What Is Security Testing?
Security testing is performed to determine whether the data within an information system is protected, and the anticipated functionality is sustained. Security testing assures that the following aspects of data and information are maintained at any cost:
Security protects applications against external malware and other unanticipated threats that may result in malfunction or exploitation of the application. These unanticipated threats could be either deliberate or unplanned. Security testing tools detect and analyze whether the third-party requests are benign or detrimental.
Studies suggest that security should, in fact, be made a business priority, as businesses of the day are running the show predominantly through digital platforms. Organizations, therefore, need to be able to invest in security, in order to guarantee products and services of utmost quality. There are many highly effective security testing tools that would help achieve the desired security for all the systems within an organization.
Security testing is an integral part of software testing and essentially ascertains that systematic loopholes within an organization are little to none. The more the loopholes, the higher a loss to the organization so as to cope with the weaknesses of the system.
There are various security testing tools used as part of security testing methodologies. A few such methodologies are:
- Tiger Box Testing: This hacking is usually done on a laptop which has a collection of OSs and hacking tools. This testing helps penetration testers and security testers to conduct vulnerabilities assessment and attacks.
- Black Box Testing: Testers are authorized to perform testing on everything about the network topology and the technology.
- Grey Box Testing: Partial information is given to the testers about the system, and it is a hybrid of white and black box models.
The following flow highlights the corresponding security processes that need to be adopted for every phase in the software development lifecycle: (Source)
Why Security Testing?
According to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, over 33% of the organizations all over the globe had to deal with a cyber-breach in 2016. This resulted in a severe loss of users, business opportunities, and overall revenue by a whopping 20%. The report surveyed nearly 3,000 chief security officers (CSOs) and security operations leaders from 13 countries.
Security testing tools are many in number, each with the ability to focus on a certain element of the intricate interconnectedness of a software system. Security testing helps avoid:
- Loss of customer trust.
- Inconsistent website performance.
- Additional costs required to repair website after an attack.
- Other legal implications that arise due to lax security measures.
How Lack of Security Testing Can Impact Business.
Digital networks are now a testament to the foremost layer of the security of a nation, whether the attack in question is cyber or physical in nature. As the number of digital invaders grows, it is undeniable that a security-breach is not a question of if, rather a question of when. More than anything, this particular realization prompts organizations into action.
The Cisco study also found that 20% of breached organizations lost customers, with 40% of them losing more than 20% of their customer base. As many as 29 % lost revenue and 23% breached organizations lost business opportunities.
Security Testing Tools
- Knock Subdomain Scan
- Knock is an effective scanning tool to scan Transfer Zone discovery, subdomains, Wildcard testing with an internal or external wordlist. This tool can be very helpful in black box penetration test to find vulnerable subdomains.
- URL: https://github.com/guelfoweb/knock
- Iron Wasp
- It is a GUI-based powerful scanning tool which can check over 25 kinds of web vulnerabilities. It can detect false positives and false negatives. It is built on Python and Ruby and generates HTML and RTF reports.
- URL: https://ironwasp.org/
- HP Webinspect
- It is an automated dynamic application security testing (DAST) tool that mimics real-world hacking techniques and attacks and provides comprehensive dynamic analysis of complex web applications and services.
- URL: http://www8.hp.com/in/en/software-solutions/webinspect-dynamic-analysis-dast/
- Google Nogotofail
- It is a network traffic security testing tool. It checks applications for known TLS/SSL vulnerabilities and misconfigurations. It scans SSL/TLS encrypted connections and checks whether they are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks. It can be set up as a router, VPN server, or proxy server.
- URL: https://github.com/google/nogotofail
- A program that scans C/C++ source code and reports potential security flaws. By default, it sorts its reports by risk level.
- URL: https://www.dwheeler.com/flawfinder/
- Ettercap is a free and open source network security tool for man-in-the-middle attacks (MiTM) on LAN. The security tool can be used to analyze computer network protocols within a security auditing context.
- URL: https://ettercap.github.io/ettercap/
- Brakeman is an open source vulnerability scanner which is designed for Ruby on Rails applications. It statically analyzes Rails application code to find security issues at any stage of development.
- URL: http://brakemanscanner.org/
- BFBTester – Brute Force Binary Tester
- BFBTester is a tool for security checks of binary programs. BFBTester will perform checks of single and multiple argument command line overflows and environment variable overflows. This tool alerts the security professional for any programs using unsafe tempfile names by watching for tempfile creation activity.
- URL: http://bfbtester.sourceforge.net/
- Browser Exploitation Framework (BeEF)
- It detects application weakness using browser vulnerabilities. It uses client-side attack vectors to verify the security of an application. It can issue browser commands like redirection, changing URLs, generating dialogue boxes, etc.
- URL: http://beefproject.com/
- Kiuwan Security
- Kiuwan is a software as a service (SaaS) static program analysis multi-technology platform for software analytics, covering security, code analysis, life cycle and governance of application portfolios. Kiuwan is one of the tools in the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) for source code analysis tools list.
