Importance of Testing In Web Applications
The quality assurance staffs, the chief information security officer (CISO), information security managers and developers all face the tremendous pressure in regards to the responsibility to protect web applications and to keep them safe from the menacing hackers and other internal threats. With the advent of the Internet, new threats surfaces every day, overwhelming the existing security teams. The evolving landscape of the web applications makes searching for vulnerabilities a tedious process that is also costly and time consuming. The overlying question is how the security personnel will safeguard sensitive data and ultimately the reputation of the company. Imposing on them is the added responsibility is of not exploiting the internal resources, budget or being forced to use an outsourced company for manual evaluation.
The security teams often levy testing solutions that are ineffective. However, as the market matures, solutions like the white box testing are also seen. It is acute observation that not all security susceptibilities are tracked in the white box technique. The Web Application Design and Development lifecycle composes of the inception, design, development, build, and deployment. During the Software Development Lifecycle Process, it is important to map the security needs keeping in mind some of the factors as stated below:
Security Requirements: From the conception of the software development, the white board phase, the security requirements need to be built in the application design. Specific functional characteristics need to be denoted.
Security controls integrated within the design: The best practices in regards of the vCISO should be integrated within the functional plan, design, and architecture phase. Utilizing the security application checklist will ensure the required security mechanisms are provided and provide a security awareness tool for the developers.
Build: During the construction of the software, the security requirements will govern the development process.
Integration Testing or the “I&T”: Coding practices, design requirements, and security requirements define the characteristics that demonstrate the test cases. The security testing comprises of specific vulnerability tests. This ensures that the application is resistant to common attacks.
Deployment: Carrying forward from the Integration Testing, the tests are carried forward from the development and maintenance phase.
Maintenance: Even if the application has been launched, it is frequently accessed for the susceptibilities.
The two methods of testing are as follows:
White Box Testing
It is the method of testing software, the internal structure, or the workings of an application as opposed to the functionality are tested. In this method, an internal perspective and the programming skills are utilized to design the test cases. Similar to the testing nodes in a circuit, the tester will choose inputs to exercise paths through the code. This will ascertain appropriate outputs. Applied at the unit, integration, and system levels of the software, white box testing is usually done on the unit level.
Black Box Testing
Testing the functionalities of the application as opposed to the internal structure or the workings of a web application, the black box testing can be applied to all levels of software testing.
Application of only the white box testing can project the web application to future vulnerabilities especially in the application portfolio. It is important for the company to implement