Why Do Big Brands Need Security Testing?

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In our always-on digital world, the fact that almost everyone can access data anywhere at any time poses a huge challenge to businesses. Ensuring data security is essential, not only for legal compliance such as GDPR but also for the profitability and overall success of organisations. For big brands who are desperate to keep customers on side and are careful not to risk damage to their reputation, managing data security through security testing is essential. So, just what is security testing, why do big brands need it and why should all organisations adopt it?

What is security testing?

Security testing is a way to ensure that the security systems that are put in place are working effectively. Businesses operate with a lot of sensitive and lucrative data from their customers. In order to obtain this data, brands need to demonstrate that they are trustworthy and have the security systems in place to look after customer data. However, hackers and cybercriminals are always on the lookout for ways to hack into the software and system of big brands to steal their data, customer information and expose vulnerabilities which can significantly damage the reputation of brands of all shapes and sizes. In fact, Verizon suggests that one in every five businesses have a chance of a data breach. This is frightening to every business when an average breach of 1,000 records will cost an organisation between $52,000 and $87,000. With this in mind, there is always a threat to businesses. The risk of a security breach is not just financial, but also damages an organisation’s reputation, brand, productivity as well as putting pressure on the tech support, forensics and regulatory compliance teams in the business.

The importance of security testing

With data breaches being a very real threat to organisations of all shapes and sizes, having the security testing skills available is critical. Security testing is a specific type of software testing that can help to ensure all systems in the workplace are free from threats, vulnerabilities and risks. A security tester works to explore and uncover any potential loopholes and weaknesses in the systems that could result in a data breach, loss of information, revenue or reputation. Essentially, security testing is working to detect and uncover all possible security risks and then helping the developers to fix these flaws and keep the software secure and your data safe.

Types of security testing

There are lots of different ways a security tester can assess and audit software to expose vulnerabilities. Some of which include;

Risk assessments

These are when any security risks in the organisation are recorded, analysed and classified. Risks are typically classified as low, medium or high. From there, testers will be able to recommend any specific controls or measures that are required to help reduce the risk of a breach.

Security scanning

Security scans can be completed both manually and automatically. The scans are there to identify weaknesses and then offer suggestions on how to reduce the risks. These scans can identify vulnerabilities across the network and systems.

Ethical hacking

Another popular type of security testing is ethical hacking. This is where a non-malicious hacker tries to access the software systems as a way to expose any security flaws in the system that the organisation can then put right. This is often completed by a third-party who will not have knowledge of what systems the business has in place.

Penetration testing

This form of security testing works to simulate a malicious attack, to check for vulnerabilities than an external hacker may use. This is similar to ethical hacking but works to seek an analysis of a particular system and what the outcomes would be if it were a malicious attack.

Vulnerability scanning

This type of security test is often automated and scans the systems of the business against known vulnerability signatures.

Security auditing

An audit will usually follow security guidance or audit rules and will inspect the internal working of systems for any security flaws. This can be done by checking each line of code for any faults or random testing of different applications, software and operating systems.

When do big brands need security testers?

Security testing is often an ongoing project and should be a crucial element through the entire lifecycle of any software that the business implements. In fact, it is wise to create a test plan that covers the test cases, data, tools and analysis that you will have at each point of the test plan. For example, vulnerability scanning should take place during development, while penetration testing is key for the implementation of software and security audits will form part of the support service.

Do you want to be a security tester?

As every business needs a security policy, security testers are in high demand too. Typically, security testers will also be technical testers, test managers or part of the security team in an organisation.  If you like to put your detective hat on and uncover the less explored avenues to expose vulnerabilities and outfox the malicious hackers, then security testing could be your dream role. At TSG Training, we can help you to become a security tester with our comprehensive ISTQB Advanced Security Tester Online Course. With this accredited training, you can learn testing skills at your own pace, in the comfort of your own home. When you are ready, the course fees also cover your exam costs, which you can sit at your local Pearson VUE centre. The security tester course is ideal for those in the technical testing and data security roles who want to specialise in security testing. The course covers all aspects of testing through a life cycle so you can learn the best testing approaches to apply from inception to delivery. You can find out more about the course here or watch our Security Testing Webinar, featuring leading security expert Randy Rice here.

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