Security Software Testing


Security Software Testing

In this article, I am going to discuss Security Software Testing. Please read our previous article, where we discussed Mutation Software Testing. At the end of this article, you will understand the following essential pointers related to Security Software Testing.

  1. What is Software Security Testing?
  2. What are the Goals of Security Testing?
  3. What are the Principles of Security Testing?
  4. What are the Key Areas of Security Testing?
  5. Types of Security Testing
  6. How is Software Security Testing Performed?
  7. Why is Security Testing Important for Web Applications?
  8. Example of Security Testing
  9. Mention Security Testing Tools
  10. What are the Advantages of Security Software Testing?
  11. What are the Disadvantages of Security Software Testing?
What is Software Security Testing?

Software testing includes security testing, which is used to find software application flaws, dangers, or threats and to help us thwart malicious outside attacks and ensure the security of our software applications. Seeing all the application’s potential ambiguities and vulnerabilities is the primary goal of security testing, which keeps the product functional. Security testing enables us to recognize all potential security risks and assists the programmer in correcting those flaws. The testing procedure determines whether the data will be secure and keeps the software functioning.

What are the Goals of Security Testing?
  • To determine the system’s threats.
  • To evaluate the system’s potential weaknesses.
  • To assist in identifying all system security issues that might exist.
  • To assist programmers in addressing security issues through coding.
  • A system or program is tested for security to find flaws and potential dangers and ensure it is secure against intrusions from outside parties, data breaches, and other security-related problems.
What are the Principles of Security Testing?

The following security testing guidelines are:

  • Availability: This requires that an authorized individual keeps the data on file and guarantees that the data and statement services will always be available when needed.
  • Integrity: In doing so, we shall protect any data that an unauthorized party has altered. Integrity’s primary goal is to permit the receiver to control the data provided by the system. Integrity systems also use some key strategies that confidentiality structures frequently employ. To provide the source of an algorithmic check, they typically include communication data rather than encrypt the entire connection. Ensure that accurate data is transmitted from one application to another as well.
  • Authorization involves determining whether a client can execute an action and receive services. Access control is a good illustration of authorization.
  • Confidentiality: Because it is the only method we can ensure the security of our data, it is a security procedure that delays the leak of data from outsiders.
  • Authentication: To grant access to the system or private information, it is essential to trace the source of a product and confirm a person’s individuality.
  • Non-Repudiation: It is a term used to refer to digital security, and it assures that neither the sender nor the recipient of a message may dispute having sent or received the message. The non-repudiation principle confirms that a message has been delivered and received by the individual claiming to have done so.
What are the Key Areas of Security Testing?

We must pay close attention to the following areas when performing security testing on the web application:

  1. System Software Security: In this, we will assess the application’s weaknesses based on various software, including the operating system, the database system, etc.
  2. Network Security: In this, we will examine the network structure’s vulnerabilities, including its policies and resources.
  3. Server-Side Application Security: To ensure that the server encryption and its tools are adequate to secure the software from any disruption, we will perform server-side application security.
  4. Client-Side Application Security: We’ll make sure that no customer-useable gadget or browser can be exploited by any intruders in this way
Explain Types of Security Testing

We have several various kinds of security testing, including the following, according to open-source security testing techniques:

  1. Security Scanning: Both automation testing and manual testing can use security scanning. The vulnerability or undesired file modification in a web-based application, website, network, or file system will be found using this scanning. It will then offer the results that enable us to lessen those threats. Those systems require security screening, depending on the architecture they employ.
  2. Risk Assessment: We will use risk assessment to reduce an application’s risk. Here, we’ll look at the security risk that the association suggests there might be. The danger can also be divided into three categories: high, medium, and low. The vulnerability assessment and primary threat control are the main goals of the risk assessment procedure.
  3. Vulnerability Scanning: A network’s desktops, servers, laptops, virtual machines, printers, switches, and firewalls are all included in this program, which is used to identify and generate a list of all the systems containing those components. The automated application can be used to do vulnerability scanning, which also finds the programs and devices that have admitted to having security flaws.
  4. Penetration Testing: Penetration testing is a security procedure where a cyber-security expert tries to exploit a computer system’s vulnerability. The main goal of these tests is to simulate epidemics, identify system flaws, and protect against intruders who might benefit from them.
  5. Security Auditing: Security auditing is an organized approach to assessing the organization’s security controls. We will check the application and the control system from the inside out for security flaws.
  6. Ethical Hacking: Ethical hacking is used to identify system flaws and assists organizations in plugging security weaknesses before malicious hackers reveal them. Because ethical hackers occasionally employ the same strategies, devices, and methods as malicious hackers, but with the official person’s consent, they will aid us in strengthening the security position of the association. Ethical hacking aims to improve security and defend systems against attacks from malicious users.
  7. Posture Assessment: We can show the entire security posture of an organization by combining ethical hacking, risk assessments, and security scans.
How is Software Security Testing Performed?

