Basics of Security Testing

01 February 2021 at 10:00 by ParTech Media - Post a comment

We live in an era where trillions of dollars are made by businesses using software and applications at their core. But this dependency paves the way for a huge drawback - Application and Data security. With so many complex applications, data security has become a real threat for businesses in today’s era.

So what can you do to keep your applications safe? You can always implement a bulletproof security testing strategy for your applications. This is the topic we are going to take a look at in this blog post today. We are going to start with what is security testing and will also see the different types of security testing.

Table of Contents

  1. What is security testing?
  2. Where does security testing start?
  3. What if I don’t implement security testing?
  4. Types of security testing
  5. Different security tests in different stages of the application developmental process
  6. Different security tests in different stages of the application developmental process
  7. Verdict

What is security testing?

Security testing is the process of testing your software and applications to determine any vulnerabilities in the system. These vulnerabilities may include -

  • Bugs
  • Weakness in the firewall
  • Backdoors in the code

Performing a well-developed security test will let you know if the data of your application or organization is safe from external attacks and threats. When you find any errors, you can send your developers to fix them by upgrading subsystems or making some changes in the code. At the end of the day, security testing will help you solve major problems or loopholes before someone decided to take advantage of it.

Where does security testing start?

Security testing starts at the developmental stage where you will gather the requirements for your systems and applications. Now you may wonder why should you start testing so early?

Testing early allows you to find any bugs in the system before the application is put into mass usage. This can help you save hundreds of dollars in time and money when the application is finally developed.

The End goal of your security testing procedure is to identify the vulnerability of your application to external threats. Running your tests from the foundational stage will make sure that each stage is free of any errors. When you find an error in a certain stage of the development process, you can be sure that it had something to do with that stage.

An important tip is to always have a security testing methodology in place with your development process. Every stage of your development must also be accompanied by a security testing procedure at the end. This makes sure that even the smallest of errors is corrected at the root levels. This will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

What if I don’t implement security testing?

As we have stated before, failing to implement a security testing procedure can be detrimental to the health of your organization.

Let’s consider some examples to get a better idea of this situation

  • An ERP system is insecure if a DEO (data entry operator) can generate ‘Reports’ and manipulate it.
  • An online Shopping bill payment system is not secure if the customer’s Credit Card Detail is not encrypted
  • A database management software is insecure if a hacker from a competitor can log into it and modify your data.

These are some of the scenarios which can occur in the absence of tested security testing protocol.

When you don’t have a security testing protocol in place, here’s what you can lose

  • Sensitive data
  • When a customer hears about a data breach in your organization, they lose trust in your business.
  • When they lose trust, they look for other organizations who offer your solutions.
  • When they switch to other organizations, you lose revenue
  • When you lose revenue, you have a hard time running your business.
  • Eventually, you might permanently lose your business.

So the next time you are thinking about going loose on your software testing procedure - Think again.

Types of security testing

If you want to develop an application that’s truly secure, here are 6 tests that you need to perform -

Vulnerability Scanning

You can use an automated system to scan for vulnerabilities and loopholes in the system. All you need to do is place your application inside the system and hit ‘ RUN ‘. This automated system will also show how your countermeasure fare against the threat that has taken place.

Penetration Testing

This test involves the simulation of an external hacker or attacker. You can use an automated system to perform a penetration test on your applications and operating systems. With penetration testing, you can check the vulnerabilities of your application to external threats.

Security Risk Assessment

In this test, you will test and analyze your application for security risks. After review, the risks are classified into -

  • Low risk
  • Medium risk
  • High risk

This classification is based on their levels of severity and risk mitigation strategies. The final goal of this method is to identify risks and suggest the right mitigation strategies for them on priority.

Ethical Hacking

This stage involves the use of ethical hackers to attack your system and simulate the attack of external attacks. You can hire one or a group of ethical hackers to identify security flaws and potential threats in your application.

Information Security Auditing

This step involves the inspection of your application by measuring it against a predefined set of criteria. This is performed frequently to make sure that all your applications perform without opening any flaws in the system.

Access Control Testing

Finally, we have a very important test that should be performed by all types of organizations. Access control testing allows you to check if the application under test can be accessed by personnel outside your organization. The Final objective of this test is to make sure that your application conforms to the security policies and no external personnel can access it. The end goal in simple words - If you don’t have a password, you should not be able to access it.

Different security tests in different stages of the application developmental process

What are the black and white box testing methodologies?

As we have mentioned above, there are a number of methodologies followed in Security Testing. Black Box testing and Grey Box testing are some of the famous methods used in the process of Security testing.

Black box testing

It is a commonly used testing method in which the tester has no knowledge of internal code structure, implementation details and internal paths in the application. The main goal of this test is to test the input and output capabilities of the software/application.

White Box Testing

Like black box testing, the testers in this procedure, test the output and input capabilities of your software/ application. But the testers in this method are completely aware of ( or have full knowledge ) about the internal code, structure, implementation details and internal paths of the application under test.


We live in a world where data is becoming a very important asset for a business. Any data breaches are not taken lightly by consumers and organizations are forced to pay the price for it.

So it’s just become mandatory to develop your applications and software with security tests as part of their development process. Security tests will make sure that your application is always the best and sensitive data is always safe.