Security Testing of Web Applications

A number of studies have indicated that each website nowadays is vulnerable to targeted malware attacks regardless of its size and popularity. Likewise, many cyber criminals nowadays distribute malware through popular websites. That is why; each business needs to ensure that the web applications launched by it is 100% secure.

As a type of non-functional software testing, security testing helps QA professionals to check if a web application is vulnerable to malware attacks. Also, the security testing results helps businesses to assess the how the application behaves in the presence of malware, and if it is effective in keeping all business data and user information secure.

The testers further perform a variety of tests to cover key security concepts like integrity, confidentiality, authentication, authorization, availability and non-repudiation. They can further use advanced tools to identify all vulnerabilities by performing security tests repeatedly. There are also a number of reasons why each organization must focus on web application security testing.

Why Businesses Must Focus Extensively on Web Application Security Testing?

No Piece of Code is Flawless

While developing a web application, the developers write both strong and weak pieces of code. Often the weaker pieces of code make the website vulnerable to targeted malware attacks. As part of security testing, the QA professionals review the source code of the web application thoroughly. They identify and eliminate the weaker pieces of code to protect the application from evolving malware attacks.

Difficult to Predict the Motive of Hackers

The motive behind individual malware attacks differ. Some cyber criminals hack websites to access valuable business data and sensitive customer information, while others hack websites to distribute malware or display propaganda messages. There are also many instances where cyber criminals hacked websites only for fun. So no business can predict and identify the motive behind a malware attack accurately. But it can always perform elaborate security testing to keep its website 100% secure.

Loads of Software Vulnerability

Often vulnerabilities in a websites make it easier for cyber criminals to execute malware attacks. They often take advantage of the loopholes to execute SQL injection, cross site scripting and remote file inclusion. They also use new techniques to access the business data and customer information through the vulnerability in the website. A business must perform elaborate security testing to identify and repair all vulnerabilities in its website.

Regular Brute Force attacks

According to many studies, the instances of brute force attacks or exhaustive key search are increasing steadily. The trial and error method helps cyber criminals to access and take control of a website using automated software. The software executes scripts continuously to crack encrypted data by generating many passwords and similar values of desired data. The brute force attacks make it easier for hackers to access the passwords and pins stored in an encrypted format. When a web application is tested thoroughly, it can easily prevent the brute force attacks and keep all information inaccessible.

Eliminate Chances of Interruptions and Shut down

There are many instances when large companies have to shut down their websites due to targeted security attacks. Despite investing in advanced security tools, businesses often fail to protect their websites from evolving malware attacks. But a business can always perform elaborate security testing to ensure that the website is 100% secure. It can further identify and eliminate all vulnerabilities in the web application to eliminate chances of malware attacks in the longer run. Hence, security testing of web application is essential to gain the trust of visitors and make the website function smoothly.

Identify Critical Risks in Advance

Each business must take effective security decisions to boost its brand and goodwill in the longer run. But each business must identify all critical risk in advance to take better security decisions. While performing security testing, the QA professionals can identify the critical risks through threat modelling. Many studies have proved the effectiveness of threat modelling to identify major security flaws in a web application. In addition to identifying the potential security threats and malware attacks, threat modelling further helps testers to know the conditions that lead to these attacks. So a business can always perform additional tests to eliminate all potential security threats.

One of my personal blog i have written Security Testing — Why is it important for apps?. However, it is also important for the businesses to perform security tests throughout the software development lifecycle. The continuous security testing will make it easier for the QA professionals to identify all vulnerabilities and get their repaired without any delay. It is also important for the business to plan the web application security testing in advance, and focus on all key areas to make web security assessments more effective.