What is a Vulnerability Assessment? A Detailed guide

The definition of the term vulnerability assessment from a security perspective is to deeply evaluate, define, classify and prioritize vulnerabilities so that They can be corrected. The process is carried out by vulnerability scanners such as Nikto2, Netsparker, OpenVAS, W3AF, etc.
To know in detail, we have incorporated all the necessary details that you need to know about vulnerability assessment, along with its implementation. So you won’t put your company’s IT system at risk.
Let’s get started!
how to do vulnerability assessment
What Is a Vulnerability Assessment?
An organization’s system consists of various components, such as end-points, applications, and network infrastructures.
All of these provide equal opportunities for hackers to enter into the IT system.
The role of vulnerability assessment here is to check all these elements for vulnerabilities that may be present at any level.
Hence, ensuring proper protection of the system against unauthorized accesses.
A few key points that also get covered under vulnerability assessment are:

  • Defining the vulnerabilities
  • Identifying the vulnerabilities
  • Classification of vulnerabilities
  • Prioritization of vulnerabilities
  • Laying out knowledge about vulnerabilities
  • Providing suitable solutions to the available threats and vulnerabilities

vulnerability assessment methodology
In simple terms, it can also be stated that vulnerability assessments are done in every organization to find and prioritize the available vulnerabilities. This way, the system’s loopholes can be fixed, and all the breaches can be avoided.
These vulnerabilities can be divided into two categories:

  • Code Bugs: Sometimes, developers leave bugs/flaws in the code. It becomes a vulnerable point because confidential information can get leaked through it.
  • Security Gaps: While all enterprises ensure their system’s complete security, they may leave a gap in their internal processes. It can provide space for intruders to enter their environment and get access to whichever information they want.

What is a Vulnerability Assessment?
5 Crucial Steps in Vulnerability Assessment

  • Identify the potential hazards
  • Determine the risks
  • Evaluate the defense system
  • Record the findings
  • Periodical review

Top 15 Vulnerability assessment tools 

  1. Netsparker
  2. OpenVAS
  3. W3AF
  4. Arachni
  5. Acunetix
  6. Nmap
  7. OpenSCAP
  8. GoLismero
  9. Burp Suite
  10. Comodo HackerProof
  11. Intruder
  12. Retina CS Community
  13. Crashtest Security
  14. GamaScan
  15. Nexpose

Why Is Vulnerability Assessment Crucial?
Vulnerability assessment has now become a vital part of every organization.
It is essential because it provides the enterprises with proper knowledge and understanding of security weaknesses in their environment.
Moreover, the process offers awareness of accessing the present vulnerabilities and the risks associated with them.
Therefore, helping the organizations to avoid any security breaches that can put their business in jeopardy.
Other benefits of vulnerability assessment include:
Pen testing cost
Defining Risk Levels
Whether you believe it or not, your organization’s security is always under threat.
While this risk is inevitable, you can certainly identify the underlying vulnerabilities with proper assessment. It will help in resolving the dangers and make your system more secure.
Avoid Automated Attacks
Intruders have become smart nowadays. They don’t leave any chance of creating trouble for you. That is why they use automated attacks to check the availability of vulnerabilities in your system and take advantage of it.
Where this makes their work more convenient, it brings more significant risk for your organization. Under vulnerability assessment, experts use the same tools as these hackers. So they can avoid these automated attacks.

Also Read:  Best vulnerability assessment tools used for security audit

Prioritizing Risks
Even if you are aware of all the available risks to your organization’s IT system, you may still end up making a mistake. Most people’s standard error here is that they focus more on unnecessary vulnerabilities while leaving behind the significant ones.
But this mistake won’t happen with the help of vulnerability assessment.
The process won’t only identify the threats, but it will also help prioritize them based on their severity.
Therefore, you can ensure that the more significant vulnerabilities get resolved first, and the less severe ones get assessed only after that.
Time And Money Savings
A data breach doesn’t only waste time and money on security restructuring. If your enterprise goes through an attack, you also have to deal with some legal formalities.
Moreover, you will have to invest effort and money in PR to maintain your company’s image.
On the other hand, a vulnerability assessment can easily help you avoid all this hassle by securing the system from known threats.
Hence, you will then be able to focus on more crucial tasks while remaining carefree about the security of your system.