Because performing security testing after the program execution stage and the deployment stage of the SDLC would cost us more, it is necessary to undertake it in the early phases of the software development life cycle. Let us now examine how security testing is carried out in parallel during each software development life cycle (SDLC) phase.

How is Software Security Testing Performed?

  • Requirements Phase: During the SDLC’s requirement phase, we will conduct a security analysis of the company’s requirements and determine which circumstances are manipulative and unnecessary.
  • Design Phase: During the design phase of the SDLC, we will conduct security testing to explore potential risks in the design and to support the development of the test plan.
  • Development or coding Phase: Static and dynamic testing, as well as white box testing, will be done during the coding phase of the SDLC.
  • Testing Phase (functional, integration, and system testing): We will do one round of vulnerability scanning and black-box testing during the SDLC testing phase.
  • Implementation Phase: We will conduct another round of vulnerability scanning and one round of penetration testing throughout the SDLC implementation phase.
  • Maintenance Phase: We will conduct an impact analysis of the impact regions throughout the maintenance phase of the SDLC.

Also, the test plan should include the following:

  • Security testing should be connected to the test data.
  • We require test tools for security testing.
  • We can examine multiple test outputs with the aid of various security tools.
  • Create test cases or scenarios that rely on security.
Why is Security Testing Important for Web Applications?

The number of web applications is increasing daily, and most are vulnerable. We will talk about some typical web application flaws in this section:

  • Client-Side Attacks: Due to a client-side assault, the web application may have improperly implemented external code. And the user now believes that the specific data acting on the web application is valid and does not originate from an external source, thanks to the data spoofing operations.
  • Authentication: In this, the authentication will encompass the outbreaks that target the user identity authentication processes used by web applications, where the user account individualities will be compromised. Without conducting the proper authentication, insufficient authentication will provide the attacker access to sensitive information or functionality. For instance, a web application can be accessed using a brute force attack, its primary goal. Since this is the most accurate method to prevent brute-force attacks, the invaders will constantly try n numbers of usernames and passwords until they succeed. After all, the account will be automatically locked once they have attempted the specified number of incorrect passwords.
  • Authorization: When certain hackers attempt to extract meaningful information from an online application illegally, permission becomes relevant. Directory scanning is a good illustration of authorization. Here, directory scanning is the attack that introduces flaws into the webserver to achieve unauthorized access to directories and files that are not made public. Additionally, once the intruders gain access, they might download sensitive data and install malicious malware on the server.
  • Command Execution: When hostile attackers take control of the web application, command execution is used.
  • Logical Attacks: When DoS (denial of service) outbreaks occur, logical attacks are utilized to prevent a web application from assisting routine client action and to restrict application utilization.
  • Information Release: The information disclosures are designed to display sensitive information to intruders; therefore, they will cover attempts to gather exact information about the online application. Information leakage occurs when a web application makes sensitive data public, such as error messages or developer notes, which could aid an attacker in abusing the system. For instance, if the password is being passed to the server, it must be encoded before being transmitted over the network.
Example of Security Testing

Typically, security testing involves complex processes resulting from overthinking, but straightforward tests will occasionally enable us to identify the most severe security risks. To better understand security testing for online applications, let’s look at an example:

  • Log in to the web application first.
  • Log out of the web application after that.
  • After then, use the browser’s BACK button to see if the application is already logged in or if we were prompted to log in again.
Mention Security Testing Tools

The following list includes the numerous security testing tools that are currently on the market:

  • SonarQube
  • ZAP
  • Netsparker
  • Arachni
  • IronWASP
What are the Advantages of Security Software Testing?

The benefits of Security Testing are:

  1. Vulnerabilities Detection: Vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit are found through security testing, which also helps to uncover weak passwords, outdated software, and improperly configured systems.
  2. Enhancing System Security: By locating and addressing weaknesses and potential threats, security testing contributes to the system’s overall security.
  3. Making Sure the System Complies: Security testing aids in making sure the system complies with pertinent security standards and laws, such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, and SOC2.
  4. Reducing Risk: Security testing helps lower the likelihood of a security event in a production environment by locating and repairing vulnerabilities and possible threats before the system is deployed to production.
  5. Enhancing Incident Response: Thanks to security testing, organizations can better prepare for and respond to possible security incidents by understanding the risks and vulnerabilities they may encounter.
What are the Disadvantages of Security Software Testing?

The drawbacks of Security Testing are:

  1. Resource-intensive: To simulate various attacks, security testing may be labor-intensive, requiring substantial hardware and software resources.
  2. Complexity: Security testing can be challenging to set up and carry out successfully since it requires specialized knowledge and skills.
  3. Limited Testing Coverage: Not all threats and vulnerabilities can be found during security testing. False positives and negatives can result from security testing, which can cause confusion and wasteful effort.
  4. Time-Consuming: Security testing can take a while, mainly if the system is extensive and complicated.

In the next article, I am going to discuss Accessibility Software Testing. Here, in this article, I try to explain Security Software Testing. I hope you enjoy this Security Software Testing article.

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