Monday, March 4, 2024

An Ultimate Checklist for Application Security Testing

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, “The application security Testing market is expected to grow from USD 2.79 Billion in 2017 to USD 9.0 Billion by 2022, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 26.4%.

Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance (BFSI) vertical are expected to have the largest market size by the end of the forecast period.”

It further states, “Moreover, government and defense, retail, and IT and telecom verticals are also some of the major contributors to the overall application security market size.”

Data breaches and cyber-attacks have intensified the need for Application Security Testing. There is a need to check every aspect of an application with the objective of minimizing vulnerabilities.

Time-to-market is critical in the application development scenario, which raises the vulnerabilities for an application. So, developers and testers might skip some major security checks in the process.

We are listing down a quick checklist that can be considered to check for vulnerabilities and secure the application by conducting Application Security Testing.

Also, you can learn Advanced Web Hacking & Penetration Testing Course – Scratch to Advance

Table of Contents

Get everyone on the same page
Consider relevant tools
Evaluate the application in a holistic way
Testing the Operating Systems
Recheck the vulnerabilities reported
Evaluate the application manually
Test the source code
Consider the Dynamic Analysis approach
In Conclusion Application Security Testing


1. Which security testing technique is best for testing applications?

To do this, real-life threats are modeled to find holes and weak spots in the application’s code and infrastructure.

Security holes can be found without running the program by looking at the application’s source code or files.

You should test the app while running to find security holes that might not be obvious from static analysis alone.

2. What are the three phases of application security testing?

There are three steps to checking an application’s security.

Phase before development: At this stage, security requirements and rules are set, and developers are taught how to code safely. Threat modeling is a way to find possible weaknesses and risks.

Development Phase: During this phase, developers write code that follows security guidelines. Security checks are also a part of the development process. To find security holes in code, static analysis, and code reviews are used.

Post-development Phase:
Once the app is finished being built, it goes through a lot of security tests, such as dynamic analysis and attack testing. Vulnerabilities are ranked and fixed in order of importance, making sure the app is safe from real-world attacks and constantly checked for new threats.

3. Which methods and techniques are used for security testing?

Security testing uses various techniques and methods to see how well an app or system can handle possible threats.

These are Threat Modeling, Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Scanning, Security Code Review, Fuzz Testing, Web Application Security Testing, API Security Testing, Mobile Application Security Testing, and Vulnerability Scanning.

Get everyone on the same page

The most important aspect to consider while performing a security assessment and Application Security Testing is to make sure that the entire team is in sync with the process.

Right from the client to the development/testing teams, everyone should agree on the expected outcome. Also, it is important to select testing dates and time frames to reduce the effect on the business.

Also, Read the Web Application Penetration Testing Checklist

Consider relevant tools

Security Testing tools will determine the depth of your strategy and assessments. The right tools will enable you to identify the vulnerabilities.

There are various open-source Web application testing tools as well as licensed tools that teams leverage for detecting loopholes.

Irrespective of any tool you choose, you should be able to meet the objectives of the project. So, whether good or bad, paid or freely available; the tool has to be relevant to your security testing needs.

At the same time, it is important to understand that tools can’t help you meet all your objectives. It will just ease the process.

Evaluate the application in a holistic way

While performing security testing, it is indispensable to expose your application from all possible angles. An all-round investigation of the application can make it robust and expose any possible vulnerabilities.

This can be done by using various hacking tools found on the search engine. You can run a scan on the application as an unauthenticated user/hacker from outside the system. This will provide you with various perspectives within the application.

Testing the Operating Systems

By checking for misconfigurations in the operating systems and installed applications, teams will be able to check for problems and failure patches within the application. 

Tools can be used to root out the missing patches and misconfigurations in the operating system. In this way, any weakness outside the application can be eliminated. Even a minute weakness external to the Web application can put the application at risk.

Recheck the vulnerabilities reported

After the security testing results are out, it is important to validate the results and cross-check whether they exist.

In this way, the reporting flaws are authenticated against the required context. This will save time and effort in the long run and install much-needed confidence in the testing process.

Evaluate the application manually

Security testing tools are bound to reveal a lot of flaws and vulnerabilities. But sometimes, depending on the nature of the application, there can be full scope for checking the application manually.

It can help to evaluate the application from a different backdrop, possibly as the end-user of the application.

Test the source code

It is essential to dig into the application’s source code so that you can confidently confirm that overall testing has been accomplished. Source code analysis and code review are critical in security testing.

There are quite a few tools that have a mature approach to reviewing the code. Security Testing professionals can leverage these tools to ensure the code is robust.

Also Read the Penetration testing Android Application checklist

Consider the Dynamic Analysis approach

Both Static and dynamic analysis approaches can be designed to find vulnerabilities in Web Applications. Dynamic Analysis involves black box testing where tests are performed on an application while it operates.

In this security, test requests are sent to the application and the response is observed, where the application is checked for vulnerabilities.

These tests are also bound to give false alarms, but there are better indications of identifying security vulnerabilities with Dynamic Analysis.

In Conclusion Application Security Testing

It is important to plan your tests and keep the entire team in the loop, which includes the client.

The testing has to strategically move towards finding tangible results in terms of the security of the application. So, every testing team follows a particular pattern while detecting the flaws in the application.

It encompasses information gathering, Authentication Testing, Authorization testing, Configuration and Session Management testing, Data Validation testing, and Denial of Service testing.

In this way, every aspect of the application is tested for delivering the required results. Security testing is critical and if not done in time, can lead to a major mess for the organization in the form of data loss or breach.


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