What Are The Types Of Vulnerability Assessment?
Vulnerability assessment is further divided into various types, depending on the area of the IT environment that is being checked. Here are some of the common kinds:

  • Network-Based: As the name suggests, this method is opted to find out the vulnerabilities in the organization’s wired and wireless networks.
  • Host-Based: This includes a proper examination of network hosts through ports and services. It works on hosts like servers and workstations.
  • Web Application: Web applications are an easy point for hackers to enter into the system. This method helps identify the loopholes in the app architecture that can lead to breaches.
  • Database: Attacks like SQL injection can lead to severe data losses in an enterprise. Database methods include scanning the entire database for any available vulnerabilities to avoid these attacks.

Other kinds of end-point or network scan can be done to find the risk against any available threats to the organization’s IT system, such as phishing assessment and penetration testing.
Difference between vulnerability assessment and vulnerability management

Vulnerability assessment Vulnerability Management
Vulnerability assessment has a fixed time period for its occurrence It’s an ongoing process
The process used to find the severity of vulnerabilities Used to manage Vulnerability assessment or pen testing
Performed with the help of automation tools It’s a collective process
Vulnerability assessment is just a part of the cybersecurity program It’s a detailed process that can handle all the security-related issues

Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration testing. What’s the difference between vulnerability assessment and penetration testing

Vulnerability Assessment Penetration Testing
Used to assess vulnerabilities with the help of a tool that’s capable of doing the scan in an automated fashion It’s a manual process where each module of software is tested for vulnerabilities individually
Usually done  through automation Performed by combining automated as well as the manual process
Performed often Performed once in a year mostly
Comprehensive list of vulnerabilities which may include false positives Serves as a call to action document about vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited
Can be performed by in-house security staff Can only be performed by a third party company who has required resources at the disposal

Vulnerability Assessment vs Penetration Testing


Also Read: How much will it cost for penetration testing?

The vulnerability assessment process differs for every enterprise due to its distinct infrastructures.
However, we can still build a basic 5-step procedure that works for most organizations. So it will provide you with an overview of how things get done in this process.
Step 1: Initial Planning
The first step includes proper analysis of the infrastructure to decide all the systems and networks to be checked.
You also need to identify the critical systems and data that have to be protected at any cost.
For example, the databases that hold essential information about your enterprise have to be scanned appropriately.
Remember that each of the professionals working on the process should expect the same output of vulnerability assessment.
It will help in proceeding further suitably. Plus, there should be proper communication throughout the planning so that any errors can be avoided.
Step 2: Scanning
Once you receive a complete list of systems and networks that have to be checked, the next step is to scan them.
Here, you will have to find all the available vulnerabilities in them. The information found on this step won’t be refined.
Therefore, you need not get overwhelmed with the long record of risks and vulnerabilities because several of them can be false positives.
Step 3: Analysis
It isn’t possible to resolve all the received vulnerabilities as some of them can be wrong.
That is why a proper analysis has to be done to find the underlying cause of these vulnerabilities.
Thus, they can get sorted based on their integrity. However, this isn’t the only objective covered in this step.
Along with the viability test, the associated risks, potential impact, and solutions of each vulnerability also get checked here.
After that, the threats are prioritized based on their severity. This helps resolve the more impactful vulnerabilities first and leave the rest for later assessment to cause no significant harm to the enterprise.
A report of the discovered vulnerabilities also gets prepared here, and it includes the following points:

  • Vulnerability definition
  • Scanning date
  • A complete description of the vulnerability
  • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) Scores
  • Systems and networks affected by the vulnerability, with their details.
  • Available remediation techniques for the vulnerability
  • Vulnerability PoC (Proof of Concept)

