What is Security Testing? – A useful guide

Whether you are creating your first online presence or are a well-established online firm, building and maintaining trust among end-users is essential. Security testing plays an important role in creating trust. With massive and ongoing increases in reported fraud and cyber-attacks worldwide, visitors know they must think carefully before accessing unfamiliar websites. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance for site owners to confirm the safety of a website or application to encourage returning users.

Security Testing plays a vital role in establishing confidence in a system. It helps ensure that the data is safe, protected, and less prone to malicious attacks. Security testing helps identify flaws and loopholes in a system that can be vulnerable and easily compromised, and it helps determine preventive measures which can protect the system from security breaches.

What do we check in Security Testing?

Emerging technologies and broader connectivity help us to get more done, but they also provide ample opportunities for hackers. People rely on the internet for so many daily tasks now, and the threat of being hacked and losing personal information is an ongoing concern.

To ensure a system is as robust as possible against cybercrime, security testing assesses the system’s different components which are the infrastructure, network, hardware, and application layers. The testing method evaluates the system from all security aspects, including confidentiality, integrity, availability, and authorization. A brief explanation of these four points is below.

  1. Confidentiality means sharing certain information only with intended recipients.
  2. Integrity refers to protecting the information from unwanted modification and data loss during transfer.
  3. Availability is when the information is accessible whenever needed, which implies all integrated systems or resources are well connected and pass on information as required.
  4. Authorization means data can be accessed and available only to authorized parties.

The Security Testing Approach

Unlike functional testing, security testing involves checking for areas and paths that have are not well documented or captured in requirements. Security testing aims to identify gaps in security systems and establish a mitigation plan to address weak spots that will help protect the system from malicious attacks. Security testing can be as tricky as it sounds so a proper methodology is needed before starting to test. Choosing an approach that will give the best result is very important.

What is security testing

Security testing ican be done by using both manual and automation testing methods. It offers the opportunity for testers to exploit the system before any external or third party takes that chance.

Key Points to get you started

Let’s look at some quick starts to help you begin security testing:

  • Analyze the system and determine the security requirements. You need to understand the system architecture, entry points, traffic sources, and device access, etc.
  • Review the security metrics, if available. They will give you some insights into determining the weakest area that needs the most attention during testing.
  • Determine the threats that need testing and then define the scope.
  • Security tools available on the market can perform different security checks. Review the tools and select the most relevant and efficient ones for your security requirement.

Security Testing Techniques

Listed below are some of the most commonly used security testing techniques:

  1. Vulnerability Scan helps in determining some of the known vulnerabilities. An automated tool scans the system and compares it with a list of pre-defined vulnerabilities. The output of the scan reviewed to determine the risk.
  2. Penetration Testing is a software testing technique that involves making intentional cyber-attacks to determine the system’s weakness and vulnerability to attacks. It consists of finding the entry points then breaking and checking the possibilities of attacks.
  3. Security Audits are an excellent measure to identify the state of the system and the specific areas that need attention. Reports generated as a result of the security audit help in fixing the gaps and making the system more robust.
  4. Session Testing involves checking the handling of sessions to ensure they terminate correctly.
  5. Access Checks test access for all entry points, making sure only users with the correct permissions can access the system. As part of security testing, access checks are an essential part of restricting access to unauthorized users. Sometimes, systems have location-based restrictions.

Key Takeaways

Security testing should be regular and often because attacks can happen anytime. Being consistantly aware of any new threats or malicious attacks is equally important, like conducting security testing before an product release. It’s essential to understand security patches and continuously update the system to keep it up to date will all the security patches. Awareness and frequent updates minimize the risks of being exploited.

In real-time, system owners continuously monitor security metrics to track any unauthorized access, random number of failures, or any other unfavorable activity and determine the next course of action to keep everything safe.

Wrapping Up

Finally, security testing is an integral component of system testing that cannot be overlooked. It helps businesses protect the data in the system, minimize cyber attacks, manage risks and sustain in this competitive market. Overall, it helps in making the system safe and reliable. Organizations adopt security testing to shield critical applications and infrastructure from any unwanted infiltration.

Priya Rani
Author

Priya Rani

An Enthusiastic QA Expert who loves to share knowledge and experience through blogging.