In the digital age, ensuring the security of web applications is no longer optional—it’s a necessity. Cyber threats have increased, and businesses of all sizes are becoming targets. It would be best to prioritize web security testing to protect sensitive data, customer information, and reputation.
The definition of Web Security Testing
Web security testing is a method that protects web applications from cyber threats by finding and fixing security vulnerabilities in web applications. It is also referred to as web application penetration testing or pentesting. A person or a team that tests web application security is called a web application pentester.
Top 10 Best Practices
As web technology has evolved, the processes of testing web applications have become complex and difficult to understand. If you don’t follow a good path, you can end up testing the same feature over and over and wasting your time. Or you may be confused about what your next step should be. Although there are many ways to test web apps but if you don’t know which one is best then you can never give your best service.
If you don’t test the web application in the right way, some security issues will always remain in that web application. Which will threaten your career as well as the web application. You need to concentrate and put your energy to test that application. Here is a list of top-level practices you can do when testing your web application:
1. Understand the system: Your first and foremost task is to understand the entire web application. Check what IP address it has, what ports are open, what functionality it has, what language it uses to code, what kind of server it is running on, what kind of web framework it uses, whether there are multi-level users, etc. A system understanding of the entire website is very important and essential for security testing. Start using the website as a user if necessary. To understand this, do a proper reconnaissance of the entire web app.
2. Create a test plan: Web application testing is a collection of many tasks. It can be frustrating when testing web applications that you have to remember the entire process and figure out what your next step should be every time. This can affect the quality of your web application testing. The most efficient way to do this is to use a test plan. Note down your testing plan anywhere and take step by step accordingly.
3. Use automated tools: Automated tools can make your work faster, maybe even a little easier. It is better to use automated tools when doing web application reconnaissance like subdomain finding, directory listing, web app crawling, etc. Use the tools but you need to understand how they work. Sometimes automated tools can be dangerous like if you are crawling a website with an automated tool and suddenly it processes a URL that deletes a user account. Then guess maybe you have deleted a user account. This is why you need to be careful when you are using automated tools.
4. Perform manual testing: Automated testing is not enough Even automated testing may not find any kind of vulnerability for you but the web application is full of vulnerabilities. So, you have to field test the web application manually. Test every function, every input-output method, and every type of vulnerability in that web application.
5. Test for OWASP Top 10: The full form of OWASP is Open Web Application Security Project. OWSAP is an important organization for web application security testers and web application developers both. The OWASP Top 10 is the ten most frequently found security vulnerabilities in a web app. The list of OWSAP’s top 10 gets updated every 4 years.
6. Validate input-output: An input-output system is a necessary evil for web applications. You should check the input-output systems especially because they may have more serious vulnerabilities than others. They deserve special care when testing web applications for security vulnerabilities.
7. Test Under Different User Roles: Does that web application have different types of user roles like buyer-seller-bidder, editor-reader-admin, etc? Then check for each role as each of them have different types of functionality and they have different types of impact on the features of the web application. Check if you can access high-level user functionality while logged in as a low-level functional user.
8. Test for session management issues: Many web application security testers don’t care about session management issues. But modern cyber threats have a major impact on session management issues as attackers can hijack admin accounts and damage the application. You must ensure that the application fully expires session tokens.
9. Retest after fixes: After I wrote this article I had to check if I had any mistakes or left any information or if I could add any new information to the article. Just like my article you need to retest after fixing all the vulnerabilities you found in the first attempt because maybe you forgot to check something or new vulnerabilities may appear after fixing or the fixing wasn’t perfect. Retesting your web application after fixing vulnerabilities is a must.
10. Continuous Testing and Monitoring: Most people think of cyber security as a one-time thing but the reality is that it is an ongoing thing. After testing the application you need to continuously monitor the web application for cyber threats. If a new type of vulnerability appears in the tech world, you should test it in your web application. Attackers are finding new and new vulnerabilities in the wild to attack organizations so you must always be on the lookout for your application security.
In short, you need to be proactive, conservative, and persistent in testing your web application. If you don’t have one of them, the testing process will not be valid and bugs will remain in the web application You need to follow the above process for a valid security test. You can take the help of RedNode to ensure your valid security testing process.
If you found this article useful then you will find this one useful too. The process of pentesting: How experts pentest your application