Step 4: Remediation
The ultimate aim of a vulnerability assessment is to eliminate all the available vulnerabilities and make the system secure against the risks.
So if you don’t resolve the found security gaps, there won’t be any use of the previously done steps.
That is why this step includes remediation of the vulnerability found in the earlier procedure.
It can involve a simple code update or a more thorough understanding of what is wrong in the system.
You may need to install new applications, implement the latest security patches, or use other tools for the purpose.
The resolving of vulnerabilities will begin with the high priority vulnerabilities, and then you will have to move to less significant ones.
Experts may recommend leaving some of the no-impact vulnerabilities that aren’t worth the time and effort required to resolve them.
Step 5: Repetition
Vulnerability assessment isn’t a one-time process. Rather, it is a regular activity that must be done under expert guidance to ensure that the organization’s system remains secure from any threat.
That is why the final step here is to create a cycle of this procedure according to your enterprise’s needs.
The importance of a vulnerability assessment increases when you have introduced a new prominent feature, application, or network into the infrastructure.
Therefore, you must make sure that the process gets repeated every once in a while, and the entire IT system remains secure.
And in these five steps, the entire process gets done. You can adjust the steps and include a more thorough study of the vulnerabilities in it based on your enterprise’s requirements.
In case you aren’t sure about something, you can also opt for a service provider.
As they deal with different organizations every day, they will be able to offer you the most reliable solution for your individual needs.
Vulnerability assessment process
Using Tools For Vulnerability Assessment
Earlier, the process of vulnerability assessment was conducted by the security professionals who knew about the latest threats in the market.
So they conveniently checked the entire IT system against these risks and implemented the required security measures.
This was time-consuming and inefficient, as various unknown threats got left out from the inspection.
Then came the use of automated vulnerability assessment tools. These tools usually opt for the same methods that are used by professional intruders.
Hence, they are able to catch all the vulnerabilities that may give the system’s access to hackers.
The top vulnerability assessment tools include:

  • Netsparker
  • Intruder
  • Aircrack
  • OpenVAS
  • Nikto
  • Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
  • Acunetix
  • AppTrana
  • SolarWinds Network Vulnerability Detection
  • Nexpose Community
  • Tripwire IP360
  • Retina CS Community
  • Wireshark
  • Nessus Professional
  • Secunia Personal Software Inspector

How To Choose The Vulnerability Assessment Tools?
Just like it is crucial to conduct a vulnerability assessment, it is also vital to pick the correct tool for the purpose.
Your choice should majorly depend on your enterprise’s requirements. The factors that you must consider before opting for a specific vulnerability assessment tool are:
The first aspect you need to check in your chosen tool is whether or not it is compatible with your organization’s systems and networks.
In case it misses out on even one of these components, it will be of no use for you.
Only a compatible tool will be able to provide you with accurate information on the available vulnerabilities, prioritization, and remediation.
Therefore, you must ensure that your selected product fulfills all the requirements.
Testing Repetition
The final step of a vulnerability assessment is to repeat the process in a pre-determined duration to make certain that the overall system remains secure at any point in time.
Now, the tool you pick for this purpose depends on the intervals you choose for vulnerability assessment.
Usually, this factor can be categorized into two types:

  • Continuous: These tools work round the clock. Thus, you need not worry about the security aspect anytime, as the tool will take care of that. It is mostly preferred in places where the risks of data breaches are exceptionally high.
  • Intermittent: Another category of tools are the ones that work on some intervals. While it ensures proper security, it won’t check the systems round the clock. Most organizations prefer this type of tool, as it provides them with the desired results without much hassle.

