Application Security Testing Strategies to Prevent Data Leaks

Posted By :Rohitesh Rawat |31st August 2019

In the modern digital world, the significance of data is immense.
Data is food for new advancements in the AI domain and all the automation processes.

 

Huge amount of data is being generated every day, and handling that data is becoming a challenge that needs to be addressed immediately. Improper management of the data is the primary reason for the breaches happening across organizations worldwide.

 

Taking an example, Facebook: they failed to encrypt the passwords of more than 500 million users.
These passwords were stored in plain text. They were accessible to the majority of its employees, and Facebook was clueless about it.
This data breach revealed incompetent of Facebook's security testing methodology and also compromised the privacy of hundreds of millions of users.


Pitfalls that organizations need to avoid in the process of fortifying an application with software security testing:

1. Most important of all is the lack of application security strategy. A well-documented plan is required for proper execution. It is like following a dark path, in the absence of a strategy, without knowing if the application will tread smoothly or hit a bump and stumble over. They need to strategize a thorough, measurable action plan that aligns with the overall goals and makes optimal use of the available assets.

 

2. Next is the failure to adhere to the legalities involved in a software development process. Legal compliance enables an organization to safeguard its intellectual properties such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. It also equips them with a strong foundation in case of a confidentiality breach.

 

3. The non-existence of a well-maintained application inventory may also prove expensive and dangerous.  Tracking of expired SSL certificates is facilitated by application inventory, mobile APIs, and updated software versions.
This allows organizations to get rid of old systems and stay compliant with GDPR and relevant regulations.


Building the Strategy:

 

1. Scrutinize the process:
In order to formulate a plan for the future, it is wise to take a step back and go over the existing processes and check if the processes are faulty or inefficient.
Gaps and weak links should be identified by reviewing the development cycle, which might attract a potential threat.

2. Automate wherever possible:

Automating the iterative steps improves efficiency.
Automated tools pick up what is missed by the human eye. It becomes easier to examine the code and initiate counter actions to mitigate the vulnerabilities before deployment.

3. Do not underestimate manual testing:

Manual testers bring creativity to the table which automated tools cannot. Scanning tools often miss several authentication and authorization-related bugs, making the tools incapable of protecting the application from vulnerabilities on their own. Organizations should take advantage of human intelligence expertise.

4. Establish metrics:

Establishing metrics is important to measure the effectiveness of the established processes in dealing with vulnerabilities. Organizations get aware of the key areas where they need to improve to further toughen their risk management prowess after assessing these metrics.

 

Regular monitoring and a dynamic testing strategy should be followed to tackle these constant concerns of Security threats.


About Author

Rohitesh Rawat

Rohitesh is an experienced QA Engineer along with skills in Project Management. Apart from that, he loves to travel.

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