Security Testing – Why is it so Important for Web Apps?
The prime objective of security testing is to find out how vulnerable a system may be and to determine whether its data and resources are protected from potential intruders.
Today security testing plays the vital role in all the web Applications as the hackers keep inventing new techniques everyday which can be for the money, recognition and even for fun. People with less hacking skills can destroy a website if the application is poorly secured. Poor security of web apps may arise due to the following reasons:
- Large IT companies need to manage huge interconnected networks all the time.
- Pressure from the Top management and shareholders who will concern only about the cash flow and the timely deliverables.
- Budgeting constraints.
If the above reasons sustain, of course it will be a tremendous loss to the organization in the ways – intense damage to the brand name, loss of customer confidence, expensive remediation cost which might be greater than the post production cost.
The above issues could be surpassed by the following basic security requirement tests:
Protection against the disclosure of information to third parties other than the intended recipient.
Ensure that the information received from a system is absolutely correct (transfer of applications/informations between two systems is correct).
This involves confirming the identity of a person, tracing the origins of an object, ensuring the product’s packaging and labeling as it is to be, assuring that a computer program is reliable.
Assuring the availability of information and communications whenever it is expected.
Determine that the requester is allowed to receive a service or do operations, access control.
Ensuring that both the sender and receiver got responses on their sides as it is expected to be (as sent and received, both persons cannot deny their operations and services).
Security Testing Techniques
To overcome the above flaws in security testing the following testing are mandatory.
- Check the web application for XSS
- Identify potential threats on a network
- Password Cracking
- Intrusion detection
- Risk Assessment
- Security Auditing
- Security Scanning
- Vulnerability Scanning
- Fault Code Leaks
Basic method which all the security test engineers follow is that the Penetration method. It is a robust method that is performed to identify whether a hacker can infiltrate into your network or not.
Test engineers who perform security test should understand the specifications and logic implemented in the application and creatively think in order to find the way in which an application can be hacked.
Also when a security tester does the above tests he should be very cautious that the following are not modified:
- Configuration of the application or the server.
- Services running on the server.
- Customer data hosted by the application.
- Better not to perform security tests in live sites.
Even Though the above methods are followed properly we cannot assume that our web apps are secured from the website hackers, after all, website vulnerabilities are normal software functionality issues. So, I conclude that penetration method (test in depth) would solve most of the web application security issues.