You can pick either of them based on how much your enterprise is under risk of security breaches.
Cloud Support
Clouds have become a crucial part of every organization because they are easy to maintain, provide access from any point, and don’t cost much.
Along with their extensive benefits, these cloud platforms can also become a bane for your enterprise if you don’t ensure its security.
That is why your chosen vulnerability assessment tool should support the scanning of cloud-based platforms.
Remember to opt for this feature even if you don’t use any clouds currently.
This way, you won’t have to worry about switching your vulnerability assessment tool whenever you decide to move to cloud platforms.
Vulerability assessment protection
Update Quality and Speed
Quality and speed are the two most essential factors in the modern world. They make certain that the delivered product or service is reliable and efficient.
That is why they need to be checked in your vulnerability assessment tool as well.
The vendor must provide quality updates within the best possible time. For example, the time gap between a new threat being discovered and the vendor updating the tool for detecting the same should be as small as possible.
Prioritization is the most crucial step of the entire vulnerability assessment process.
This step alone makes sure that more significant threats get handled first so that no complication occurs later.
That is why you need to check the selected tool’s prioritization procedure.
Every vulnerability assessment tool uses an algorithm to prioritize the detected vulnerabilities.
Depending on the vendor, various factors may be incorporated into this algorithm to produce a more refined priority list of risks.
You have to go through these aspects and ensure they work properly according to your enterprise requirements.
Industry Standards
The tool selected by you must obey all the industry standards in which your enterprise works. For example, the pharma sector requires vulnerability checks for its supply chain and mobile workforce.
On the other hand, the banking industry needs to ensure that their systems are updated and secured. So whichever domain you work in, the tool should fulfill its basic requirements and standards.
By checking all these essential factors, you will make certain that your chosen vulnerability assessment tool doesn’t fall short in any aspect. Hence, it will provide you with the best results.
No matter how secure and protected you keep your enterprise’s environment, intruders always find a way to get through the layers.
You can still ensure that your system’s weak points don’t create a more severe problem. For this, you can opt for a vulnerability assessment.

How to Test a Social Media Application?

Social media apps have literally become the lifeline of the present generation.

Social media apps are now a podium

  • to connect with people,
  • for entertainment purposes,
  • do business,
  • find or offer jobs,
  • get some information and whatnot.

Apart from its benefits, social media apps could also be very harmful. These apps could lead to high-security breaches if they are not properly validated for their security.
Apart from this improper functioning of these apps in any aspect could affect the business of thousands of people depending upon these apps for their business needs.
Hence Proper Testing of Social Media applications is very important.
Here is a sneak peek into how to test social media apps.
Why is it important to Test Social Media?
How to Test a Social Media Application.

According to Statista – “Number of worldwide users is expected to reach some 3.02 billion monthly active social media users by 2021.”
Such a large podium definitely needs to be secure and provide a seamless experience to all its users. Hence it is very important to test these applications for their efficient and effective working.
Types of Social Media Testing
Social media is a bundle of various functionalities. Testing social media apps requires you to have extensive domain expertise, large experience, and the correct skillset for it. Testing of Social media applications includes:

  • Enterprise Software Testing: Social media applications serve a large number of people and are very robust to test and require a high level of security testing. Hence these applications require some high-end enterprise testing solutions to be tested.
  • Web 2.0 testing: Being a web 2.0 based application, testing of social media applications requires the early involvement of testers. These applications are also susceptible to frequent changes and hence automatization of the test cases for such applications is preferred.
  • Web-testing including compatibility, functional, Security Testing, Performance Testing and database testing needs to be done for social media apps.
  • SaaS Testing: SaaS is referred to software as a service model. Social media services follow the Saas model and are requires to be validated for proper functioning using SaaS testing.
  • Web Analytics Testing: Social media apps deal with a large amount of data, Web analytics testing helps in collecting of website data and then analyzing and reporting based on your user’s targets.
  • User Acceptance Testing: includes testing social media apps for its attractiveness and user-friendly nature.
  • Content Management testing: Content management testing validate that the content is appropriate for the audience. Social media applications like Facebook are an ocean of content, new content is posted every now and then, and hence, content management testing becomes an on-going task and is very important to avoid any content related issues.
  • SEO testing: SEO is the need for the hour to promote your websites/applications online. Hence SEO testing becomes very important to ensure proper growth and exposure of your social media application.
  • Online Advertisement application testing. Social media applications these days promote businesses using online advertisement. Validating the proper functioning of online advertisements is very important.

