Best Practices: How to Excel at Application Security Testing

The software industry is experiencing major disruptions due to companies introducing DevOps practices, agile methodologies, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in their processes. However, these changes have effects on other aspects of software testing. Without any doubt, enterprises need to release faster and quality software products to meet customer expectations. The tighter deadlines have huge pressure on development teams, and apps with defects may go into production, which can increase security issues and put businesses at huge risks. In order to fight the sophisticated ways hackers use to break into a business’s security systems, a security testing company needs to remediate the vulnerabilities with their available resources. If an organization has not implemented a security testing strategy yet, it is important to devise one.

In the continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) approach, the DevOps and security teams no longer need to work in silos. Security is a major concern in the DevOps environment and teams have not incorporated app security in their workflows. The current scenario where security is a topmost priority for businesses, it is extremely crucial to have a clear strategy for integrating security into the process.

Let’s have a look at how a business can achieve application security testing:

Using Automation Tools

QA teams need to leverage automated application security testing tools to plug directly into the CI/CD toolchain. They should ensure that there are direct feedback loops that push prioritized vulnerability data back to the developers so that the workflows are not affected due to security issues. This is one of the best ways to ensure security vulnerabilities identified during coding are remediated before the attackers can put an application at risk of being hacked or attacked.

Shift-Left from the Beginning

App security testing before sending the app into deployment is no longer effective as new code is developed faster than ever before. As development teams expand, the need for app security management increases. Security experts need to provide app security tools to the developers and involve in process management right through the beginning of the shift-left approach.

Check Third-Party Code

In a DevOps environment, third-party components can help teams assemble code quickly. But keep in mind that a component with bugs can put the security of an application at risk. However, using third-party components with the right place for testing the code for security purposes can prevent an app from being compromised.

Focus on Static Application Security Testing

QA teams make a major mistake by focusing on unit testing rather than when developers are writing code. This can have an adverse effect on an app’s security. They should practice static application security testing (SAST) earlier in the software development life cycle and try identifying issues while developers are coding in real-time.

Use Abuse Cases in Testing

Make sure that developers think like a malicious hacker when testing an application for security. They need to consider different ways an attacker can abuse access to an app to misuse its data. There is only one way to prevent an application from being misused i.e. anticipate how a malicious attacker may do with a certain feature of an application. Abuse cases can help in detecting issues and can be integrated into the QA testing process with little effort. Abuse cases detect how an application behaves under different use case scenarios, and developers can place the right security checks in place. They can also script these test cases into their QA process along with the other regression tests. QA teams can also leverage and integrate security features in their apps with their respective software frameworks to ensure the smooth and safe functioning of the app.

Shift-Left Soon and Often

With security testing embedded throughout the release lifecycle, organizations can roll-out secure apps. Companies adopting DevOps and agile practices should shift-left soon and often keep their testing efforts more effective. QA teams and developers work in collaboration to ensure the security of the app is not compromised at any cost. As security is a major concern for businesses, it becomes extremely important to reduce the risk and rework for the development and QA teams to save time and cost.

The above mentioned best practices can help businesses achieve secure apps and safe from any security breaches. A security testing company devises a proper security strategy to ensure that user data and information is safe, along with the sense of security of a businesses’ network, apps, and systems.

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