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Security Testing

Security Testing: Traditional vs Modern Approach

In this article, we are yet to discuss Security Testing and How it evolved in recent Times, How it may evolve in the future. It is necessary to keep ourselves up to date on the recent methods and procedures.

Especially if you belong to a security testing team, always have an insight on how it is being done rather than just doing a simple task that is given to you by your Senior Security Analyst.

In this blog, we will discuss that only, we will be covering the below-mentioned areas here.

  1. Traditional General Approaches
  2. New Approaches
  3. Recent Trends
  4. Future of Security Testing

What is Security Testing?

A process of evaluating the Security Posture of an organization’s infrastructure considering only technical aspects such as network, web applications, Cloud, IoT devices, etc.

What is Security Auditing?

A process of evaluating the Security Posture of an organization’s infrastructure considering, the process, operations, policies, frameworks, technical aspects, etc.

In simple words, Security Testing is a Part of Security Auditing.

Traditional General Approaches

We usually follow our Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing as our Traditional Approach in security testing by indulging both Automated tools and manual methods.

We follow our old traditional approach starts with:

  • Scoping
  • Pre-Engagement Activities
  • Reconnaissance
  • Scanning & Enumeration
  • Vulnerability Analysis
  • Exploit Research
  • Exploitation
  • Actions on Objectives.
  • Reporting

New Approach or Mandated Approach

It is now mandatory to follow a Security standard to have the security testing properly. Following the standards ensure the process is more feasible and reliable.

Based on the target network or client’s business or needs, the Security Testing team has to decide the standard and methodology for testing.

Examples for Standards

PCI-DSS

If you are going to do security testing on a bank or an E-Commerce Website that stores customers’ credit card and debit card information, it is advised to follow PCI-DSS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

HIPPA

If your client belongs to Health Sector or Health Insurance Company, you may have to follow HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). This particular standard is to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without consent.

GDPR

If you are working with your client who belongs to European Union or if you are willing to start a business that connects European Union by any means, for example, You created a Mobile Application and you want that to be used for European Citizens then your Application must be Security Audited according to GDPR Standards.

According to Wikipedia, GDPR - The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area.

ISO 27001

ISO 27001 is an International Standard that everyone must be aware of in the cyber security domain. The standard mainly standardizes the procedure on managing Information Security with proper order.

Recent Trends of Security Testing

Automation

We are not new to the automation world, nor in Cyber security. We have been using automated tools for vulnerability analysis for decades. Here automizing includes pinging, scanning of networks, enumeration, exploitation, etc.

Security testers are getting familiar with the Scripting languages such as Python, Ruby, Go, etc. 

DevSecOps

Security Testing is another factor for securing an application or network once it is deployed. What if it comes out as impeccable? That is what DevSecOps is all about. Introducing Security into Developing Operations framework. Implementing Agile security methods into developing operations made the Security testers work simple.

If you or your organization is still depending upon the traditional security testing methods, it is the right time to make a shift.

People call it “Security As Code” If you are taking care of security inside your code, it would be very tough for the Threat actors to break it.

Future of Security Testing

AI and Machine learning

The security domain is taking over Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning gradually. Of course, it won’t replace Human Testers, but it will reduce human efforts much but augment their efforts and provide better decision-making intelligence. Artificial Intelligence is going to help bigger in Automation of Security Testing soon.

User Behavior Analytics

Spending millions of dollars on securing the infrastructures is still subject to breach because of the weakest link human. We cannot ignore that. User Behavior Analytics is one of the upcoming methods that is going to help us in Monitoring, Tracking, and Assessing Human Behavior. And, combining it with Machine learning would be very easy for the security testers to deploy security measures well-timed.

Cloud’s Participation

Cloud Security is not the topic we are going to discuss here. It is a part of our traditional testing. Here we discuss how Cloud Services can be used in penetration testing or security testing. Security testers started using Cloud Services for automating, storing, and more powerful actions. It is very easy for the security testers to buy an instance for a shorter period instead of setting up their lab by investing a thousand bucks into it.

We should makeshift real quick, as technologies are upgrading, techniques are upgrading. We should also get upgraded before hackers do so we can stop efficiently.

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