Also Read: How To Test a Mobile Application

Social Media Application Testing Life Cycle
To ensure that your social media testing goes well, follow a proper testing methodology. Here are the steps you can follow to ensure proper testing of your social media apps.
1. Analyze Test Requirements:
First and foremost step if to analyze test requirements. Determine the scope of the testing and the test objectives.
Make a list of what all you need to test, how much time and how many resources you will require for testing.
2. Test Plan Creation:
Test plan creation is the next step towards conducting successful social media application testing.
Test planning is dependent on what does tester’s aim to achieve from the testing.
Hence they should have a clear understanding of what they are supposed to test like are they supposed to carry out only front-end testing or back-end testing or the both.

3. Allocation of Resources for Testing:
As per your analysis in test requirement phase, allocate resources for the testing like the human resources, allocate the time for testing, etc.
Before starting testing your social media mobile app, you should shortlist the testing techniques -Functional and Non-functional.
functional non functional testing
Also make a note of network, operating system, and device platforms for functional testing.
For Non-Functional Testing, techniques select from various testing techniques like Performance Testing, Usability Testing, Adaptability Testing, and Security Testing.
4. Test Case Document:
This is the first step towards actual testing.
Create test cases based on the test plan created by you in the initial phases of testing.
Create a test case document with all the features and functionalities of your social media app.
The test cases should include all the functional test cases along with various other test cases for usability testing, adaptability testing and other test cases like testing the speed of the app, memory usage, battery usage, and data requirements.
5. Defining the alliance of Manual Testing and Automation Testing.
Testing of social media apps includes an amalgamation of both manual and automatic testing. Prepare a separate document for manual testing test cases and automatic testing test scripts.
6. Execution of the Test Case:
The actual testing takes place here, where you will actually execute the test cases created in the previous step. You can execute test cases and scripts in physical devices or using testing tools, or in the cloud.
7. Identifying and Removing the Bugs:
While executing the test cases, all the bugs that are detected have to be reported to the development team, for removing them.
8. Documentation:
Document all the bugs that you have found. This documentation can help you as a reference for future testing.
9. Test Completion:
After bug’s removal, the application has to be retested to check if the bugs are properly removed and to check that the change in code has not affected the present functionalities.
Though there is nothing like test completion, as the application may require to be repeatedly tested whenever there is any code change.
But if in any round of testing, the code is identified as bug-free, the testing is considered to be completed.
Tips for Testing Social Media Applications
Here are a few tips to test your social media application effectively:

  • Testers should be experienced in the design and implementation of Web 2.0 testing
  • Carry out all-inclusive website testing.
  • Autonomous validation is important for social media apps.

Social media applications are witnessing a sudden hike. People are getting dependent on them for their day to day enquires and uses.

Such a wide platform requires to be tested comprehensively so that they possess no threats to their users either at a personal or professional level.

Mobile App Security Testing Checklist Every Developer Must Have

Mobile apps have become the ultimate solution for every organization to conduct their businesses. Thus, the usage of mobile apps has been soaring heights in these recent years. While many of the apps perform the function of storing and displaying data, other apps are involved in transmitting some of the sensitive data. However, with higher power come great responsibilities. Thus, it is essential that the organizations safeguard their apps alongside enjoying the tremendous benefits that these apps provide.

app testing

Mobile app security works in an entirely different way than any of the traditional applications. Time is of the essence when it comes to the latest mobile universe. Developers are always in a rush when putting together a mobile app that they sometimes forget to implement the most critical security measures that should be performed.

Thus we have come up with a quick checklist that you could refer to when building your mobile apps.

