Picture what will happen when you miss a major security loophole and release your web application without proper software testing. It will lead to a huge blunder and various security attacks can reveal critical confidential information about your app. Other than financial loss your application will crash if essential measures are not taken at the right time.
That’s where web application security testing comes into play. So, Web Application Security Testing involves the process of inspecting the security of web applications to detect the vulnerabilities that can be affected by malicious attacks.
In this blog, we will learn about the importance of web application security testing, different types, and other information to develop resistant, robust, and reliable web applications.
What is Web Application Security Testing?
Web application security testing requires assessing the deployment environment, code, and architecture to detect security issues in the web applications. Both automated and manual approaches are implemented to detect potential risks including SQL injection, cross-site scripting, and other malicious file execution.
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Web application security testing is a crucial part of any software testing company’s security tactic. As the businesses are shifting towards the cloud, it is essential to safeguard data and comply with the regulations.
Testing the web application consistently and regularly is important to detect cyber attacks and vulnerabilities. It’s because web applications are the main entry points leading to critical damage in servers.
To understand more about web application security testing we also need to know about its benefits. Let’s look at the advantages.
Fixing the security issues at the early stages is considered highly effective rather than waiting for any data breach to occur. Resolving the security issues in the developmental phase is less expensive compared to the release time. Thus, preventing IP theft can help save substantial costs.
One of the major benefits of web application security testing is that it promotes the best performance. It enables you to resolve all the issues and other inefficient processes causing delays and errors. Also, it helps in complying with the industrial regulations which every organization must follow.
Users in the market are very much aware of their safety and privacy. Thus, prioritizing security is the best way to attract your target audience. Showcase your commitment to protecting your customers’ data will eventually help you earn a good reputation in the market to begin with.
Web application security testing also helps in identifying potential vulnerabilities. It allows you to take immediate actions to mitigate risks and reduce security issues significantly.
Software testing companies in India implement different types of web application security testing. Let’s look at them now.
Dynamic application security testing comprises the process of testing a web app from outside. This process is also called black-box testing where testers need to implement an attacker’s perspective to identify security issues.
- DAST is a non-intrusive process as it doesn’t require access to the source code. You can operate it externally.
- It is highly effective in recognizing common vulnerability issues such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection, cross-site request forgery, along with broken authentication.
- You can operate DAST tools for both large and small variety of projects which suit a variety of projects.
Static Application Security Testing is also called white-box testing. In this process, QA professionals examine the byte code and source code without executing. The main aim of SAST is to highlight potential backdoors, coding practices, and other security issues.
- SAST is mainly performed during the development process which allows developers to find and fix the security issues at the earliest.
- It analyzes the source code and checks the insecure functions, coding patterns, and other security weaknesses.
- SAST tools help generate detailed reports that list specific vulnerabilities, and security and modify the application design.
Interactive Application Security Testing (IAST) is a security testing approach combining the techniques of SAST and DAST. The process of IAST is also referred to as gray box testing which requires monitoring and analyzing applications in real-time.
- It generates least false positive alerts.
- IAST tools provide real-time feedback to the security teams and developers enabling faster resolution of issues.
- This method is effective for applications that are evolving continuously, and consisting of complex architectures.
The main goal of a security review is to assess the web application including its design, source code, design, and other operational environment. It requires in-depth analysis by integrating manual and automated testing methods.
- The security reviews are categorized based on the potential impact and severity of the system.
- It helps in collecting information about the target systems including source code, architecture diagrams, configurations, and other relevant documentation.
- Follow-up assessment is essential to validate the identified vulnerabilities and security issues in the system.
Scanning the vulnerabilities is a proactive approach to assess the potential security issues without hampering them. It is one of the crucial components of cybersecurity strategy to maintain security hygiene in the system.
- There are automated tools that utilize predefined databases for known vulnerabilities and identify issues.
- Vulnerability scanning should be performed on a periodic and regular basis.
- After completing the scanning, it generates a report detailing the identified vulnerabilities and recommends remediation steps.
As we have discussed the importance and types, it is also important to have a detailed understanding of web application security tools. Have a look at the following.
Veracode enables you to identify and resolve security vulnerabilities in the software. This tool does a thorough evaluation of the applications across the organization including external libraries and developed programs. It also provides remediation reports that emphasize the repairs to fix the flaws according to the risk levels and business goals. Hence, optimizing software quality and expenditure becomes much easier.
Burp Suite is an extensive security testing platform with a wide range of automated features. It creates a few false alarms and is very simple to use. Its scanning feature helps you to capture even those parts that can get overlooked. Thus, you can easily meet your goals of web application security testing with the help of Burp Suite.
OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy) is an open-source web application security testing tool that removes security vulnerabilities in web applications. It is a proxy server that allows users to inspect the traffic between the target web application and the web browser. OWASP ZAP also supports automated scripting to automate tests and other repetitive tasks.
When it comes to commercial security testing of web applications. Acunetix is considered the best tool. Various companies widely use this tool to proactively assess and optimize the security of web applications. It comprises features of automatic crawling, scheduled scans, and vulnerability scanning. Furthermore, Acunetix also offers significant resources and support for the users to make tutorials and documentation.
Fortify can be easily integrated with various CI/CD tools which makes it easier to automate security scans during development. It allows users to configure security policies and curate the scanning process as required. Fortify is a well-established solution that offers multiple testing methodologies and extensive reporting features.
In conclusion, web application security testing is one of the emerging pillars of the current condition of cybersecurity. As we have already discussed, security is not just a one-time thing but requires continuous monitoring and strategies to prevent potential security damage.
Also, web application security testing comprises various phases such as scanning, scoping, reporting, analysis, etc. Therefore, integrating the CI/CD pipeline will help in detecting vulnerabilities before reaching the final phase.