Nowadays security and information protection lie at the core of every effective business strategy, as cybercrime continues to be one of the greatest threats to mankind. This impact is reflected in a number of shocking statistics. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the overall global cost of cybercrime damages is estimated to be around $6 trillion annually by 2021 (twice as much as in 2015). Modern software security needs comprehensive approaches and ongoing activity within all development phases: from initiation to product launch. And that’s when security testing can become a real game-changer. This service can help you protect your digital assets from intruders and comply with industry regulations. Wondering how? We’ll tell you.
What is Security Testing?
Security testing is the process of evaluating and testing the information security of applications, networks or IT systems to uncover hidden vulnerabilities and ensure that everything is protected from potential intruders.
Companies in progress of developing new products should test the security level of their software before the product reaches the market. Most commonly, security testing is performed right after the functional testing and before the load testing stage in the software development lifecycle. It can prevent your business from serious security breaches, information losses, and reputational damages which may cost you thousands of dollars and weeks of hard work to get everything back on track.
Global information security survey 2017-2018
Who Needs Security Testing?
Any organization which directly manages and processes data can find it beneficial to embed security testing into their lifecycle.
Performing security testing at least once or twice a year is recommended to ensure that your company is protected from breaches.
Generally, the frequency and complexity of security testing procedures depend on the amount of critical data you operate with and the regulatory nature of your business.
For example, service providers operating in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and banking need to conduct monthly penetration tests to ensure their compliance. Security testing enables them to meet the obligations of industry's infosec standards and regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, FISMA, PCI, and ISO 27001 and avoid the heavy fines associated with non-compliance.
Objects of Security Testing
The most frequently analyzed objects of security testing are the following:
- Web application
- Mobile app
- Company's network
- Company's staff members
Security Testing Services
Penetration testing is one of the most efficient security assessment approaches since it models the actions of a potential intruder to simulate a malicious attack.
During pentesting, the analyst examines a particular system for potential vulnerabilities through an external hacking attempt. These vulnerabilities can be caused by code mistakes, software bugs, service configuration errors, insecure settings, or operational weaknesses.
Experts recommend to conduct regular Pen Tests at least twice a year or immediately after the introduction of new features or any significant changes in the systems. A penetration test will provide you with detailed information about identified vulnerabilities, their validation, and any potential impacts on system functioning and performance.
Penetration Test Benefits
Vulnerability assessment is performed with the help of automated software to scan a system against known vulnerability signs. Security analysts may also use manual techniques to identify and measure the severity levels of security defects within a set timeframe.
This process helps companies detect weaknesses in their software in a timely manner and support their infrastructure before it can be exploited by the hacker.
What Does the Process Look Like?
Phase 1: Initiation
The process begins with the formation of a security testing team and approval of the test parameters: test scope, test type, test vector, test channels, and attacker’s profile.
Phase 2: Passive information gathering
During this stage, security analysts gather information on the legal, regulatory, and cultural conditions of the infrastructure being tested both manually and with the help of data mining techniques.
Phase 3: Active information gathering
Later, the team identifies, analyzes, and validates potential vulnerabilities in the information systems, using manual techniques and vulnerability scanning tools.
Phase 4: Information analysis
Finally, security analysts assess and prioritize the risks to provide practical recommendations for their elimination.
Phase 5: Demonstration of results
The team then presents their findings and demonstrates an Action Plan that includes step-by-step remediation activities.
The Phases of Security Testing
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Security Testing Methodologies
Black Box Security Testing
This type of testing resembles a real-life hacking experience where the penetration tester receives zero background information about the object and is limited in time. Black box testing allows you to find difficult and hidden vulnerabilities as well as solve maximum problems with minimum efforts.
If you've never tested the security of your systems - performing a black box test will allow you to uncover more security gaps than other methodologies.
White Box Security Testing
In this case, the penetration tester is given extensive information about the environments before testing. Experts recommend switching to white box testing after or in combination with black box testing, to maximize the efficiency of all testing efforts.
Gray Box Security Testing
Gray box testing is authenticated testing at a user level, and it is widely used for web applications that require user access. In many cases, a gray box test can produce as much data as a white box test.
Key Benefits of Security Testing
Protection against malicious attacks
Security testing will help you identify potential security gaps, system weaknesses and protect the confidentiality of your sensitive data from cybercriminals. You’ll get a chance to remediate any shortcomings before an actual attack occurs and protect your market reputation as a reliable service provider.
Reduced remediation costs
Recovering from a security breach takes a lot of time and can cost thousands or even millions of dollars. According to Business Insider, US companies spend 46 days recovering from a cyber attack at an average cost of $21,155 per day. This includes regulatory fines, expenses for customer protection programs, the loss of trusted customers, and business operability.
Security testing is a proactive solution for preventing the financial loss of a breach while protecting your company and its reputation. Also, many companies use special software to restore data at different devices. For example, data recovery for Mac is a common procedure for many companies.
Better understanding of your company's network
Regular security tests will allow you to have a clear understanding of all controls and regulations that your company needs to protect the confidentiality of its valuable assets and maintain high security standards.
Overall, security testing has the power to protect your valuable assets against malicious attackers and provide solutions for their timely elimination. The only challenge remains in finding qualified security experts for your company.
We, at Daxx, can provide you with a team of top-notch certified security analysts that can test your product, network or system against any potential vulnerabilities while helping to ensure your business continuity and maintain your customers' trust in the long run.
Find out more about our Security Testing Services here.