When Should a Security Testing Be Done in DevOps

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Security Testing

Security testing is critical in any software development process but can be imperative in DevOps. Because DevOps emphasizes speed and collaboration, it’s vital to ensure that security testing is built into the process from the beginning. But when should security testing be done? Let’s take a look. 

What Is Security Testing?

Security testing is the process of assessing a system for vulnerabilities and determining whether or not someone can exploit it. 

There are many types of security tests, but some of the most common include penetration tests (also known as “pentests”), vulnerability scans, and application security tests.

Security testing is integral to any organization’s overall security strategy, but it’s imperative in DevOps. 

That’s because DevOps relies on automation and continuous delivery, which means that new code is being introduced into production environments faster than in traditional development models. 

As a result, there is a greater need for timely feedback about new code security so that vulnerabilities can be fixed before they’re exploited.

How To Implement Security Testing in DevOps

There are many different ways to implement security testing in DevOps, but one of the most common is to use automated tools. 

Automated tools can help you speed up the process of identifying vulnerabilities by running tests on your code automatically as part of your continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. 

One popular tool for automated security testing is OWASP ZAP (Zed Attack Proxy). OWASP ZAP is an open-source tool that one can use to perform both active and passive penetration tests.

Another popular tool is Burp Suite, which offers a comprehensive suite of tools for performing various types of security tests. 

Why Is Security Testing Done?

In DevOps, security testing is done to ensure that the software system is secure and has not been compromised. This is done by testing for vulnerabilities and risks that could lead to a security breach. 

Security testing helps to identify any potential weaknesses in the system so that they can be addressed before the software is deployed. 

DevOps teams can avoid many costly and time-consuming problems arising from a security breach by doing security testing early in the development process.

 In addition, by integrating security testing into the DevOps workflow, teams can quickly fix any vulnerabilities found, thereby minimizing the impact of a security breach. 

Ultimately, security testing is essential to DevOps because it helps ensure the software system’s safety and integrity.

Which Testing Is Performed First in DevOps?

A unit test is a piece of code that tests the functionality of another piece of code. In the context of DevOps, developers typically create unit tests as part of the test-driven development (TDD) process. 

TDD is a software development methodology in which developers write unit tests before they write production code. 

The purpose of TDD is to ensure that the code meets the requirements specified in the unit tests. Therefore, in a DevOps pipeline, you should run unit tests before any other type of testing. 

This is because unit tests are much faster to execute than other types of tests, such as integration tests or end-to-end tests. Moreover, if unit tests fail, the rest of the tests will also likely fail.

Therefore, by running unit tests first, you can save time and resources by avoiding running tests that are likely to fail.

When Should Security Testing Be Done in DevOps?

In a DevOps environment, it is essential to ensure that security testing is an ongoing process rather than a one-time event. This means you should embed security testing at each stage of the continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline. 

By doing this, QA teams can identify and fix security vulnerabilities early in the development process before they have a chance to cause significant problems.

Of course, you can use many tools and techniques for security testing, so choosing the ones that best fit your organization’s needs is vital. 

However, some general tips for incorporating security testing into DevOps include automating testing procedures, integrating security into the Continuous Delivery Foundation framework, and using open-source tools such as OWASP ZAP and SonarQube. 

Following these tips can help ensure that your DevOps environment is secure and compliant with industry standards.

Assessing Your Risks and Deciding What Level of Security Testing Is Appropriate

In DevOps, it is vital to assess your risks and decide what level of security testing is appropriate. By understanding your risks, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate them. Here are some factors to consider when assessing your risks in DevOps.

1. The Type of Data You Are Handling.

If you are handling sensitive data, such as credit card information or medical records, you must take extra steps to secure that data. You will also need to comply with regulations surrounding the handling of sensitive data.

On the other hand, if you only handle non-sensitive data, such as publicly available information, your risks will be lower.

2. Where Is Your Data Located? 

If your data is stored on-premises, you will have more control over it and be able to secure it better. However, if your data is stored off-premises, in the cloud, for example, you will need to rely on the cloud provider’s security measures.

3. Who Has Access to Your Data? 

If only a few people have access to your data, it will be easier to secure than if many people have access to it. Therefore, you will need to control who has access to your data and restrict access to only those who need it.

What Should I Test in Security Testing?

You can perform several security tests on a system, and the choice of which test to use depends on many factors. Vulnerability scanning is a good starting point for any security assessment, as it can help to identify potential weaknesses in the system. 

You can also use security scanning to identify systems that are vulnerable to attack, and you can use penetration testing to assess the level of risk posed by these vulnerabilities. 

In addition, you can use ethical hacking to identify and exploit vulnerabilities to assess an attack’s impact. Finally, you can use risk assessment and posture assessment to identify a system’s potential risks and evaluate the organization’s overall security posture.

What Are the Three Types of Security Test Assessment?

There are three primary types of security test assessments: security audits, vulnerability assessments, and penetration tests. Security audits are comprehensive reviews of an organization’s security posture. 

They identify weaknesses and recommend corrective action. Vulnerability assessments identify potential security vulnerabilities. They do not attempt to exploit any vulnerabilities, but they can provide valuable information about where an organization’s security posture is weakest. 

Penetration tests are simulated attacks that attempt to exploit vulnerabilities to gain access to systems or data. They assess an organization’s ability to detect and respond to real-world attacks.

What Are the Six Basic Principles of Security Testing?

Security testing is an essential part of any software development process. Organizations can help protect their data and resources from attack by identifying and addressing potential security vulnerabilities. 

There are six basic principles of security testing: Non-Repudiation, Authentication Integrity, Availability, Authorization, and Confidentiality.

Confidentiality refers to the need to keep information private and secure. Data should only be accessible to authorized individuals, and it should be protected from unauthorized disclosure. Integrity refers to the need to ensure that information is accurate and complete. 

Data should be protected from unauthorized modification, and any changes should be tracked and logged. Authentication refers to the need to verify the identity of users before allowing them access to information or systems.

Availability refers to the need to ensure that information is available when needed by authorized users. Systems should be designed for high availability, and backups should be in place in case of system failures. 

Authorization refers to the need to control access to information and resources. Users should only be given access to the information and resources they need, and their access should be revocable if necessary. 

Non-Repudiation refers to the need to ensure that their participants cannot deny actions. For example, digital signatures can verify that a user has sent a message or transaction.

Organizations can help safeguard their data and resources from attack by understanding and implementing these six security testing principles.

Is Security Testing Functional or Non-Functional?

Security testing can be divided into two broad categories: functional and non-functional. Functional testing focuses on the ability of a system or application to meet its specific security requirements. 

On the other hand, non-functional testing focuses on the overall security of a system or application. It includes evaluating aspects such as confidentiality, integrity, and availability. In general, security testing is a non-functional activity. 

However, it is important to note that functional and non-functional testing is essential to ensure the security of a system or application.

Wrap-up

Security testing is integral to the DevOps process and should be done throughout the software development life cycle. By following these six basic security testing principles, you can help ensure that your applications are safe and secure. 

Have you performed security testing on your applications? What tips do you have for others who are just starting? Let us know in the comments below.

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