Penetration Tests

One of the best ways to avoid security risks is by running pen tests on your mobile applications against the various vulnerabilities. Penetration testing includes hacking into the mobile apps and imitating both general and mobile-specific attacks. It also provides replication of the attacker’s action to extract confidential information.

Every device tremendously varies with regards to the features and operating systems. Thus, there are unique challenges that appear when running penetration tests. However, this method shouldn’t be avoided because it is an absolute necessity when it comes to detecting loopholes in a system. If left unseen, these loopholes could grow to become potential threats that give access to the mobile’s data and features.

Source Code Encryption

Almost all the codes in a native mobile app are left on the client’s side. Mobile malware often targets vulnerabilities in the code and design to pose a threat to the mobile applications. Before the attack, the attackers can extract a public copy of the application. They reverse-engineer the application so that the codes could be plundered and malicious codes could be inserted. After which they are further posted on third-party app stores to trick the people who install them.

Furthermore, be extra careful when using codes from third-party libraries. Check the code thoroughly to make sure that it doesn’t have any security flaw. Third-party libraries can be a lifesaver when working on time-consuming projects; however, they can sometimes be extremely insecure for your apps.

Threats like these can take an organization’s reputation downhill. Developers should thus put extreme care when building an app and include tools to detect and close security vulnerabilities. Developers should even make their applications robust against any tampering and reverse-engineering too. Minimisation would make the code harder to interpret; however, they won’t necessarily ensure secrecy. Keeping the codes a secret is of utmost importance, and encryption provides the most efficient and highest security making the code unreadable.

Security of the Device

A mobile application can only remain secure if the phone is secure. Otherwise, when a mobile is ‘rooted’ or ‘jailbroken’, it points at the authentic software restrictions that have been compromised. By making an application ‘risk-aware’, enterprises are given the ability to put a limitation on particular functionalities, sensitive data, and enterprise resources. Moreover, enterprises are asked to not wholly depend on native app development platforms, as these platforms are not always resistant to mobile security threats.

Thus, it is wise to choose intelligent sources and quality application services to keep track of the apps and their associated risks.

Protecting Data in the Transit

Data is always transmitted from clients to servers, and it needs to be protected to keep away from privacy leaks. It might seem like an unimportant task to most of the developers, but it is never a better option to be ignorant when the security of an app is at stake. Using either an SSL or VPN tunnel is highly advisable when you are trying to safeguard the data that is being sent from a client to the server.

A risk-aware transaction should be embraced by the entire organization to restrict risk factors regarding the mobile applications.

File-Level and Database Encryption

The bandwidth and varying connection quality imply the importance of more client-side code and the vast amount of data stored on a device. Unlike desktop applications, mobile applications are required to stay on the device itself. Moreover, this very fact has a significant impact on the security. Most developers design the mobile app in a way that the data is stored in the local file system. However, by default, these can’t encrypt the data and thus leave a major loophole for potential vulnerabilities.

To overcome this, modules that can encrypt the data should be put to use. They can provide file-level encryption and can be very helpful when it comes to amplifying security.

High-Level Authentication

Security breaches usually happen due to the lack of high-level authentication. Authentication refers to passwords and other personal identifiers that are put to act as a hindrance to entry. Only the users with the right identifier can access the information, whereas the others are left out. However, when working as a developer, this mainly depends on the end users. Thus, encouraging the users to grow more sensitive towards authentication would be the best way to avoid security breaches.

Developers should design the apps in such a way that it only accepts strong alphanumerical passwords. Additionally, makes sure that the app makes the user change these passwords in every three or six months. In case of extremely sensitive apps, biometric authentication should be employed such as fingerprints and retina scan.

mobile app

Now that you have the complete checklist of security measures that you should take when developing an app, you would prove to be a sinecure. However, it is advisable that every developer become extra careful, and put all the safety measures to use to make the application as strong as an ox.

