Cyber Security Testing – Know The Types, Importance, & Best Practices
Definition: Cyber security testing is a complete package of methods and techniques to discover any vulnerability present in your network, application, and system. It’s mainly used to test how effective your security strategy is against potential cyber threats.
The goal of security testing is very clear i.e. it’s performed to identify any security loophole present in an organization.
But, the question is;
Why Security Testing in Cyber Security Is Needed?
Security testing is an essential component of software testing (for making the application threat-free). It has some other benefits that companies get. They are;
- Increase Uptime & Productivity: It always takes more work to fix a security breach than to avoid one in the first place. Consider the number of class action lawsuits for data breaches that have been filed against firms globally. Compare the cost of those settlements to hiring an ethical hacker for your team. Hence, by carrying out security testing, you will be relieved from all these hassles.
- Meet Compliance: Every company has to maintain compliance with both industry-specific and general laws, such as PSD2 and GDPR for banks. Even the smallest error can result in legal disputes, millions of dollars in repair costs, and a tarnished reputation. Cybersecurity testing aids organizations in demonstrating and upholding compliance.
- Uncover Critical Vulnerability: Patching workstations, devices, and network hardware on a regular basis is a difficult task, but it must be done. Hackers use these well-known weaknesses to distribute trojans and ransomware. It’s challenging for many organizations to stay on top of all the vulnerabilities that are out there.
- Discover Present Threats: A large number of online fraudsters adhere to accepted tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). These tested techniques are what we employ to reproduce assaults. If effective, organizations learn more about the kinds of threats to which they are most susceptible.
Hence, security testing should be considered an important part of an organization.
Different Types of Cyber Security Testing
Different approaches serve different objectives. To examine organizations’ overall security infrastructure, various cybersecurity assessment types exist.
Here are distinct ways you can follow to perform a security assessment in cyber security.
1. Vulnerability Assessment
The most common security test in the field of cybersecurity is vulnerability assessment. According to the assessment objective, the assets (which could be applications, networks, infrastructure, codes, data, etc.) may be subject to automated testing within a specific scope to find security bugs or weaknesses. Its defects are categorized according to the risk they provide to the company.
In order to deploy patches or updates, this type of security testing is frequently done to monitor open paths and vulnerabilities in software, networks, etc.
2. Penetration Testing
Utilizing security weaknesses identified in the vulnerability assessment requires penetration testing. It is a thorough technique for finding vulnerabilities that evaluate the security posture of an organization from the viewpoint of a malevolent attacker. The majority of the categorized bugs and flaws are chained together or frequently used alone to demonstrate how an organization can be penetrated or hacked, as well as how any attacker could begin an attack if he discovered the open vulnerabilities.
Note: Many business enterprises are taking professional help for vulnerability assessment & penetration testing (VAPT). To avail the benefits of Robust VAPT Services, don’t hesitate to contact our industry experts.
This type of security testing is done as a proactive measure to find security holes and frequently to adhere to rules and compliances.
Additionally, pen-testing can be carried out using one of three methods:
- Black-box pen-testing entails accessing the assets while testing them from the viewpoint of a malevolent hacker who lacks internal knowledge, access, or data.
- White-box pen-testing includes testing the assets while utilizing the majority of internal data and privileges (such as an insider’s or employee’s malevolent perspective).
- Grey-box pen-testing covers testing assets with access and partial inside knowledge.
3. Social Engineering Assessment
This assessment, in contrast to technical or technological security tests, includes brainwashing people using false or misleading information. In social engineering, security experts pose as themselves to coerce people or employees into doing things like downloading files, clicking on dubious links, or disclosing personal information.
The goal of this type of security testing is to determine the company’s culture, any missing security components, and security awareness levels.
A wide range of tools is available for this assessment to evaluate employee security awareness, organizational security culture, and employee training. Among the most common social engineering methods are:
4. Red-Team Assessment
Red teaming is a step up from penetration testing when it comes to identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities. It is a full-scale attack that uses lateral movement and cyberattack simulation to keep a foothold in both the internal and external environments and increase privileges while remaining undiscovered.
Red team assessment involves strategically planning an attack campaign to evaluate the organization’s defenses. It evaluates the security culture from the perspective of testing personnel using physical and digital social engineering attacks, network and application resilience tests using various penetration testing, and the organization’s overall offensive and defensive security posture. In it, security safeguards are also circumvented while being masked by the manipulation of the defensive and detecting systems.
