Web Application Security Testing

Today, businesses rely upon web applications more than ever before. Companies might provide internet-accessible apps that customers use for shopping, taking classes, or enjoying other online services, for just a few examples. In other cases, companies use apps to give employees anywhere and anytime access to work-related documents, in-house communication, and much more.

Online accessibility can offer many benefits to customers and businesses. At the same time, the increasing use of web-based applications has attracted the attention of malicious hackers. Along with relying more on web apps, companies also need to pay greater attention to web application security testing.

Web application security testing particularly matters in light of Edgescan categorizing almost thirty-five percent of all internet-facing security vulnerabilities as high risk. Internal, intranet applications fared even worse. Over 40 percent of security issues for internal software earned a high-risk classification. If a malicious hacker can exploit these vulnerabilities, they can steal sensitive data, take down critical systems and, almost always, damage a company’s reputation. 

Kinds of Web Application Security Testing

Secure organizations use these kinds of web application security testing to uncover vulnerabilities:

Dynamic Application Security Testing

Often called DAST, dynamic application security testing looks for security weaknesses that attackers might exploit. Because DAST tools don’t need to examine source code, this method offers a good solution for frequent, fast testing.

Static Application Security Testing

SAST methods and tools need to comb through source code to take longer than DAST methods. On the other hand, SAST can pinpoint security issues down to the exact lines of code. Organizations might use SAST with new development on systems that have never been scanned before and after making modifications to existing apps. However, no tool is perfect, and manual review is always recommended. 

Application Penetration Testing

Although some scanning software utilizes machine intelligence to pick up on novel threats, these tools rely on a database of known threats and typical attack behavior. With penetration tests, a skilled security professional will approach an application in the same way that a sophisticated hacker would. These pentesters can uncover potential exploits that scanners miss. They can also provide action plans to remediate problems.

How Businesses Use Testing to Ensure Effective App Security

Besides choosing methods and tools for testing web app security, organizations should consider including these suggestions in their testing plans:

  • Establish testing schedules: Businesses should plan to test all apps periodically. Prioritize the most sensitive and critical apps for frequent testing.
  • Test new apps as early as possible: The earlier in their lifecycle that businesses can run tests, the less likely they’ll need to backtrack or, in the worst case, risk-sensitive data and systems.
  • Prioritize security remediation: In addition to having developers fix security gaps, ensure that somebody takes ownership over applying security patches and updating software with new releases.

The many benefits of web apps have attracted businesses’ attention; however, these apps’ vulnerabilities have also gained hackers’ eye. No company wants to take unreasonable risks with their business security. Attackers can exploit security issues to steal valuable information, take over essential systems, and hurt trust. By testing online apps, organizations can significantly reduce risks and preserve the value of their online assets.