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What’s So Important about Security Testing?

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As technology continues to ingrain itself into nearly all aspects of everyday life, the threat of being hacked – for your personal information or your company’s data – becomes more and more real. In fact, major companies, including Google and Apple, are even offering large cash rewards to hackers who identify security vulnerabilities in their websites and software products.

Initially, the internet was thought of as a brave new world, and now, with the internet everywhere, you could say we’re living in a brave new universe. As a result, cyber security is a major concern for not just individuals, but also businesses who are trusted to securely store data that ranges from customer names and email addresses to even more sensitive information like credit card numbers and trade secrets. These days, data is currency, and plenty of nefarious folks are willing to spend – and risk – almost anything to get it.

With all of this in mind, it’s more critical now than ever before that enterprises implement a robust approach to security testing for their applications, websites, and any other digital product that’s capable of receiving or storing important data from customers, clients, and partners.  Additionally, companies must proactively protect their brand image on social media as customers increasingly look to these channels before making purchases.

 

Successful Security Testing Requires an End-to-End Approach

With so many reasons NOT to ignore security testing, it’s apparent that it has become a necessity for business technologies – but how? What methodology and approach will yield the best results and the fewest number of successful attacks?

In the past, many businesses and their technology partners treated security testing as an afterthought, implementing it only at the end of a project. Today, many vendors, including EPAM, are using an end-to-end methodology when it comes to security testing. We’re helping more and more clients perform security testing throughout the entire Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Here’s our basic project timeline:

  1. Requirements
    •     Outline security requirements for product
    •     Determine security requirements abuse cases and perform ambiguity testing
  2. Architecture & Design
    •     Work with solution architect to determine secure architecture
    •     Evaluate design process against established security criteria
    •     Perform decision analysis and risk analysis
  3. Test Plans
    • Strategize to perform security testing and risk-based security testing based on attack patterns
  4. Code Review
    • Review code and perform static code analysis for common code vulnerabilities
  5. Deployment
    • Perform web/mobile application penetration testing (WAPT)
    • Perform vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT)
    • Expose application’s security controls and network vulnerabilities

While many vendors use security scanners to quickly run through the code review, it’s important not to overlook manual testing to validate every bug, even if you think it might be a false positive. EPAM’s approach is to test everything thoroughly before deployment, then move to penetration testing, which is where we enlist our ethical white hat hackers to exploit the application and identify any real-world vulnerabilities. We run Security Hackathons and create test applications in our Innovation Labs – whatever it takes to keep testers on their toes so they can identify issues before someone else can exploit them. With so much at risk for our clients, the old saying “better safe than sorry” rings true in all of our security testing efforts.

 

Security Testing is Anti-Virus Software for Your Business

If you think of black hat hackers as a virus that could mean massive disruption for your business, then think of security testing as the anti-virus software that keeps everything running smoothly. When you implement this type of testing throughout the entire SDLC, you get enterprise-level security protection with the following benefits:

  • Fixed attack paths are closed on-premises as well as in private and hybrid cloud environments
  • Risk is managed properly across all channels
  • Business continuity is assured without cyber-attack disruptions
  • Attacks on client/customer information are minimized
  • All parties interacting with your business are protected
  • PR and brand image remain uncompromised

So before your world-renowned brand faces a PR nightmare from a devastating cyber-attack, make sure you assess your current testing program and consider implementing end-to-end security testing. And if you need any help, feel free to contact us directly. Remember: it’s not worth the risk.

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