Cyber Security Testing Checklist: 9 Steps To Complete Before Testing a Product in the Security Domain

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | October 21, 2020

Latest Cyber Security Testing Checklist You'll Need

These days, a news story on a cyberattack is as common as the weather report. To defend against these potential attacks, companies have created products and software applications designed to secure their data. But can these security products and applications provide full protection against these threats?

It’s possible with the right QA testing process and web security testing checklist in place. After all, even security products need QA testing.

But what is cyber security penetration testing? What Types of Applications Need Cyber Security Software Testing? And what questions should your team ask when developing a cyber security test plan?

Let’s explore these questions as well as 5 of the 9 steps to cybersecurity testing so that your team can create a solid cyber security checklist for your testing process.

What Is Cyber Security Penetration Testing?

Cyber security testing is the practice of testing systems, networks, programs and software applications to ensure that they can withstand digital attacks. Your QA team or cyber security testing company creates a web security testing checklist to follow in order to uncover any weaknesses within your application. That way, your development team can refine the security of your software system before deployment.

A strong software application security testing checklist would include these types of cyber security penetration tests:

  • Network Service Penetration Testing
  • Web Application Penetration Testing
  • Client-Side Penetration Testing
  • Wireless Network Penetration Testing
  • Social Engineering Testing
  • Red Team & Blue Team
  • Mobile Penetration Testing

Testing cyber security starts by examining your application through a cybercriminal’s eyes. What information within your system is most appealing to an unauthorized user? What vulnerabilities would a cyber attacker try to exploit? Are there any susceptible loopholes that can be discovered by an intruder? All of these questions should influence your cyber security audit checklist.


What Types of Software Applications Need Cyber Security Testing?

So, do all software applications need to go through cyber security testing? In short - Yes!

Here’s why it’s crucial to apply a cyber security risk assessment checklist to any software application. Chances are, your software or product is designed to protect sensitive data-be it personal information, passwords, patient records or financial data - within another application. This sensitive data can be lucrative in the wrong hands, and cybercriminals are willing to exploit any system vulnerability to capture it. When your system is hacked, that often leads to lost revenue, bad press and a decrease in consumer loyalty.


Steps To Complete Before Testing a Product in the Security Domain

An engineer or a cyber security testing company begins testing a product in the security domain with a cyber security checklist. To create this product testing checklist, specific questions need defined answers. Here are 5 of the 9 steps to cybersecurity testing that can prove to be invaluable for your software security test plan:

  • What Type of Application Is Being Tested?

    It is important to make sure your testing team knows the type of application that is to be tested. First, identify whether the application security testing checklist should focus on a desktop, cloud, mobile or web-based application. Then, determine which types of cybersecurity tests are relevant for your application type and your cyber security audit checklist.

    Efficiency and thoroughness are key when carrying out your cyber security risk assessment checklist. Defining your application can more easily define which tests need attention within your software security test plan. For example, a mobile application would require comprehensive mobile penetration testing within your product testing checklist.

  • What Is the Category of Your Product or Software Application Under Testing?

    When creating your cyber security checklist, make sure to establish which of the following categories your product or software application falls under:

    • System Security: This security category covers application, data, mobile data network and web security. Choose this category for your cyber security test plan if your product or software protects websites, data and networks from malicious files.
    • Security Risk Assessment: The tools within this security category identify vulnerabilities, respond to attacks and manage security operations. Choose this category for your product testing checklist if your tool focuses on incident responses, threat intelligence, security information, event management and vulnerability assessments.
    • Identity Security: Choose this security category for your cyber security audit checklist if your product or software provides single sign on (SSO), cloud identity and access management (CIAM), password manager, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and risk-based authentication services.

    Is the product or software in the system security, security risk assessment or identity security category? There’s also a chance that your software or product falls under another category? Consult your cyber security testing company to help you determine which category is most relevant to how to test cyber security.

  • What Threats Does This Software or Product Protect Against?

    When creating your cyber security checklist, determine the threats that your software or product protects users against. Knowing this can guide your team towards developing the right types of test cases for your application security testing checklist. Examples of threats that your product or software protects against include performance of application during peak load times, stability of application under heavy load, failure point of deployed hardware and capacity of hardware for expected load.

    Does your product protect against network attacks, injections and/or authentication? What types of test cases are necessary in how to test cyber security? Based on these threats, what types of cyber security penetration testing is essential for your cyber security risk assessment checklist?

  • Which Environments Are Supported by Your Software or Product?

    Knowing which environments that your products support can help you create specific test cases for your cyber security checklist. First, identify environments that the product or software supports. Which operating systems, browsers or mobile devices does your software or product support? Next, which kinds of test cases are needed for your cyber security test plan so that your testing process is thorough?

  • Is the Test Plan Well Thought Out and Thoroughly Prepared?

    As with any testing endeavor, it is imperative that your web security testing checklist is as prepared as possible. A well-thought out software security test plan can help prevent delays in the testing process.

    Is your cyber security checklist sound? Are all test cases effective for the product under test? What additional testing can ensure the security of your system?


Next Steps To Creating Your Cyber Security Checklist

Technology is a crucial aspect in our interconnected way of life. Consult the questions and steps within our cyber security checklist 9 Steps to Cybersecurity Testing a Product in the Security Domain. Our web security testing checklist is designed to help an engineer, testing provider and/or a cyber security testing company start the process of testing their security product or software in order to ensure that the product of software is functioning as expected.

Need more guidance to create your cyber security test plan? Consider choosing a QA services provider like QASource. Our team of testing experts are skilled in security testing products and software within the security domain. We can guide your team through the process of creating a solid cyber security risk assessment checklist as well as assist throughout your cyber security testing process. Get in touch with a QASource expert today.

To discover the steps that need to be completed before testing anything in the security domain,

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This publication is for informational purposes only, and nothing contained in it should be considered legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out of this information and encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.