The Seven Types of Security Testing

June 10, 2021
Amy Patt
Amy Patt

Cybersecurity is nonnegotiable in today’s digital world. As such, security testing is a necessary aspect of software development.

But, if postponed until after deployment, it can drive costs up and disrupt other phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).

What is Security Testing?

Security testing is a type of software testing that ensures systems are free from vulnerabilities or threats that could leave your product vulnerable. The whole purpose of this testing is to scour for loopholes or weaknesses that could result in a security breach.

Types of Security Testing

There are seven different kinds of security testing that can be conducted, with varying degrees of involvement from internal and external teams.

  1. Vulnerability Scanning – involves use of an automated software tool to scan systems against predetermined vulnerabilities.

  2. Risk Assessment – consists of an analysis of security risks in the application, software, or network. Once identified, they are classified as low, medium, high, or critical and mitigation measures can be enacted based on priority.

  3. Security Scanning – can be done with manual or automated testing and serves as a means for locating network or system weaknesses.

  4. Penetration Testing – simulates an attack from a malicious party or hacker and helps to clearly identify critical vulnerabilities in the system, software, or application.

  5. Security Auditing – an internal inspection of all the operating systems and applications with the intent of finding security flaws. The results from the audit can then be passed to the applicable teams for follow up and correction.

  6. Ethical Hacking – hired experts attempt to hack into a system or network with the goal of exposing flaws and gaps in the existing security measures.

  7. Posture Assessment – a combination of ethical hacking, security scanning, and risk assessments to give a snapshot of the overall security within the organization.

How to Perform Security Testing

Certain security testing processes correspond to different phases of the SDLC. Within the requirements phase, security analysis is necessary to check for any misuse cases. From there, when design begins, security risk analysis can be implemented.

A combination of black box and vulnerability scanning is recommended during system testing. Once the implementation phase begins, those two can be repeated with the addition of penetration testing to get the best picture of the strength of the security measures currently in place. In the instance of black box testing for security purposes, using crowdtesters can yield more comprehensive results. To learn more about incorporating crowdtesting into your SDLC, sign up for a free demo.

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