Before launching an application in the market, organizations conduct a series of tests to uncover vulnerabilities. Here is a step-by-step approach to application security testing.
Fremont, CA: Application security testing is essential as the applications store vast amounts of data and handle increased number of online transactions. The process of application security testing ensures that the confidential data is out of the reach of the attackers. Web application security testing is a complicated process; however, if the goals of security testing are pre-determined, then the developer needs to take a measured approach to focus on the most critical applications. Before the testing process, the developer must identify the systems that need to be tested, best-suited tools for the task, the use of vulnerability scanners and scanner validation, and additional manual checks. Here are a few points to consider before commencing security testing.
The IT executives must lay down a framework of what is extremely important. The team must clarify between the internal requirements or the needs of the business partner or customer. The testing of applications, network systems and code, testing procedures, specific expectations must be established in advance. The planning includes requirements for testing for any particular user roles, as well.
• Tool Requirements
Web application security testing requires a web vulnerability scanner such as Netsparker or Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner. However, for authenticated testing, the development team needs an HTTP proxy such as Burp Suite, which enables a developer to manipulate user logins, application workflows, session management, and more. Different tools are available in the market if source code analysis is a requirement; however, it has its repercussions and most of them are cost a lot.
It is easier for a developer to categorize important aspects of application security testing rather than testing every vulnerability. While running vulnerability scans, the scanner must test SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and file inclusion. After running the scan, the IT team might need to create a custom policy based on its application platform and specific requirement.
•Scanner Validation and Manual Checks
The first step the IT team needs to take is to validate all web vulnerability scanner findings to identify what’s exploitable and the essential elements applicable to the business. The additional areas IT leaders must look at are the login mechanism and session manipulation involving passwords, cookies and tokens, password policy exploitation, the user or web browser-specific functionality and flaws, and weaknesses in the application logic that enables the manual manipulation of the business workflow and specific input fields.
•Documenting and Sharing Information
In general, application security testing stops at scanner validation and manual checks. Recording, sharing information, and reporting is one of the most undervalued aspects of a formal application testing program. This process creates a paper trail and demonstrates due care. An official record of all the tests assists stakeholders such as DevSecOps staff, development teams, and executive management for reference. Additionally, sharing the gathered information helps other teams in learning the process, whereas keeping the data as silos is one of the quickest ways to lose support for application security initiatives.
One of the fundamental steps IT leaders must consider is that every environment is different, and every business has its unique needs. Thus, application security testing must not be based on misperceptions and assumptions.