In this Security Testing Tutorial, we are going to learn the following
What is Security Testing?
Security testing is a process to determine whether the system protects data and maintains functionality as intended.
It is a type of Software Testing that aims to find out all possible loopholes and weaknesses of the system in the starting stage itself to avoid inconsistent system performance, unexpected breakdown, loss of information, loss of revenue, loss of customer’s trust.
It comes under Non-functional Testing.
We can do this testing using both manual and automated security testing tools and techniques. Security testing reviews the existing system to find vulnerabilities.
Most of the companies test security on newly deployed or developed software, hardware, and network or information system environment. But it’s highly recommended by experts to make security testing as a part of information system audit process of an existing information system environment in detecting all possible security risks and help developers in fixing them.
What are the major focus areas in Security Testing
The following are the four major focus areas to be considered in terms of testing the security of a web application.
Testers have to look for the vulnerabilities in the network infrastructure (resources and policies).
System software security:
Testers have to assess the weaknesses in various software such as operating systems, databases, and other related software on which the application depends on.
Client-side application security:
To make sure that the client browser and related tools are not manipulated.
Server-side application security:
To make sure that the server and its related technologies are robust enough to block any vulnerabilities.
What are the principles of Security Testing?
It aims at covering following basic security components
Why Security Testing is Important?
Software security testing is important due to the increase in the number of privacy breaches that websites are facing today. In order to avoid these privacy breaches, software development organizations have to adopt this testing in their development strategy based on testing methodologies and the latest industry standards.
It is important to adopt a Security Process in each and every phase of SDLC.
- Requirement Phase: Security analysis of all the requirements
- Design Phase: Implementation of Test Plan including Security tests.
- Code & Unit Testing: Security White Box Testing
- Integration Testing: Black Box Testing
- System Testing: Black Box Testing & Vulnerability Scanning
- Implementation of System Testing: Penetration Testing & Vulnerability Scanning
- Support: Impact Analysis
Security tests include testing for vulnerabilities such as
- SQL Injection
- Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
- Session Management
- Broken Authentication
- Cross-Site Request Forgery (CSRF)
- Security Misconfiguration
- Failure to Restrict URL Access
- Secure Data Exposure
- Insecure Direct Object Reference
- Missing Function Level Access Control
- Using Components with Known Vulnerabilities
- Unvalidated Redirects and Forwards
What are the Types of Security Testing
There are seven main types of security testing which are presented below.
In vulnerability scanning (aka vulnerability assessment), we just identify and report the vulnerability using vulnerability scanning tools.
It’s the first step to improve the security of a system.
A vulnerability assessment report should contain the title, the description, and the severity of a vulnerability.
Security scanning is done to find weak points in the security of network and system and also provides solutions to reduce these risks.
In Penetration Testing (aka Pen test), we identify the vulnerabilities and attempt to exploit them using penetration testing tools. We repeat the same penetration tests until the system is negative to all those tests.
Pen testing can be divided into three techniques such as manual penetration testing, automated penetration testing, and a combination of both manual & automated penetration testing.
Read more on Pen Testing Techniques
Risk assessment involves reviewing and analyzing security risks that later will be prioritized as Low, Medium, and High. It also recommends possible ways to prevent risk.
Security auditing is the procedure of defining security flaws. It is an internal inspection of systems to find security flaws. In some cases, an audit is done via line by line inspection of code
Ethical hacking is done on a system with an intent to find and expose security issues in the system. Ethical hacking is done by a white hat hacker. White hat hacker is a security professional who uses their skills in a legitimate manner to reveal the defects of a system.
Read more: Types of Hackers
Posture assessment is a combination of security scanning, ethical hacking, and risk assessment to present the security posture of a system or organization.
Techniques for security testing
Techniques/Methodologies followed in Security Testing are as follows.
Black Box Testing:
In Black Box, testers are authorized to do testing on everything about the network topology and the technology.
Grey Box Testing:
In Grey Box, testers are provided with partial information about the system. It is a hybrid of white and black box models.
Tiger Box Testing:
It is done in a system that has a collection of operating systems and hacking tools. It helps security testers to conduct vulnerabilities assessment and attacks.
Security Testing Tools:
To find the flaws and vulnerabilities in a web application, there are many free, paid, and open-source tools available in the market. We know that the advantage of open source tools is that we can easily customize it to match our requirements. We are here to showcase some of the top 12 open-source security testing tools.
We use these testing tools for checking how to secure a website or web application is.
Open Source Security Testing Tools:
Commercial Security Testing Tools:
To learn more you can also check the OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) site.
We know how important is security testing in current days. It aims to find out all possible loopholes and weaknesses of the system. Testers play a role of an attacker to find out security-related bugs in the system.
If you have any queries, please comment below.