$3.62 billion! That’s how much an average data security breach costs a company in 2017. In today’s interconnected world of business and technology, you 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. And such penalties 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.
WHY SECURITY IN QA TESTING SHOULD BE GIVEN THE TOP PRIORITY IN BUSINESS STRATEGY?
In a rush to get products to market, we often ignore security in the critical QA testing phase of the software development and delivery process. Quality and software security are not separate, but slightly 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. The design should be in such a way that it integrates robust and rigorous security testing.
THREE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS THAT IMPACT SECURITY IN QA TESTING
Here are the three major factors that can either directly or indirectly impact the security aspect 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, absence of power backup or redundant access controls, you should equip your organization’s technical infrastructure to detect and handle the latest threats.
2. POLICIES AND ACCESS PRACTICES
In some cases, we implement security policies that restrict access to sensitive data. It 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, attackers could access your software 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.
We often overlook the people aspect of the QA process when we think of QA testing. In the absence of a competent team that is trained to follow best security practices, and get updated with the latest security technologies, your QA process can get spoiled because of 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 merely taking care of the above mentioned three factors. Every organization, with its unique infrastructure and associated risks, requires an in-depth analysis. This analysis also includes risk assessments, vulnerability scanning, security assessment, and penetration testing.
IS USING THE SERVICES OF AN EXPERT OUTSOURCED QA TESTING AGENCY A GOOD STRATEGY?
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 risks. In the 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.
It brings us to an important question. What makes for a stable and secure QA testing strategy?
A comprehensive QA strategy not only integrates security testing as part of the QA process but also ensures that we prioritize security at every stage of the testing process.
THINGS YOU NEED TO CONSIDER IN YOUR INTERNAL QA PROCESSES
Here are a few things you need to consider in your internal QA processes or while reviewing the services of an outsourced QA testing partner.
1. SECURED AND AUTHORIZED ACCESS
In the context of infrastructure, we cannot understate the importance of a secured network. Reliable firewall protection and authorized remote access are two other critical factors that a QA strategy cannot afford to overlook.
2. MULTI-LEVEL VERIFICATION
Authorization of any access to the code or data via multiple levels of verification-based access.
3. AUTOMATED SECURITY MEASURES
You should automate the technical infrastructure with security measures like unauthorized access alerts and 2-factor based login methods, to ensure prioritized security at each stage.
4. QUALIFIED AND THOROUGHLY VETTED QA PERSONNEL
A QA team, carefully vetted after security and background checks is a critical step to bolstering your security posture. Additionally, you need to ensure that the QA personnel has undergone training in the latest security practices. Such personnel should also be able to understand and detect any security lapses without any delays.
Ensure that your partner has the understanding and the resources to implement a robust, fail-proof QA testing strategy. Whether it is an array of automated security tools or infrastructure measures, a QA testing partner should ensure there is no scope for security lapses in the QA process.
Besides a thorough understanding of best security practices and their application, 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 for your business.
Write to us to know more about our software testing services. Also, know how we can implement Security QA Testing for your business.