Why Automating Security Testing is Important

automated security testing

Although software testing is an integral part of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) process, it is not just about validating functional requirements, but also ensuring that they do not introduce security vulnerabilities. Security testing is an important aspect of the SDLC and it helps developers identify defects in their application before deploying it to production environments.

We live in an age where online security is of utmost importance. That is why automating your security testing is essential in order to keep your website or application safe. In this programming tutorial, we will discuss why automating your security testing is so important, differences between manual and automated testing, and other related software development concepts.

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What is Security Testing?

Security testing entails evaluating an application to determine any security vulnerabilities. It is part of the software development life cycle, meaning it should be conducted at every stage of development.

Security testing is usually performed by a specialist team separate from the development team responsible for building the application. Their role is to test your application to check whether it contains any security holes or problems that could leave your customers’ data vulnerable to attack by hackers.

The goal of security testing is to determine vulnerabilities in systems and networks, as well as to test the strength of security controls. Security testing can be used to test the security of applications, websites, and even physical devices.

Limitations of Conventional Security Testing

Conventional testing methods have several limitations – they can be time-consuming, expensive, and might often need manual intervention. Also, convention security testing is limited in scope, scaling, repeatability, and reliability.

Programmers can not scale their teams to meet the demands of a large organization that has diverse needs for security testing. And, as you grow your business or product offerings, manual testing becomes more expensive because of the high cost of hiring skilled testers who can simultaneously cover multiple platforms and technologies.

In order to overcome these limitations, automated security testing can be used. It can be used to supplement or replace traditional testing methods, and can be tailored to specific needs and budgets. In addition, automated security testing can provide continuous feedback about the state of security, which can help to identify potential issues early on. The use of automated security testing can contribute to improving the quality of your product while saving time and money.

Read What is Continuous Testing for DevOps

What is Automated Security Testing?

In the ever-growing world of software development, automating security tests is becoming more and more important. In a world where new vulnerabilities and threats are constantly being discovered, it is crucial to have a system in place that can quickly and efficiently test for these issues.

But how do developers ensure that their security testing process is up-to-date with today’s threat landscape? Here is where automated security testing comes in. Automated security testing can help you find and fix vulnerabilities faster and more efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.

Manual vs Automated Security Testing

Manual testing involves manually going through each step in the process and verifying that it works as expected. It is inefficient because it takes more time than necessary to test every step of your application security by hand. Manual testers may have difficulty reproducing errors or finding bugs because they do not know what they are looking for when they run their test cases manually—they only know what they have been told to look out for by their managers or stakeholders.

The technique of scanning an application for vulnerabilities using automated technologies is known as automated security testing. Automated testing is an efficient and scalable process. It provides quick feedback on the application performance, which helps in building a better product. It is a cost-effective process that saves time and money by reducing human effort required to manually test applications. To uncover vulnerabilities, penetration testers and security auditors often employ automated security testing technologies.

You can learn more about application performance monitoring tools by reading our tutorial showcasing the Best Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Tools.

Benefits of Automating Security Testing

The following are some reasons why you should automate your security testing and its benefits to software developers:

  • Speed – Automated security testing allows you to discover vulnerabilities much faster than manual testing. Automated testing can cover a lot more ground in a shorter amount of time than manual testing, making it more efficient overall. As an example, with manual testing, a single vulnerability may take hours or even days to uncover—but with automated security testing, that same vulnerability can be found within minutes or hours at most.
  • Accuracy – Automated testing can help to eliminate human error, which can lead to missed vulnerabilities. Automated tests can be run on a regular basis, ensuring that your security testing is always up-to-date.
  • Scale – Manual security testers have been known to make mistakes when performing complex tasks like fuzzing hundreds of thousands of machines for potential vulnerabilities. When this happens multiple times across multiple enterprises it can cause serious problems for a company’s reputation (and their bottom line).
  • Saves time and money – In the long run, automating your security testing will save you both time and money by increasing efficiency and accuracy while reducing costs associated with manual testing.
  • Efficiency – The end result of automation is efficiency. By automating the process of finding vulnerabilities, you’re able to spend less time and money on manual security testing so that you can focus your energy elsewhere instead.

Overall, automating your security testing is an important part of keeping your software development process efficient and effective. This will ensure that your applications are secure against the latest threats.

Read: Web Automation Testing Using Selenium with .NET

What is DAST and SAST in Security Testing?

Security testing can be of two types: dynamic application security testing (DAST) and static application security testing (SAST). As opposed to just testing code, dynamic application security testing, a type of vulnerability testing, examines applications in use. This means it can find issues even if they have not been determined by manual testing or other automated tools.

Static application security testing, meanwhile, is a subset of DAST, and involves analyzing source code to find vulnerabilities, while DAAS (Dynamic Application Assessment Solution) combines both approaches.

DAST examines a web application while it is running to look for security vulnerabilities. On the contrary, SAST analyzes an application’s source code for security problems. Automating DAST can be difficult because it requires constant application monitoring for new vulnerabilities. SAST can be automated more quickly because it does not require continuous monitoring.

Both SAST and DAST have their benefits and downsides – you should determine the right type of test for your application as appropriate.

Final Thoughts on Automated Security Testing

Automated security testing can help you find potential vulnerabilities in your code more quickly and easily than manual testing. It can also help ensure that your tests are comprehensive and cover all potential areas of attack.

Finally, automated testing can help improve the efficiency of your overall security testing process, saving you time and money i
n the long run.

Looking for more information on security testing for software development? Check out our listing of the Top 10 Security Testing Tools for Developers.

Joydip Kanjilal
Joydip Kanjilal
A Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in ASP.NET, Speaker, and Author of several books and articles. More than 25 years of experience in IT with more than 18 years in Microsoft .NET and its related technologies. He was selected as a Community Credit Winner at http://www.community-credit.com several times. He has authored 8 books and more than 500 articles in some of the most reputed sites worldwide including MSDN, Info World, CodeMag, Tech Beacon, Tech Target, Developer, CodeGuru, and more.

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