- URL: https://www.kiuwan.com/code-security/
- The Metasploit Framework is an advanced open-source platform for developing, testing, and using exploit code. This project initially started off as a portable network game and has evolved into a powerful tool for penetration testing, exploit development, and vulnerability research.
- URL: https://www.metasploit.com/
- The Nessus vulnerability scanner is the world-leader in active scanners, featuring high-speed discovery, configuration auditing, asset profiling, sensitive data discovery, and vulnerability analysis of your security posture. Nessus scanners can be distributed throughout an entire enterprise, inside DMZs, and across physically separate networks.
- URL: https://www.tenable.com/products/nessus-vulnerability-scanner
- Nikto is an open source web server scanner that caters to web servers especially to detect outdated software configurations, invalid data and/or CGIs, etc. It performs comprehensive tests multiple times against web servers.
- URL: https://cirt.net/Nikto2
- Network Mapper (Nmap) is an open source scanner for network discovery and security auditing. Nmap uses raw IP packets to determine available hosts on the network, what services (app name, version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems and OS versions they are running on, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and other such characteristics.
- URL: https://nmap.org/
- nsiqcppstyle is aiming to provide an extensible, easy to use, highly maintainable coding style checker for C/C++ source code. The rules and analysis engine are separated and users can develop their own C/C++ coding style rules. Furthermore, there is a customizable rule server as well.
- URL: http://www.findbestopensource.com/product/nsiqcppstyle
- Oedipus is an open source web application security analysis and testing suite written in Ruby. It is capable of parsing different types of log files off-line and identifying security vulnerabilities. Using the analyzed information, Oedipus can dynamically test web sites for application and web server vulnerabilities.
- URL: http://oedipus.com/
- Paros is a Java-based HTTP/HTTPS proxy for assessing web application vulnerability. All HTTP and HTTPS data between server and client, including cookies and form fields, can be intercepted and modified using this scanner.
- URL: https://sourceforge.net/projects/paros/
- Social Engineer Toolkit
- The Social-Engineer Toolkit (SET) is an open source tool and the concept that it is based on is that attacks are targeted at the human element rather than on the system element. It enables you to send emails, java applets, etc. containing the attack code.
- URL: https://www.trustedsec.com/social-engineer-toolkit/
- Skipfish is an active web application vulnerability security scanning tool. Security professionals use this tool to scan their own sites for vulnerabilities. Reports generated by the tool are meant to serve as a foundation for professional web application security assessments.
- URL: http://tools.kali.org/web-applications/skipfish
- It detects SQL injection vulnerability in a website database. It can be used on a wide range of databases and supports 6 kinds of SQL injection techniques: time-based blind, Boolean-based blind, error-based, UNION query, stacked queries, and out-of-band. It can directly connect to the database without using an SQL injection and has great database fingerprinting and enumeration features.
- URL: http://sqlmap.org/
- Vega is a vulnerability scanning and testing tool written in Java and it works with OS X, Linux, and Windows platforms. It is GUI-enabled and includes an automated scanner and an intercepting proxy. It can detect web application vulnerabilities like SQL injection, header injection, cross-site scripting, etc.
- URL: https://subgraph.com/vega/
- With its powerful combination of automation, process, and speed, Veracode seamlessly integrates application security into the software lifecycle, effectively eliminating vulnerabilities during the lowest-cost point in the development/deployment chain, and blocking threats while in production.
- URL: https://www.veracode.com/
- A framework with multiple plug-ins, written entirely in Java, for analyzing the applications that communicate through HTTP/HTTPS protocols. This tool is primarily designed for developers who can write code themselves.
- URL: https://github.com/OWASP/OWASP-WebScarab
- Wireshark, earlier known as Ethereal, is a network packet analyzer. It is used by network professionals around the globe for troubleshooting, analysis, software, and protocol development. As a Network Protocol analyzer, it has all the standard features one would expect, and many features not available in any competitive product.
- URL: https://www.wireshark.org/
- It performs a black box scan and injects payloads to check if a script is vulnerable. It supports both GET and POSTHTTP attack methods. It detects vulnerabilities like file Disclosure, file inclusion, cross Site Scripting (XSS), etc.
- URL: http://wapiti.sourceforge.net/
- It is a web application audit and attack framework that is effective against over 200 vulnerabilities. It has a GUI with expert tools which can be used to send HTTP request and cluster HTTP responses. Output can be logged into a console, a file, or sent via email.
- URL: http://w3af.org/
- ZED Attack Proxy (ZAP)
- It was developed by AWASP and is available for Windows, Unix/Linux, and Macintosh platforms. It has high ease of use. It can be used as a scanner or to intercept a proxy to manually test a webpage. Its key features are traditional and AJAX spiders, Fuzzer, Web socket support and a REST-based API
- URL: https://www.owasp.org/index.php/OWASP_Zed_Attack_Proxy_Project
Software testing tools are pivotal in a company’s business strategy. To overlook system and information security is akin to business suicide. As crucial as software testing is, and as useful as software testing tools are, the implementation process is highly customized to suit the need of the business. For this reason, it is important to have a trusted software security testing vendor.