security code review
With new security threats and malware emerging at frequent intervals, it has become essential for businesses to provide comprehensive security to their web applications. Most frameworks and IDEs provide a number of features to help programmers build secure applications. But the programmers still need to perform a variety of tests to ensure that the application can combat cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, SQL injection, and similar threats successfully. Often the security of the software is impacted due to presence of insecure pieces of code in the code base.
So many testers nowadays review the source code of the product to identify the insecure pieces of code during production phase. The security code review process aims to identify the insecure piece code. Once the insecure piece of code is identified, programmers can rework on the code and eliminate the potential vulnerability that may affect the security of the software. An enterprise can further reap a number of benefits by reviewing the source code of the software at various phases of development.
5 Reasons Why Testers Must Perform Security Code Review
1) Code is reviewed by an Independent Tester
While writing code, programmers often focus on the software’s features and functionality. So they forget to include the controls required to make the application secure and inaccessible. The security code review process requires presence of two distinct roles. A programmer will be responsible for writing the piece of code, whereas another tester will review the code, identify the defects, and report the bugs to the programmer. The two professionals will coordinate with each other to ensure that the piece of code is secure and flawless.
2) Early Detection of Bugs
Many studies have highlighted that a business can save both time and cost by getting the software tested during various phases of development. The security code review process commences as soon as the programmers writes a piece of code completely. After completing coding, he will get the code reviewed by the tester, and make appropriate changes to the code according to the defects reported by the tester. So the bugs or flaws affecting the software’s security can be identified and fixed without any delay. The secure code generated during the production will help businesses to avoid additional testing time and cost.
3) Tools to Speed up Security Code Review Process
The testers can further use a variety of tools to review the source code of an application without putting any extra time and effort. They also have option to use specialized tools carry on coding and code review at a time. For instance, they can integrate the code review tools in the IDE, and perform code writing and review simultaneously. The self-code review makes it easier for programmers to generate 100% secure code without putting any extra time and effort. The code can be further reviewed by independent testers to identify and eliminate all flaws in the code.
4) Meet Compliance Requirements
Nowadays the security features of a software application affect its popularity and profitability. So many enterprises want the software to comply with certain security standards. Certain compliances like PCI requires applications to use 100% secure code. When a business performs security code review during the development phase, it can easily meet the compliance requirements and obtain the industry certification. The code review process will further help the business to launch certified software applications within a shorter amount of time.
5) Option to Combine Human Efforts and Technology
To deliver a secure application, each business has to deploy both experienced testers and advanced tools. The security code review process enables enterprises to combine human efforts with the right technology. The testers can always use tools to review larger pieces of code quickly and effectively. The tools will highlight the possible issues that make the code insecure. At the same time, they can assess the issues highlighted by the tools manually to identify the blind-spots left unidentified by the tools. Also, they can assess each issue contextually to find out and report the real issues to the programmer.
A business can further effectuate the security code review process by accelerating the review schedules. Further, it must include secure code review in the test plan to ensure that no piece of code remain untested during the development phase. The security code review methodologies also need to be reviews periodically to protect the software from latest security threats and attacks.
Security testing of the developed applications is very important in order to protect the data saved in it from the hands of the hackers. Following are the list of best security testing tools which you can use to make your software a better and more secure one for your customer’s benefit.
- Acunetix: Acunetix is one of the best possible security testing tools available in the market which is available in a paid as well as a free version. This tool not only helps in hacking the system in order to check the security level but also has many additional security features and generates a detailed report.
- Aircrack-ng: Aircrack-ng is the next security testing tool to be featured on our list. This tool comes with a number of various features that helps in checking the security of the application under various circumstances.
- Cain & Abel: Cain & Abel or just Cain allows the tester to penetrate into the database of a particular application to reveal the various data stored in it. It is primarily a password recovery tool which is more or less a script kiddle but is an awesome tool as far as security testing is concerned.
- Ettercap: Most often, Ettercap is used along with Cain & Abel as an additional security testing tool. However Ettercap by itself is pretty good at analysing the network being tested and the best part about this tool is that it comes for free and has an open source.
- John The Ripper: John The Ripper was primarily created for security testing of applications which runs on UNIX. But with time it has been developed to work on all the major operating systems. This free security testing tool is used by most professionals to break into a system.
- Metasploit: If you are looking for a security testing tool which is used by majority of the ethical hackers available, then look into Metasploit. Developed by Rapid7, this tool provides important information about the security vulnerability issues of the application to the said tester.
- Nessus: Nessus, which is available in both free and paid versions, is one of the top notch tools for vulnerability testing of a software. It helps in checking the loopholes which can be exploited by the various hackers as well as the misconfigurations which can be used for a dictionary attack.
- Nmap: Unlike most of the security testing tools available in the market, Nmap specializes in sending small packets of information regarding a particular breach in the security system of an application to the tester. The security testing tool which has been around for a long time is one of the most advanced testing tools used by the testers.
- Kismet: Combine the likes of a sniffer, a wireless network detector and an intrusion detection security testing tool and you get Kismet. The fact that it tests and sends reports to the tester in a passive manner makes Kismet better than other testing tools. It checks the wireless access points to generate the reports.
