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 an objective to minimize the 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.
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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 that can cut down the effect on the business.
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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 the 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 on 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 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 efforts in the long run and install the much-needed confidence in the testing process.
Evaluate the application manually
The 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 in 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 matured approach towards reviewing the code. Security Testing professionals can leverage these tools to ensure that the code is robust.
Consider Dynamic Analysis approach
Both Static and dynamic analysis approach can be designed to find vulnerabilities with the Web Applications. Dynamic Analysis involves black box testing where tests are performed on an application while it operates.
In this security, test requests are being 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 of 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 security of the application. So, every testing team follows a particular pattern while detecting the flaws with 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.