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The Importance of Software Security Testing

Software Security Testing

The rising number of data breaches is a harsh reality every business faces. The average cost of data breaches for Canadian businesses is increasing and it is reported to be worth $6.11 million. The time required for Canadian companies to detect data breaches has also increased to 181 days. Data breaches compromise large volumes of sensitive data such as personal information, banking details, and email addresses. Additionally, millions of new and advanced malware strains are created every month. Identifying and protecting enterprise systems from these malware strains can be extremely complicated.

IT companies in Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, and other parts of Canada are focusing on developing foolproof security measures to ensure protection from cyber threats. IT developers are trying to identify the causes of poor security against cyber attacks. After analyzing the root causes, developers and cybersecurity professionals can build a strategy for prevention and mitigation.

Causes of Poor Security

Several IT companies in Edmonton and all over the globe may point towards the following causes of poor security:

Remote Access

The rise of BYOD culture in the workplace has given employees the flexibility to work remotely and bring their own devices to work. These devices may be protected using security measures such as a firewall. However, some security policies for protecting sensitive data can be weaker than the firewall. In such scenarios, hackers can exploit data in several ways. Also, employees may use public WiFi networks while working remotely. Such networks are prone to various cyber attacks like Man in the Middle and Denial of Service. Leveraging advanced cyber attacks, hackers can infiltrate public networks and gain access to sensitive data.

Centralized Cloud

Several organizations rely on cloud services to store and exchange data. Cloud services are always prone to various kinds of cyber attacks due to the possession of large volumes of sensitive data. If the security standards of cloud services fall short, then attackers can hack into the servers and obtain sensitive data. Even well-established companies can be victims of malicious attacks. For instance, Tesla’s cloud service was hacked to mine cryptocurrencies. The attackers gained access to Tesla’s cloud optimization system as it was not password protected. Additionally, a majority of IoT devices utilize centralized cloud for data storage and transfer. By hacking these cloud services, hackers can acquire highly sensitive information from businesses and customers.

No Multi-Factor Authentication

Generally, people use passwords that are easy to remember, for several online accounts. However, passwords can be easily hacked using brute force attacks. Recently, one of the biggest stolen data dumps has been discovered online containing more than 770 million unique email addresses and passwords. Using such data, any hacker can illegally access millions of accounts globally and gather confidential data. To protect data from hackers, organizations must implement multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication requires users to present two or more pieces of evidence to prove their identity. Without multi-factor authentication, organizations are easily exposing their data to cybercriminals.

Lack of Automated Security

Multiple organizations use security systems that are not automated. These systems cannot automatically identify new malware and need additional manual programming. Hence, the rising number of new malware can easily penetrate through these security systems and stay undetected in the network. Also, in case of cyber attacks, IT departments have to manually find and fix security loopholes as soon as possible. The delays introduced due to the manual approach can worsen the situation further and expose vast volumes of confidential data. In these situations, automated security systems can autonomously execute mitigation strategies to identify threats and implement recovery protocols.

Methods of Software Security Testing

IT companies in Edmonton and across the globe implement a wide variety of software security testing methods to ensure effective security standards. These security testing methods include:

  • Vulnerability Scanning: Vulnerability scanning is done with automated software to scan systems against known vulnerabilities.
  • Security Scanning: Security scanning identifies network and system weaknesses and offers solutions for potential risks. This type of testing can be both manual and automated.
  • Penetration testing: Penetration testing is used to simulate a cyber attack from a hacker. This kind of testing checks for potential vulnerabilities to external hacking attempts.
  • Risk Assessment: Risk assessment analyzes security risks in the organization. These risks can be classified as low, medium, and high. During risk assessment, developers build measures to reduce the impact of various risks.
  • Security Auditing: Security auditing is an internal inspection of various software and computer and mobile operating systems such as Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android to find security loopholes. Audits can also be executed by inspecting each line of code.
  • Ethical hacking: Ethical hacking is done to expose vulnerability in an organization’s network and software systems. With the help of ethical hacking, potential security loopholes can be identified.
  • Posture Assessment: Posture assessment combines security scanning, risk assessment, and ethical hacking to identify the overall security posture of an organization. Using posture assessment, current security standards of an organization can be analyzed.

Additional security measures

In the digital age, basic security measures are not enough. Organizations and IT companies in Edmonton, Toronto, and all over Canada must go the extra mile to ensure software security. Additional security measures include:

Encryption

Organizations must encrypt their networks and all their data transferred using a software. Encryption generates a unique cryptographic hash for all files. In case of illegal data access, the public key and the cryptographic hash of the file will be conflicted and illegal access will be identified. With the help of encryption, organizations can ensure data confidentiality, avoid unauthorized modification, ensure data integrity, and authenticate various data sources.

Authentication and Authorization

Authentication mechanisms verify the identity of users who wish to access data using enterprise software applications. Organizations can design systems that implement multi-factor authentication and security control mechanisms. Besides, organizations must restrict access to sensitive data. Businesses must ensure that only authorized personnel can access confidential data. With this approach, data can be protected from cybercriminals.

Several IT companies in Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, and all over Canada implement software security testing to identify existing and potential security risks and fix them beforehand. However, software security testing can be a complex and time consuming process. Hence, organizations should contact experts in software development and testing. To deploy secure software solutions, organizations can reach out to Digital Fractal.

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