Mobile Security: Factors To Look Out For While Testing an App

Today, we use mobile phones practically for everything from shopping for clothes to performing business activities, so mobile security has prominence than ever.

app testing

There are so many apps available in the market that you are confused which is the right one for your needs and also the most secure. Before going to that, you must know about the three basic types of mobile applications:

  • Native Applications – mobile applications that run on a specific platform. For example, iOS apps like Health, Voice Memos, and Find iPhone that works on an iPhone.
  • Web Applications – these are websites that you can access using any smartphone.
  • Hybrid Applications – mobile apps that can be used on different operating systems. Some of the classic examples are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Here are seven important activities that developers and businesses should perform to check the security of their mobile applications:

  • Hack Proof Code

It is common for mobile apps to be attacked with malware and data breaches. It means that developers need to be extra attentive while writing code, which is reliable and free from any backdoors. Robust code is the secret to error-free and hack-proof mobile application, which forms an integral part of its mobile security. One way to test the application’s security is by checking if it doesn’t store, use, or transmit a lot of data.

  • Security Features

A mobile app is made for functioning on different systems including Android, iOS, platforms, and devices. While making a hybrid application, the software developer should be careful about features, capabilities, and limitations of different operating systems. It will help the developer to optimize mobile security and make the mobile application hack proof.

  • User Permissions

Another way to secure your apps is by putting security measures at the application layer. It helps the app users to stay away from malicious applications by giving them the choice to select the mobile security setting level.

  • Third-party Libraries

Many application developers use third-party libraries, but there’s a lot of risk attached to them. They are vulnerable to malicious content, which means developers need to be extra careful from where they source the third-party library. Make sure you test the code before using it for your mobile application.

Also Read : Video Game Testing – Play Games and Earn Money

  • Unnecessary Security Risks

Features like social network connectivity are essential for proper functioning of a mobile app; therefore developers should pay particular attention to them while including it in the application. They should be managed in such a way that they don’t slow down the application.

  • Backend

A reliable and secure backend system is essential for developing an application. You must know that hackers get into an application mostly through its backend systems, so give it as much as importance you give to the frontend system. It is these little things that when you ignore makes your applications hacker-friendly.

  • Strict Testing

Security testing the application might be your least favorite part of the whole development process but it is the most critical one. To reduce the pile of work in the end, perform security testing after completion of each stage of the process, so that testing work is over soon after the development process is. Make sure you develop the mobile application according to national and international security regulations.

Steps involved in security testing of mobile applications:

1. Threat Modelling
In the first step of the process, you identify the threats to your mobile app.
2. Analysis of Vulnerability

In this step, you identify aspects of the mobile application that are vulnerable to be hacked, which are found by tests including Dynamic methods, forensic methods, and Runtime analysis.

3. Information about the Mobile Application
Make sure you gather as much information you can about the mobile app that you’ve developed.
Reasons why Mobile Application Security Testing is an essential part of the Development Process for Companies:
1. Reputation of the Business

No one is going to download apps from a business that is continuously hacked or was hacked in the past. Downtime due to these security breaches could lead to huge amount of loss to any business and thus damaging their reputation in the market. Companies can’t be stubborn and cut costs on application security because it might lead to intangible expenses.

2. Business Mergers

Companies merge all the time because they bring in more business. If you plan to combine your app development company with another, you need to have clear records. It isn’t easy to find vulnerabilities but companies should have a holistic approach to app security.

3. Customer Safety
Mobile application market is expected to grow year-on-year. Customers have a big appetite, so it goes without saying that you need to pay close attention to safety measures taken while developing an app. Application security is as important as quality user interfaces and it’s also a healthy way to attract potential customers.
4. Time is Money

What do you prefer more? Going back to the same application because it gets hacked again and again or develop an app so perfect that is the most hack-proof? With the demand for mobile apps being more than ever, developers are in a race against time to meet deadlines, which only makes it right to make the application that is perfect in all sense.

5. Everything Counts

Let’s say you use a simple application to enter data or calculate interest, which you didn’t test well enough. Hackers get in it and cause a security breach and you might end up losing all your data, some of which will be confidential and might end your business. Hackers will give you a run for money if they crack into many such applications.

