Importance of Application Security Testing in Today's Scenario

According to Cityam.com, “Cyber attacks and high-profile data breaches are the biggest threat to business in 2016, according to a survey of 500 companies from around the world. A whopping eighty-five per cent of risk experts polled by the Business Continuity Institute said they were concerned by the prospect of a cyber attack over the next 12 months, up from 82 per cent last year.

As per a report posted on PropertyCasualty360.com, “Cyber criminals have developed a lucrative, black market enterprise that will rival some major companies when it comes to valuing information that’s been hacked from legitimate sources. Hardly a week goes by without a release about a high-profile cyber attack against a company.


The information posted on various websites clearly indicates that the applications of large, medium and small businesses are vulnerable to targeted security attacks. As a type of non-functional software testing, application security testing helps a business to ensure that its applications are free from all loopholes and weaknesses that make them vulnerable to security risks.

In addition to checking if an application is vulnerable to security attacks, security testing also helps businesses to ensure that only authorized users can login to the website and access the system. There are also a number of reasons why each business needs to perform elaborate application security testing.

Why Each Business Must Perform Elaborate Application Security testing?

Wide Variety of Web Application Attacks
Each web application nowadays is vulnerable to targeted malware attacks. A number of studies have already highlighted that businesses have experienced a wide range of attacks on their websites and web applications. For instance, the web application attack can be authentication, authorization, parameter manipulation, input validation, session management, exception management or logging. So each business must perform a variety of tests to ensure that its application is 100% safe and secure. When a business performs security testing in phase of application development, it becomes easier for it to prevent a wide variety of web application attacks.

Each Application has Flaws
It is not possible for programmers to write flawless code. Often minor flaws in the code make the application to vulnerable to a variety of security attacks. When a business performs elaborate security testing, it becomes easier for it to identify the loopholes or flaws that make its application vulnerable to malware attacks. While performing security testing, the testers can use customized tools and frameworks to identify vulnerabilities like SQL injection, cross-site scripting, parameter manipulation, and session hijacking. Also, they will review the source code of the application thoroughly to identify and remove the weaker pieces of code that make the software vulnerable to security attacks.

Maintain the Application’s Functionality
Recently a denial of service attack compelled a large bank like HSBC to shut down its personal banking website and mobile application for several hours. Despite investing in advanced security systems and tools, businesses often fail to maintain the functionality of their applications in case of targeted security attacks. A business must perform a variety of security tests to know how the application behaves and functions during targeted cyber attacks. The security testing results help the business to take the appropriate steps to make customers access its digital services and applications without any interruption.

Protect Valuable Data
Nowadays, most enterprises allow employees to bring and use their own devices. So the employees use enterprise applications to access a huge amount of valuable business data. At the same time, the businesses also collect, store and share a large amount of sensitive customer data through their applications. The customer data can be used by cyber criminals to execute both financial frauds and identity thefts. While performing application security testing, the testers check if the information system is effective in protecting all data. They further perform tests to identify the information leakage. Based on the security testing results, a business can optimize the security of valuable data using latest encryption techniques, and implementing comprehensive firewall to protect both software and hardware.

Focus on Key Security Concepts
Each business needs to focus on a number of security concepts to protect its applications from targeted malware attacks. While making a security testing strategy, it can always focus on key security concepts like authorization, authentication, integrity, availability, confidentiality and non-repudiation. The security concepts will help the business to ensure that its application is accessed only by authorized users. The testers will use a variety of parameters to check if the application is effective in blocking the unauthorized users and hackers.

Replicate Behaviour of Hackers
A number of studies have highlighted that cyber attacks nowadays are prompted by a variety of motives. So no business can predict the motive of the cyber criminals accurately and in advance. But the testers can play various roles while performing application security testing to replicate the behaviour of cyber criminals. For instance, the software testers can behave like hackers to check if they are able to access the application without authorization. Likewise, they can act like crackers and try to access information by breaking into the system. At the same time, the testing professionals can also act like ethical hackers to perform a wide variety of breaking activities.

However, it is also important for each business to perform different types of application security testing including security scanning, vulnerability scanning, risk assessment, security auditing, penetration testing, and ethical hacking. At the same time, the business can also consider integrating security testing into software development life cycle (SDLC) to assess the security of its applications in each stage of development and deployment.
Importance of Application Security Testing in Today's Scenario Importance of Application Security Testing in Today's Scenario Reviewed by Ellora Sarkar on 01:03:00 Rating: 5