22 Nov Security in QA Testing: Why It should be on the top of your business strategy
$3.62 billion! That’s how much an average data security breach cost a company in 2017. In today’s interconnected world of business and technology, you simply cannot afford to take security for granted at any stage of product development, especially the security in QA testing.
A security breach not only places an organization’s IP, technologies, and other sensitive information potentially worth thousands of dollars at risk, it also endangers the personal information of customers. In the light of compliance and regulatory requirements such as the GDPR, failure to meet data security requirements can result in penalties that can be potentially devastating for an organization. Such security breaches can be catastrophic for any business and can severely hamper the reputation of an organization while undoing and damaging years of hard work and brand building. In this post, we discuss why security in QA testing should be on top of your business strategy.
In a rush to get products to market, security is often ignored in the critical QA testing phase of the software development and delivery process. Quality and software security are not separate, but rather two sides of the same coin. A defect that causes a system failure today could very well be a vulnerability exploited by an attacker tomorrow. Besides meeting functionality and performance related benchmarks, QA testing should be comprehensively designed to integrate robust and rigorous security testing at every stage of the process.
Here, we list three major factors that impact security in QA testing.
1. Technical Infrastructure
Your organization’s technical infrastructure can have several vulnerabilities and gaps that leave your software open to threats. Whether it is an ineffective firewall, the absence of power backup, or even redundant access controls, your organization’s technical infrastructure should be equipped to detect and handle the latest threats.
2. Policies and Access Practices
In some cases, security policies that restrict access to sensitive data can be weakly implemented which might result in the exploitation of data in malicious ways.
That’s not all. While remote working may be the order of the day, this useful practice can potentially expose your QA infrastructure to security threats lurking around. In the absence of well-defined access controls like 2-factor authentication, your software could be accessed by attackers and malicious software. Organizations need to implement a security-first culture amongst employees in addition to customizing their data and security policies based on the organizational culture and nature of the business.
The people aspect of the QA process is often overlooked when people think of QA testing. In the absence of a competent team that is trained to follow best security practices, and are updated with the latest security technologies, your QA process could be undone by a single bad hire. Personnel in the QA team need to be vetted and hired with an increased level of scrutiny to ensure there are no data or security breaches introduced at this critical stage of software development.
Unfortunately, integrating security in QA testing is not as simple as simply taking care of the above mentioned 3 factors. Every organization with its unique infrastructure and associated risks, requires an in-depth analysis that includes risk assessments, vulnerability scanning, security assessment and penetration testing.
Using the services of an expert outsourced QA testing agency can be a strategically important business decision. A QA partner with a robust infrastructure and proven experience in Security testing in QA could help you prioritize security in QA testing while providing you with reports and recommendations tailored to the security needs of your business. However, this doesn’t come without its own risks. In case of outsourced QA testing, the aspect of security takes a whole new dimension. Studies show that organizations that allow third-party access are 63% more likely to experience a cybersecurity breach versus those who don’t.
This brings us to an important question. What makes for a strong and secure QA testing strategy?
A comprehensive QA strategy not only integrates security testing as part of the QA process, but also ensures that security is prioritized at every stage of the execution of the testing process.
Here are a few things you need to consider in your internal QA processes or while considering the services of an outsourced QA testing partner.
1. Secured and Authorized Access
In the context of infrastructure, the importance of a secured network cannot be overstated. Reliable firewall protection, and authorized remote access are two other critical factors that a QA strategy cannot afford to overlook.
2. Multi-level Verification
Any access to the code or data should be authorized via multiple levels of verification-based access. This ensures that data is only viewed and accessed by those authorized to do so.
3. Automated security measures
Automated security measures such as unauthorized access alerts and 2-factor based login methods, your technical infrastructure should be automated to ensure security is always prioritized at each stage.
4. Qualified and thoroughly vetted QA personnel
A QA team that is carefully vetted after security and background checks is a critical step to bolstering your organization’s security posture. Additionally, you need to ensure that QA personnel are trained in the latest security practices and are equipped to understand and detect any security lapses without any delays.
Every organization with its unique infrastructure and associated risks, requires an in-depth analysis that includes risk assessments, vulnerability scanning, security assessment, and penetration testing. That’s why hiring an expert outsourced QA testing agency can be a strategically important business decision.
While considering an outsourced QA partner, you need to ensure that your partner has the understanding and the resources to implement a tight, fail-proof QA testing strategy for you.
Whether is an array of automated security tools for penetration testing, or infrastructure measures in place to ensure best security practices, a QA testing partner should ensure there is no scope for security lapses in both the software as well as the implementation of the QA process. Besides a thorough understanding of best security practices and their implementation, a competent QA organization should not only identify and assess risks, but also share recommendations and remediation plans.
QAOnCloud’s security testing services help you develop QA processes that are tailored specifically to your business. Write to us to know more about our software testing services and how we can implement Security QA Testing for your business.