- Wireshark: If your are on the lookout for a security testing tool which will help you to put your application on a promiscuous mode to check in all the traffics then try out Wireshark. The tool is power packed with multiple features like capturing data from networks that are live.
These are some of the top notch security testing tools which can be utilised by pen testers in order to detect the glitches that can make your application vulnerable in the hands of hackers.
When it comes to the development of a software, its success depends hugely on the software testing lifecycle that is applied. The software testing procedure includes various processes which check the performance of the software under various conditions, reaction of the software under unfavourable conditions, security management of the software and much more. The results generated by the testing procedures helps in resolving the various bugs or the issues that may hamper the quality of the software and make it less popular. Rectifying these glitches will help you to make the software a better one and more acceptable to your customers.
Of the various types of testing procedures available, security testing of the software is one of the most important as it checks the developed software for the loopholes which can be utilized by the hackers to break into the system which can prove to be hazardous. Most of the software is used for storing some kind of personal data belonging to the customers and hacking into these systems may prove to be hazardous.
This makes selection of the perfect security tool absolute must for your organization. The internet as well as the various software testing companies are flooded with various types of security testing tools which does a marvellous job. However, depending on the type of software you are developing and the purpose for which it is going to be used will define the kind of software testing tools that will be employed to test it.
Selection of the right security testing tool for your organization is not a matter of joke. However you could ask certain questions which will ease the process to a certain limit.
- What is the base of the software that is being developed and how is the architecture of the same planned?
- Which development stage is the software currently in?
- What kind of security testing are you interested in? Do you want a basic scan or a complete penetration test?
While these questions are going to take you through to a certain extent into the selection process, you must keep in mind that a single tool will never suffice to completely check the security issues of the software. You have to engage various security testing tools for checking the various vulnerability of the software under consideration. One of the main problems faced during the selection of the security testing tools for your organization is the fact that they will not cover all the vulnerability issues that are cropping up each day. Even more problem occurs with the software which are open source in nature because they can be accessed by anyone and everyone. As more and more organizations are opting towards the development of open source so only a set of tools will not suffice to check the security issues of the same. In order to prevent the security issues like cross-site scripting or SQL injection attacks you need to imply a set of extensive experiments which will be coupled by manual checking of the source code at regular intervals. The testing tools are a great way to check the various security testing issues that are prevailing but in case of open source software, special care will be needed.
We hope that this article has aided you in the process of identification of the best security testing tools for your software. However, it is best to take the help of a security testing expert if you want to make your software full proof against the various techniques of the hackers to break into your system.
Security testing is very much self-explanatory. By the name itself one can figure out that it relates to a technique to strengthen the security. But is Security testing just a testing to protect data and information functionally?
It’s much more than that. Security testing hosts a whole lot of functionality. How well do we know about Security testing? Do we know enough about it? Well. It’s time for us to know about it since in this tech age, we are vulnerable to various breaches.
Security testing basically works on 6 principles:
These principles form the corner stone for any security test. In order to determine whether your security testing is successful or not. You have to rely on these principles. Sounds similar to that of resource management, but are quite the opposite.
- Confidentiality is a process where things are kept private. Not everyone or perhaps no third party is aware of the test. The matter is kept confidential within an organization.
- Integrity refers to protecting information so the unauthorized parties aren’t able to modify it.
- Authenticity showcases the legitimacy of any desired software.
- Authorization cannot be defined better than the access control which is under the hands of a particular individual.
- Availability refers to the assurance for the provision of information & communication services as and when required.
- Non- Repudiation is to avoid any conflict between sender and receiver on the basis of ultimate denial. That it when the Non-Repudiation principle comes into play.
The aforementioned principles were the basics of security testing. Let’s learn more about the process.
Every application that has been created has been done so with the help of a database. Structured Query Language (SQL) forms the basis for this. Now when all the above principles fall short somewhere. The language becomes vulnerable to the unauthorized sources.
Now this takes place due to several reasons. One of the major reason is an organization does not focus on the security aspects as much as it does on the other aspects such as infrastructure and access codes. The shortfall in the security aspects leads to its breach.
What is a Security Test?
Security Test is overly a process which is concerned with the testing of the security. And to ensure that the test turns out to be successful. There are four major steps to take care of.
- Data Access
- Network Security
In order for any modern day organization to work properly. It is pretty much mandatory for them to get these four things to a perfect place. A lack of any of these may cause serious concerns over the security of the database of a particular organization.
Data Access refers to the accessibility of any data. There are only a few people or a particular individual that is allowed or should be to access any important database. The data if falls in the hands of an unauthorized individual. It may lead to misuse which can turn out to be a horror for any organization.
Network security refers to the level at which a network is secured. There are various levels in network security. The important the data, the higher should be the level of network security.
Authentication refers to authenticity of any program. A stage where certain information is revealed to make sure that people are aware about who is heading or owning a particular program.
Encryption is some kind of common information. For example: specific password. Encryption is the last step of a security test and indeed the most pivotal one. If there is a short come in any of these parameters the test may turn out to be unsuccessful. In order to ensure smoothness. The importance of a security test is required to be understood before its too late.