5. Cloud Security Assessment
To analyze the cloud posture in accordance with the best practices of the cloud service provider, a cloud security assessment is conducted. This focuses on locating weaknesses in cloud infrastructure and mitigating them through various access control management and suitable security and governance levels.
A unique tool used to identify risks and threats to all cloud-based assets is this particular assessment. This type of security testing assists in identifying the vulnerable access point and admission to the cloud infrastructure. Enterprises that use the SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), or PaaS (Platform as a Service) models for their daily operations must conduct a cloud security assessment.
6. Security Audit
The technical evaluation of organizational policies and controls is what makes up a security audit. The audit focuses on aligning an organization’s present security posture with security industry standards in accordance with business and security requirements. As opposed to other security assessments that seek to identify weaknesses and increase security and defensive posture.
It is carried out once a year to comply with security regulations and business policies like HIPAA, SOX, PCI DSS, etc. It’s also performed occasionally to monitor the state of business security.
Note: Before going for the actual audit procedure, it’s better to prepare your organization’s environment. For that, you can reach out to our experienced security audit consultants. They can guide you and help you pass the audit requirements. We offer ISO-27001, SOC2 Type2, NIST CSF, and CMMC Consulting Services.
7. Incident Response Readiness Assessment
An organization’s readiness to defend against a cyberattack and mitigate the damage is assessed through an incident response readiness assessment. This type of security testing offers a technical and basic attack-driven study to figure out the response capacities to fend off malware, viruses, and other impending attack vectors from advanced threat actors and state-sponsored attackers.
This is also done by outside resources to examine the organization’s readiness, current security measures, and defensive capabilities, much like the ransomware simulation evaluation.
8. Table Top Exercise
Cybersecurity Tabletop exercises don’t involve any real hacks or exploitation, in contrast to conventional cybersecurity evaluations. Instead, it is a theoretical cybersecurity assessment designed to get the security team and organization ready for potential cyber threats under a variety of real-world risks and event scenarios. Understanding the most effective strategies for dealing with cyberattacks and threats helps the organization assess how prepared and effective their existing response plan is to deal with any genuine cyber opponent.
Workshops, seminars, or a straightforward conversation with CISOs and other security experts might be used to execute this exercise. Tabletop exercises, in essence, are scenario-based cybersecurity assessments that make it easier to create incident response plans, fix weaknesses, and identify the current gaps in organizational responses to certain cyber incident situations.
Besides, a carefully considered cybersecurity evaluation aids the organization in taking preventative action. They may support their operations with appropriate security measures and a better understanding of risk and threats by assessing the following elements:
- Assets now in use, such as applications, networks, systems, data, etc.
- Observation of the appropriate security ordinance by business
- Existing vulnerabilities in the assets
- Determine the attack area.
- Possible dangers and risks to assets
- Cyber resilience of assets
- Assets costs and asset prevention costs are inversely related.
What is The Right Way to Make Security Assessment Successful?
Well, the straightforward answer is to carry out the security testing process in order. To make the security assessment model successful, you need to follow these 4 steps.
- Identification. Learn about the key technological components of the infrastructure. Next, find out if these assets are creating, storing, or sending sensitive data. Make a risk profile for each.
- Assessment. Implement a plan to assess the security risks to the critical assets. After thorough evaluation and assessment, decide how to allocate time and resources for risk mitigation in an effective and efficient manner. Assets, risks, vulnerabilities, and mitigating controls must be examined in relation to one another by the methodology or assessment approach.
- Mitigation. Establish security controls and a mitigation plan for each risk.
- Prevention. Reduce the risk that threats and vulnerabilities will have an impact on your company’s resources by using procedures and technologies.
Cybersecurity is a serious issue. Businesses today confront a never-seen-before level of risk from cyber threats, which can include data breaches and ransomware attacks. For businesses to succeed, it’s important to implement security measures such as continuous monitoring of the IT environment and performing cyber security testing on a regular basis.
Q- What is Cyber Security Testing?
Assessing an organization’s systems, networks, and applications for security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers is known as security testing.
Q- How often an organization should conduct cybersecurity testing?
Regular cybersecurity testing is recommended for all organizations, regardless of size and requirements.
Q- What is the role of a testing team?
The role of testing is clear. Testers plan and execute tests, analyze results, and suggest security improvements.
Q- Is it necessary to conduct security testing only in large organizations?
No. Not just large organizations, every industry regardless of their size should invest in cyber security testing to keep their sensitive information safe from possible cyber threats.