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What Makes Vulnerability Testing So Important Within Security Testing?

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By Author: Diya Jones
Total Articles: 101
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Digitization has brought in its wake scores of tangible and intangible benefits to mankind. It has shaken the traditional business models and has brought newer paradigms to improve efficiency, establish connectivity, analyze information, and stay competitive. The increased proliferation of digitization through a range of advanced devices and faster networks riding on a slew of technologies has changed customer experience into delight. However, notwithstanding the grand strides that digitization has made into the lives of people, it is accompanied by increased incidences of cybercrime as well. If statistics are to be believed, then cybercrime causes a worldwide annual loss of $900 billion.

Why cybercrime is so prevalent?

The ubiquity of cybercrime around the world is due to a host of reasons. These stem from the fact that cybercrime can be a low investment and high returns venture.

· Poorly protected IoT devices where various devices communicate with each other.

· Cybercriminals embracing new technologies to stay a step ahead of law enforcement and business entities.

· New users joining the Internet from countries where there is a poor cyber security network.

· Cybercriminals becoming increasingly sophisticated, financially adroit, and technologically adept to exploit the vulnerabilities of IT systems.

Since most of the software applications have built-in vulnerabilities, which make them susceptible to intruder attacks, they should undergo a rigorous vulnerability testing exercise. This is to ensure the existing vulnerabilities are identified and eliminated. Remember, the intruder attacks can begin both from outside and inside and so, it is very difficult for any organization to stay unaffected. The only way out is to keep the existing security mechanism robust and functional. This calls for putting in place strong firewalls with security protocols. By resorting to vulnerability and penetration testing, organizations can identify the loopholes and work in right earnest to plug the gaps.

Impact of cybercrime on businesses

The growing menace of cybercrime has become an existential threat for businesses. It may not only wipe out a business’s hard-earned assets including revenue, but also can strike at the very root of its value proposition. The dire consequences that businesses can face due to an unprotected digital environment or untested software applications are manifold.

· Customer data can be hacked into and misused by cyber criminals. This can cause customers to suffer from monetary losses not to speak of the incalculable degree of mental agony.

· Customers can sue businesses that make such vulnerable applications thereby forcing the latter to make good the losses.

· A hacked software application can lead to the loss of the most important attribute for a business – customer trust.

· A lack of vulnerability testing can result in the regulatory agencies coming down hard on businesses. This can invite severe penalties and strictures.

· Any unplugged security vulnerability can end up causing huge losses for a business. The losses can be both tangible (monetary) and intangible (market confidence).

Addressing cybersecurity concerns through security testing

Security testing has businesses undertake testing initiatives to keep software applications function seamlessly in a productive environment. It covers various touchpoints of a software application comprising devices, databases, platforms, networks, and even the cloud. It is a critical requirement to establish a comprehensive security testing framework. The application security testing helps to restore the confidence of customers in a software application as well as in the company developing it.

Secure your business

As customers carry out an increasing number of online transactions on multiple channels, the security breaches can remove their trust in such channels. This calls for carrying out application vulnerability testing to identify and plug the gaps in the operational environment. The vulnerability can be in the form of a weakness or gap that exists in the security systems. This can arise out of a faulty design, procedure or internal control, which intruders can exploit to gain an unauthorized access.

The application security testing exercise includes carrying out of vulnerability assessment to evaluate and pre-empt the risks that are present in the system. It involves conducting black box testing, grey box testing, and white box testing. Thereafter, penetration testing comprising a simulated attack on the application, APIs, and servers should be executed. This lays bare the vulnerabilities in the system, which if not plugged at the outset, can be exploited by cyber criminals to wreak havoc.

Conclusion

With increased incidences of cyber-attacks mounted on businesses and their products and services, the role of security testing specialists has become critical. The first step in making your business or application foolproof against such attacks is by testing web application vulnerabilities. In fact, businesses can stay away from conducting such a testing only at their peril.

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