Security testing refers to the entire spectrum of testing initiatives that are aimed at ensuring proper and flawless functioning of an application in a production environment. It aims at evaluating various elements of security covering integrity, confidentiality, authenticity, vulnerability and continuity. By focusing on the various layers of an information system across infrastructure, database, network and access channels like mobile, security testing looks at making the applications safe and sound and free from vulnerabilities.
Today, with more and more information systems moving the mission critical path than ever before, even a minor failure in one system can have far reaching ripple effects on multiple systems leading to total failure. The ability for manipulators to crack into the various layers of an application has also enhanced exponentially, making it difficult to make systems fail safe. The applications on cloud and on other similar channels, coming into being have further compounded this problem. Having security testing concepts applied across multiple layers of an application is the only way that organizations can carry out threat management and remediation, vulnerability assessment thereby helping to secure applications.
A comprehensive security testing framework deals with validation across all layers of an application. Starting with analysis and evaluation of the security of the infrastructure of the application, it moves further covering the network, database and application exposure layers. While application and mobile testing serves to evaluate security at these levels, cloud penetration testing exposes the security chinks in the armour, when the application is hosted in the cloud. These testing concepts make use of a combination of automated scanner tools that evaluate lines of code for security anomalies and penetration testing that simulates attack by unintended access channels.
Vulnerability assessment forms an important component of security testing. Through this, the organization can evaluate their application code for vulnerabilities and take remedial measures for the same. Recently, many of the software development organizations have been making use of secure software development life cycle methodologies to ensure identification and rectification of vulnerability areas early on in the application development process.
In today’s interconnected world with consumers depending all the more on online channels to make transactions, any security breaches, however major or minor it may be, leads to loss in customer confidence and ultimately revenue. Further, the security attacks have also grown exponentially, both in quality as well as impact potential. In such a scenario, security testing is the only discipline that helps an organization identify where they are vulnerable and take the corrective measures to prevent as well rectifies the gaps in security. More and more organizations are getting the security audits done and testing measures in order to ensure that their mission i.e. critical applications are shielded from any breaches or unintended penetration. The more extensive an organization’s security testing approaches are, the better are its chances of succeeding in an increasingly threatening technology landscape.
Data security measures enable an organization to avoid the pitfalls arising from accidental disclosures of sensitive data. Many times, such leakages cost organizations dearly, on account of legal complications arising due to sensitivity of information. Data security measures reduce the compliance cost by simplifying data audit mechanisms and automating them. They also enable the organization to ensure integrity of data by preventing unauthorized usage and modifications. In today’s well connected world, adoption of robust data security processes and methodologies also ensure that the organization is well aligned to the legal and compliance standards across countries – a key decisive factor when it comes to operating across continents.