With vital data being transmitted and stored in web applications, there is a dire need for explicit security testing. Apart from maintaining the privacy of important data, security testing also involves tackling authorization and authentication issues.
As a tester, it is the most exciting form of testing. There are many interesting tools and techniques to reveal the vulnerabilities of a web application. But as fun as it may sound, it has a very serious side to it. With the use of the right security testing tools you can uncover many hidden issues that can otherwise give out sensitive information in unauthorized hands. With so many web application security testing tools available, there is always a doubt about the most suitable option. Here are some tips to choose the right security testing tool:
Simplicity of use:
It is very important for a security testing tool to have complete ease of usage to save unnecessary time wastage. The tool should not be confusing and should be easy enough to be understood by first time users. The installation should be simple and the basic setup should not require too much time.
A web application security testing tool is incomplete without a handy set of standalone tools. Some examples can be HTTP editors, web proxy and HTTP discovery service that allows detection of live web servers on the network. These utilities are very important to perform thorough investigation. More than half of the issues are revealed by these additional utilitarian tools.
Creation of logs:
Logging allows you to track the entire process from submitting the URL to packet level details. You can locate the error invoking code and can even identify the headers sent and received via the HTTP protocol.
Authentication and authorization:
Security testing tools should allow you to manipulate the web application as an authenticated user. This will help you in revealing the loopholes or the sensitive areas of the application that can be easily exploited. Similarly, you should be able to adopt different authorization roles and test the application accordingly.
Handling false positives:
Every testing tool generates many false positives but the right tool is the one that offers ways to control what has already been scanned or seen. When used in future, it saves lot of time and makes testing hassle free.
Though rare, but if a web application security testing tool provides password cracking capabilities, it can make the application very secure. This helps in testing the robustness of login mechanism. The conventional dictionary cracking methods are little limited in their scope.
Advanced features like smart scanning, multiple site scan, and internal scan query manipulation allow complete testing of the application quickly. Go for the evaluation version to see whether the tool is actually as per your requirements or not. Keep these tips in mind and choose the web application security testing tool that works well in your environment and fits your budget.