Security testing is defined as testing the vulnerabilities and security weaknesses or flaws in the software. It can be done in different areas, which are mentioned below:
- Web application testing
- Web services testing
- Network security testing
- Client-side and server-side security testing
- Mobile application testing
The following are the different types of security testing:
Vulnerability scanning is performed with the help of automated software. In vulnerability scanning, a system is scanned to detect known vulnerability patterns.
Ethical hacking is different from malicious hacking. The purpose of ethical hacking is to expose security flaws in the organization’s system.
Security scanning is the identification of network and system weaknesses. Later on, it provides solutions for reducing these defects or risks. Security scanning can be carried out in both manual and automated ways.
Penetration testing is the simulation of the attack from a malicious hacker. It includes the analysis of a particular system to look for potential vulnerabilities from a malicious hacker that attempts to hack the system.
In risk assessment testing, security risks observed in the organization are analyzed. Risk assessment classifies risks into three categories i.e., low, medium, and high. This testing endorses controls and measures to minimize the risk.
Security auditing and review
Security auditing is an internal inspection of applications and operating systems for security defects. A security audit can also be carried out via line-by-line checking of code.
There are a few principles that need to be remembered while doing web application testing, mobile application testing, or any other security testing on different software or applications.
Availability attribute makes sure the system is always up, that it is responding to resource availability and provides service. This minimum downtime property is made possible by mirroring the primary database and secondary database to each other.
This way, security is always alert for hardware failure and increases the system availability.
Verifies if the user information is correct according to their user groups, special privileges, and restrictions.
Authorization comes into the picture only if the Authentication phase is passed. Authorization is the next step of Authentication. There is a very minor difference between Authentication and Authorization.
While Authentication gives access to the right user, Authorization gives special rights to the user. Every user can be authenticated, but not every user can be authorized.
Authorization acts as Access Control to a user, permitting or restricting them from privileges based on the user roles.
Confidentiality verifies that unauthorized users can’t access the resources meant only for privileged users. It is meant to check information protection at all stages of processing, storage, and display.
It makes sure the information not meant for less privileged users is received to them in encrypted form.
In the Authentication phase, a user’s digital identification is checked. While users log in, the process of checking the correct username, password, sometimes OTP, and captcha also comes under Authentication.
The system provides access to the correct person, the one who can provide the right password or answer the secret question. The kind of access is chosen by the user, be it biometric, RSA secure id, token, or a combination of different authentication types.
This is completed by implementing One Time Password (OTP), RSA key token, encryption, or two-layer authentication.
As important as it is to provide service to the authorized user, equally important is to track the denied access. It is part of the drill to track denied access requests and obtain timestamp and IP addresses.
The system has to be checked by following all the above-mentioned principles to ascertain if the system is resistant enough to bear external or internal attacks.
The below example depicts the most common security attack by hackers - SQL Injection:
SQL injection is a web security vulnerability that allows an attacker to interfere with the queries that an application makes to its database. It generally allows an attacker to view data that they cannot retrieve. This might include data belonging to other users, or any other data that the application itself can access. In many cases, an attacker can modify or delete this data, causing persistent changes to the application's content or behavior.
A successful SQL injection attack can result in unauthorized access to sensitive data, such as passwords, credit card details, or personal user information.
Examples of SQL injection attack
- SELECT * FROM items WHERE owner = 'wiley' AND itemname = 'name' OR 'a'='a'
- SELECT * FROM items WHERE 'a'='a';
- Select * from User where (Username = “” or 1=1) AND (Password=”” or 1=1).
There are several tools available in the market for security testing as listed below:
Nowadays, security testing is playing a vital role in the market and every company/client is interested in investing in security testing. This is essential to make their software and applications safe and to provide a protected environment to their customers so that they can enjoy customer success, trust, and brand reputation.