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What Is Dynamic Application Security Testing And It's Need In The Banking Sector?

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The need for high-end security testing is very obvious because the banking domain deals with the maintenance of users’ financial transactions and confidential operation and customer information. With increasing rates of cyber attacks and data breaching scenarios happening everywhere, it has become very crucial to incorporate Security Testing environments for banking and financial sector-related applications. In technical terms, this verification process of finding out network and security or data integrity issues in a banking application is called Penetration Testing.

What is Security Penetration Testing?

It is a testing technique followed by a dedicated professional team of testers to ensure that all the different banking modules of an application are working as expected by the end client. As the word “penetration” implies, the process involves the scenario of penetrating deep into the application and executing all the possible causes of a possible attack. Creating a real attack scenario and then fixing the found issues are the primary steps of an Application Security Testing process. 

Why should you opt for Security Testing?

Out of the many good reasons, let us put some light upon the very essential ones that every organization (in the banking and finance sector-foremost) must think over before starting with any project. 

  1. To ensure sealed banking transactions and secure the networking routes.
  2. For protecting the digital assets of your organization against any kind of data breaches when the vulnerabilities are on a rise. Also, it is a known fact that web applications in comparison to other desktop or mobile ones are more prone to such attacks. 
  3. The security testing process makes sure that your system is strictly in coherence with the mandatory rules and regulations. 
  4. Enables the team to be aware of the possible risk routes into the organization which might have gone overlooked otherwise. 
  5. The process also allows the organization to go through the loopholes or voids (if any) in current security policies. 
  6. During the early stages of any application, it happens often that the budget for security and networking areas go overlooked. With the help of security testing frameworks, considering budgetary decisions in a rightful manner would be more efficient. 
  7. Enables organizations to look for high-priority assets.

What is DAST (Dynamic Application Security Testing)?

DAST or Dynamic Application Security testing is a programming tool that is used to check for security issues in a web application. This tool uses automated test scans and executes them over your application to explore any unexpected outcomes. Also, the program tests all HTTP and HTML points and accesses them for any susceptible vulnerabilities. 

  1. The tool uses a front-end architecture for communicating with your application.
  2. DAST uses black-box testing
  3. This is also known as the “outside-in” testing technique as the tool is behaving like a malicious user attacking the application via all possible scenarios (automated tests)

Some very popular Dynamic Application Security Testing tools

Below are some popular dynamic application security testing tools:

  1. AppScan
  2. Detectify
  3. Netsparker
  4. PortSwigger
  5. Hdiv Security
  6. Acunetix
  7. Checkmarx
  8. Rapid7
  9. MisterScanner
  10. AppCheck Ltd

Variable Network Security Testing strategies

Network Security testing deals with the testing of transactional routers, servers, networking paths, and DNS to protect your system from any data breach and avoid any possible cyber-attacks and threats.

Below are a few methodologies that organizations can adopt and follow through to ensure an efficient security testing plan for the respective application:

Network Scanning

In this method, all the different HTTP and FTP ports are being checked thoroughly to ensure that the configuration has been done only for the secured network services. A port scanner is used to make sure the port's connectivity with the network. There are dedicated tools available in the market that perform Network Scanning over your applications. A few examples of such tools are Intruder, Wireshark, and SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor.

Vulnerability Scanning

Vulnerability scanning is a programming tool that defines its use in terms of finding any weaknesses of the system on which it is being executed. Depending upon the execution environment, the total run time for a vulnerability scan goes up to 10+ hours starting from mere 1-3 hours for quick scans. Examples of such programming software are SolarWinds Network Configuration Manager, Rapid7 Nexpose, and Acunetix.

Ethical Hacking

Ethical Hacking is a process of finding loopholes and weaknesses of a system and software running over those systems and the organization as a whole. Such loopholes if ignored can later be used by attackers to exploit the organization’s reputation. Thus, ethical hacking is carried out by lawfully hacking into the systems and organization’s data to avoid any kinds of cyber attacks. Examples of tools used for such purposes are Metasploit, Burp Suite, and Super Scan.

Decoding Passwords

This method involves steps to crack the company’s data passwords that are being stored or transmitted over a company’s computer networks. Following this process, a minimum password criteria policy is usually considered to be incorporated as a mandatory practice to ensure the high strength of passwords. A few examples of some of the most powerful password cracking tools in the market are Aircrack, RainbowCrack, and THC Hydra.

Penetration Testing

This testing technique, also known as a Pen Test, allows one to emulate a real attack over the organization’s systems or applications in order to detect all possible vulnerabilities. Kali, Netsparker, Wireshark, and Metasploit are some of the examples of penetration testing tools.

Conclusion

Enabling security testing frameworks to execute over an organization’s systems minimizes the risks of data breaches and cyber-attacks which in otherwise cases can lead to the degrading reputation of any organization. Maintaining users’ data confidentiality is a must for any banking and finance-related business which if ignored and not taken into account for security purposes can cause serious damages to the brand name and credibility of the businesses. 

With the help of Security Penetration testing and other security testing techniques available, it has now become very hassle-free for organizations to look out for the possible risk factors. Deployment of highly skilled professionals in these particular testing domains with a blend of the right choice of tools is indeed a threat in itself for the attackers out there who have been eyeing your businesses for a long time now. 

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