Quality Assurance’s Role in Security Testing is Growing
By: Matt Angerer
Why, exactly, is security testing so important? Although some organizations might argue that security testing is a waste of time and resources, nothing could be further from the truth. As the proliferation of mobile technology continues at a rapid pace, organizations must face even greater responsibilities and risks than in the past. According to the 2015 World Quality Report, there are over 2,500 different mobile device types and 700 different operating system configurations in use today. The complexities of the modern day software landscape call for a methodical and measured approach to security testing.
The Possible Repercussions of Testing Failures
Failing to respond until a security incident occurs can lead to a tremendous disaster if an application vulnerability is exploited by a third party. Potential negative consequences of such an incident could include damage to your brand, loss of customer confidence, downtime, and expensive remediation costs. Additionally, your brand could even face possible civil lawsuits and legal sanctions. Time and again, companies attempt to cut corners and end up paying more on the backend to recover from those costly mistakes.
It is common for organizations to overlook the importance of security testing and reviewing code, by simply assuming their applications will be free from errors. The responsibility for protecting organizations from malicious attacks typically falls on IT managers, who must incorporate the latest strategies to meet continually evolving challenges. Malicious vulnerabilities typically develop because of compromised code, which makes it possible for hackers to gain access to sensitive data stores.
The repercussions of a malware attack or other incident could be significant, crippling both your brand’s reputation and business, but it does not have to be that way. Appropriate security testing can help reduce these risks. Numerous types of security tests are available, such as in-program checks performed while the code is written or more extensive penetration testing.
Quality Assurance Testing for Security
Moving forward, quality assurance testing professionals will need to play an even greater role in security due to their unique understanding and insight into the elements of an application. Because they can see the big picture, QA professionals are able to conduct in-depth security testing. Ultimately, testers are best qualified to determine at which junctures an application may face the greatest level of risk. With an increased focus on the importance of security testing, there is also a greater focus on QA and testing budgets. According to the World Quality Report 2015-2016, QA and testing budgets have increased 9 percent year over year.
The importance of developing secure applications cannot be disputed. By getting on board early during the planning phase, it is possible for QA professionals to identify and address potential security issues before they become major concerns. There is simply no reason for the security of an application to be left at risk. Appropriate security testing is essential, and can significantly decrease the risk of vulnerabilities being exploited, saving your organization time, money, and stress.