The first step to avoiding unnecessary risks is realising the importance of mobile application security. A new way to reduce cybercrimes is by preventing security mistakes in the development stage, which helps in the company’s success and safety of app users.

8 Formidable Challenges While Testing an Online Banking Application

Being the most complex and advanced enterprise solution, banking applications needs to be carefully considered in both functional as well as security aspects to ensure that customers and assets are protected from malware.
app testing
Internet-based electronic banking or online banking applications have become a necessity for customers. As a countless number of banking transactions happens every day, these apps need to have high level performance, with features that meets the  needs of a customer.
Few things that should be noted to constitute a consistent, bug-free, banking application:

  • The app needs a solid reporting system to keep track on daily transactions
  • Strong auditing is required to troubleshoot issues
  • It should have the capacity to adhere complex and advanced work flows
  • Banking apps should have the feature of integration with other apps such as Trading accounts and Bill-pay utility accounts
  • It should possess multi-tier functionality to support multiple user sessions

In this blog, we go through the key challenges faced while testing a Banking Application:
1) Strict Security Regulation: It is necessary for banking applications to protect customer data and private information as well as the assets. Therefore, during mobile software testing, these things should be considered by providing a secure testing environment.
A banking app should be compatible with  all operating systems, versions, devices etc. Along with iOS and Android, other versions including Blackberry and WP8 also need to be tested. Mobile testing tools that support both native and web properties should be used for wide usage.
To ensure that the software doesn’t have any flaws, the QA team needs to check both negative as well as positive sides of the system and report it before any unauthorized access happens. The bank should also use other security measures like an access validation code or one-time password for better safety. For security regulation testing, automation tools like HPWebInspect and IBM AppScan  should be used and for manual testing- Paros proxy, Proxy Sniffer, HTTP watch etc. should be put to use.
2) Complex Data: This is one of the major challenges that can occur while testing a bank application. No apps can  en sure that the back-end databases of bank system will not be affected by malware or all the data within is protected. So, it is necessary that the mobile testers need to have a pool of accounts that can be used for the testing solutions.
A bank definitely needs to have an automation tool to constantly check database connectivity and logical functions. It should be done over the virtual private network (VPN) to assure safety on its private data.
3) Active Support of Devices: About 80% of people spend their time on using mobile applications. Mobile manufacturers introduce new features on a daily basis to provide customers a better and friendly user experience. Similarly, banking apps also need to bring in revisions to offer a better experience on latest devices.
4) Privacy is Essential: Privacy plays a very important role in mobile banking. This feature defines how much secure a mobile banking app is for its users. Therefore, automated testing must be done for every single update to ensure protection for all private information. It is essential for a bank to have an automated tool system that run tests periodically without the need for a software tester to manually test each function within the app.
5) Real-time Activity: Apps should have the capacity to provide real-time updates and this is more challenging when it deals with network connectivity issues.
6) Proper Testing and Development: Bugs can affect any application and this is the reason your banking app should follow proper app testing procedure. Making  a banking application with user-friendly functioning and proper security checks require extensive revision and software testing.
7) Updated Market Trends: Consumer requirements and market trends keep changing invariably. Therefore, application features, usability etc. have to be revised and kept updated.
8) Performance Failures: Performance levels involve connectivity, infrastructure, and back-end integration. The transaction happening through the apps should be monitored at regular intervals. Also, Load and Stress tests must be performed regularly to ensure multiple support transactions on anytime.
Best Practices                                                                                                              
A few best practices that will help you manage certain challenges in testing banking applications are:

  • A clearly defined methodology of software performance testing
  • Testing that encompasses the complete work flow
  • Testing for functionality, performance and security
  • Testing of the app for UX, UI, data integrity and support multiple users

automation testing
Testing banking applications can be a complicated deal, but if the key methods and principles are placed right, then it can be beneficial with long-lasting advantages. The right blend of testers and processes are key factors of a successful mobile banking app.