously unknown security vulnerabilities.
Information on structuring these testing activities is becoming more comprehensive. Look to organisations such as the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University, and the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) for presentations and documents on software supply chain assurance, software assurance for acquisitions and related topics.
Security testing allows us to identify the confidential data stays confidential or not. Therefore, whatever the type of software and sourcing model, application security testing is vital when acquiring business software. Security testing is one of the most important types of software testing that intended to find the vulnerabilities or weakness of the software application.
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