If you’re a software developer, you know that security is of the utmost importance. You must strive to keep your user’s data out of harm’s way. Performing software penetration testing on your application is one approach to achieving this. But, is it really necessary? We’ll find out.
Read on to explore what software penetration testing is, the different types of tests that are available, and the importance of security in today’s digital world. We’ll also discuss how software penetration testing is done and whether or not it’s something you should consider for your application.
What is software penetration testing?
Software penetration testing, or pen testing for short, is the process of identifying and exploiting security vulnerabilities in a piece of software. It’s essentially a way to test the security of an application by simulating real-world attacks. This can help you find and fix any vulnerabilities before they’re exploited by hackers.
Different types of Software Penetration Testing
The three most common types are mobile app pen testing, web app pen testing, and cloud app pentesting. Let’s look at each one in detail.
1. Mobile Application Penetration Testing:
Mobile app pen testing is similar to web app pen testing, except that it’s performed on mobile applications instead of websites.
2. Web Application Penetration Testing:
Here you are identifying and exploiting security vulnerabilities in websites. The objective is to discover and repair any flaws before they can be attacked by hackers. The process is similar to mobile app pen testing, but you’ll need to use different tools and techniques when attacking web apps. For example, you’ll likely want to use a tool like Burp Suite to intercept and modify traffic between the app and the server.
3. Cloud Application Penetration Testing:
Here you identify security weak points in cloud apps by performing exploits. The objective is to identify and repair any vulnerabilities before a hacker finds and takes advantage of it. The process is similar to mobile app pen testing, but you’ll need to use different tools and techniques when attacking cloud apps. For example, you’ll likely want to use a tool like Astra Pentest.
Security Issues in Mobile Applications:
With the growth of mobile applications, more threats are emerging. According to a recent study, 89% of mobile apps have at least one security loophole. And, as we all know, a single vulnerability may be exploited to steal sensitive information or install malware on a user’s device.
Security Issues in Web Applications:
Web applications are also a favourite target for hackers. The OWASP Top Ten list of most common web application security vulnerabilities includes items such as cross-site scripting (XSS), SQL injection, and broken authentication and session management. These vulnerabilities can prove to be expensive and drag your reputation down.
Security Issues in Cloud Platforms:
Cloud platforms are also a favourite target for hackers. A recent study found that 71% of all attacks on cloud platforms occur in the form of DDoS (Distributed Denial of service) attacks. And, as we all know, DDoS attacks can be very costly and damaging to businesses.
How is Software Penetration Testing done?
Now that we’ve seen the importance of software penetration testing, let’s take a look at how it’s done. The process typically involves six steps:
1) Pre-Engagement Analysis:
The pre-engagement analysis is the first step in the penetration testing methodology. In this step, you’ll collect information about the app and the target environment in which it is being run/used. This includes things like the operating system, web server, and database versions. You’ll also want to learn more about the application and its components, as well as how it’s utilised.
2) Information Gathering:
The information gathering step is where you’ll start digging into the application to find vulnerabilities. This includes identifying potential entry points into the system and investigating for clues about how the application works. You might also want to collect details about the target environment and any other systems that are connected to it.
3) Vulnerability Assessment:
In the vulnerability assessment step, you’ll assess all of the information you’ve gathered to identify potential security vulnerabilities. This includes looking for things like insecure coding practises, weak passwords, and unsecured communications.
In the exploitation step, you’ll attempt to exploit the vulnerabilities you’ve identified to gain access to sensitive data or control of the system. This can include things like exploiting SQL injection vulnerabilities to steal data from a database or using cross-site scripting attacks to inject malware into a user’s browser.
After you’ve exploited the vulnerabilities, the next step is post-exploitation. In this step, you’ll take advantage of your position as an attacker to gain access to confidential information and systems. For example, you may want to download all of the data from a server or install backdoors on the system so you can return later and access it again.
The final step in the software penetration testing process is reporting. In this step, you’ll document all of your findings and provide recommendations for fixing any vulnerabilities you’ve identified. You may also want to include a section on risk assessment to help management understand the potential impact of these vulnerabilities.
Should you do Software Penetration Testing?
The answer to that question depends on many factors, including the type of application, its features, and the environment it’s running in. However, in most cases, pen testing can be a valuable asset for identifying security vulnerabilities and helping to protect your software from attack.
Summing it up
Software penetration testing is a process of identifying security vulnerabilities in software applications. It’s an important step in protecting your software from attack and helping to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of data.
The process typically involves six steps: pre-engagement analysis, information gathering, vulnerability assessment, exploitation, post-exploitation, and reporting. In most cases, pen testing can be eye-opening and help you to improve the security of your software. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits against the costs and make sure that it’s the right fit for you.