Cybersecurity Software Testing: Risks and Rewards in Outsourcing

Timothy Joseph
Timothy Joseph | November 30, 2021

Cybersecurity Software Testing: Risks and Rewards in Outsourcing

The cybersecurity landscape has seen remarkable changes in 2020 with the surge in remote work. Organizations have clambered to set up remote work environments, and implement two-step authentication to ensure network security. The rapid surge in digital footprint has also resulted in a sharp rise in cybersecurity threats. According to International Data Corporation, barring major breaches, average small to medium size businesses are now likely to face costs amounting to almost 1.3 million dollars per year for cyber security-related incidents.

Let’s do the math here. Businesses are paying more than a million dollars a year to tackle security breaches and threats. In fact, a big threat can destabilize your company for a long time, and cause serious harm to the reputation. For instance, the bank, Wells Fargo, suffered a massive data breach, when an access code was used to steal the personal information of roughly 5000 consumers. The bank is still reeling from the after effects and the inquiry is still in process.

In a post-Covid world, where people heavily rely on digital assets, cybersecurity has become as critical as the Internet itself. Although the main points of cyberattack continue to be endpoint systems, emails and human errors, enterprises are heavily investing in increasing their ante against these threats. In fact, Forrester projects that enterprises are planning to spend as much as 12.6 billion dollars on cloud security tools by 2023, which is a sharp rise from 5.6 billion dollars in 2018.

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Why should you outsource cybersecurity testing?

Outsourcing can greatly increase the security and quality of your software. Skilled engineers increase your test coverage and scrutinize your product without bias. Outsourcing gives you on-tap access to domain experts without the ongoing cost of keeping them on staff.

There is always a risk in handing over your sensitive data to an outside team, but it can be dramatically reduced by using a service with a strong track record and compliance with industry standards.

With a little research you can bring expert knowledge and efficiencies into your software testing process without taking on additional risk. Here is what’s in it for you and your product.


Cybersecurity Services You Can Outsource

Given the trends, the following are the two services that can be outsourced to an expert testing company:

  • Vulnerability management- In a survey of nearly 3000 IT professionals, Ponemon Institute found that even though organizations invest substantial funds towards vulnerability management, they still cannot minimize the risks of cyberattacks. While some organizations find it difficult to identify vulnerabilities, others find it hard to patch quickly.

    One of the truths about cybersecurity attacks is that even with a full crew of in-house professionals, it is not possible to patch everything. Outsourcing functions like vulnerability assessment can help prioritize the risks, so that you can focus on the most pressing vulnerabilities first.

  • Security Operations- Since the timing and pattern of cyberattacks do not follow a defining thread, one best practice is to unify the technology and processes of the security team under the umbrella of a security operations center (SOC). However, it is not feasible to run a SOC 24/7, especially for smaller businesses.

    Outsourcing functions like network monitoring, or even the entire SOC process to an expert vendor with expertise in providing security services can prove to be cost effective. Also, an outsourced security testing expert company can provide better results by leveraging the knowledge of their industry experts.


The Rewards of Outsourcing Cybersecurity Software Testing

All cybersecurity software should undergo robust QA testing. Bringing an outsourced expert into your development process early can dramatically increase the quality and reliability of your product. These are the rewards:

  • Domain Expertise

    Partnering with a QA specialist gives you access to a range of tests, such as API, automated, mobile, and functional testing that are often beyond the capacity of an in-house QA team. Your collaborators are cybersecurity domain experts that understand how to apply a range of tests to uncover the vulnerabilities in your product. They know the industry, so they understand the difference between protecting the places where hacks are attempted and where they are successful. With their vast QA knowledge gained through experience with diverse products, they stand out from an in-house team in their ability to identify real threats. Hence, these experts provide better security outcomes.

  • Using the Right Tools

    An external QA team has an unbiased approach to your product that allows it to bombard your software with a range of security tests. These range from penetration testing to app-level testing, exploring DoS and DDoS vulnerabilities, and performing a security code review. They can also have up-to-the-minute expertise to simulate current real-world attacks using manual techniques. As cybersecurity experts, it is their role to understand all the latest trends in the cybersecurity field.

  • Faster Setup

    Building an in-house cybersecurity team requires time, resources, and money to set up infrastructure, including hardware, security tools, and a team of security professionals. With an outsourced partner, this is all readily available, saving you from the overhead of recruiting and managing an additional in-house team.

  • Scalability

    An external QA team can be easily scaled up or down depending on your business needs. This is especially helpful if your business has some specific high-peak seasons and some very low-peak periods. During low-peak, you can scale down the team, and you can have additional experts during high-peak seasons without any additional overhead.

  • Time and Cost Savings

    The major advantage of bringing in an outside QA professional is that it frees up your own staff to concentrate on their core activities. With expert testers in place, your own team can continue writing code and dealing with daily bug reports as the testing process evolves.

    In addition, outsourcing, especially into overseas territories, can produce substantial cost savings. Leveraging the disparity between US and India labor conditions, for example, can save you up to 50% on your QA costs.

    Of course, there is always a risk to any innovation.


Overcoming the Risks of Outsourcing in Cybersecurity

There is an element of risk associated with every outsourcing partnership. Introducing external professionals into your development environment brings with it the chance they will mishandle your data.

Fortunately, finding a trustworthy QA partner eliminates much of this risk. Given the complexities and sensitivities of the cybersecurity domain, it is important any potential partner has a strong track record of success. They need to be equipped with the correct auditory certifications, an ISO accreditation, and compliance with SSAE and other industry standards—and to stay current as credentialing requirements change. You will also want a QA partner with experts in the languages and regulations of your domain.

Your QA partner needs to recognize the importance of security during the test phase and take precautions to keep your data and software safe. This should include clear protocols around the following types of security, each of which counters different ways your data could be mishandled:

  • Physical

    Established practices in employee training and hiring, paper record storage and dissemination, securing facilities, and the selective use of highly sensitive customer data.

  • Logical

    Demonstrable top-notch firewalls, intrusion detection, prevention, data loss prevention, and malware or virus threat security.

  • Hardware

    Restricted access to storage facilities and hardware to approved staff on a need-to-know basis and control of unauthorized system access.

    Your QA partner should be able to demonstrate extensive experience of minimizing risk wherever possible. In addition to asking any partner to demonstrate how they can improve your cybersecurity software testing, make sure you ask them how they plan to keep your data safe.

    Having confidence in your QA partner’s security credentials allows you to treat them like a member of your own team.


Outsourcing Cybersecurity Software Testing

A high-quality QA process will help you stay out of the headlines for the wrong reasons. Outsourced domain experts offer a broad range of software testing architectures, technologies, and methods that can improve your test coverage and better simulate the public conditions your cybersecurity app will have to one day endure. The vulnerabilities with your product need to be robustly challenged before it ever enters the public domain.

Choosing the right QA partner can limit your risk exposure by ensuring best practices are followed in the handling of your sensitive data. In return, you get to enjoy time and cost savings that can make a real impact on your release cycle.

QASource is an automation testing company with the expertise to create the optimal automation framework design for your product. As an automation-agnostic company, we are able to deploy the full gamut of tools and frameworks to your application. Put our QA experts to the test and get a Free Quote, or call +1.925.271.5555 today.


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.