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Ways a QA Partner Can Help Defend Against Ransomware

Security Testing, QA Services | By Brandon Getty | October 11, 2017 0

Ways a QA Partner Can Help Defend Against Ransomware

We have some bad news: There is almost no way of creating a completely secure software program. Vile ransomware sneaks in through a variety of different cracks in safety infrastructure, infiltrating machines, and eventually, entire organizations through an email link accidentally clicked.

But if you’re in the software industry, you know this already. So exactly what is a fast-growing product company — under the pressure of breakneck release speeds and a demanding market — supposed to do to guard against ransomware?

The short answer: Work with a qualified QA partner. Your partner can help thoroughly comb your product in search of areas of vulnerability.

Ransomware hackers prey on vulnerable areas of your app. A QA partner keeps your users and product safe. (Click to Tweet! )

Before we get into the details about preventing ransomware-based attacks, let’s learn a little more about how they’re devised and waged.

How is ransomware achieved?

Hackers rely on entry via an individual browser window, as this is the place where many top enterprise application systems run. It’s the most direct access point into your product, and unfortunately, it’s one of the easiest entry points there are.

Typically, an email including a link to malicious domain is sent to someone within the company. If clicked, the domain seeds an “exploit kit” on the user’s system. Essentially, these kits scan the browser for vulnerabilities (the active use of an outdated version of the browser, for example) and lets the hacker know that it is ripe for access.

Once hackers gain access via a browser, they co-opt a user’s administrative privileges. From here, they can do a laundry list of bad stuff: freeze your operations, withdraw money, make purchases, steal and sell user data, and much more.

How can an effective partner help?

It’s the responsibility of the product company to build products that are as airtight as possible when it comes to security vulnerabilities. But not every product company has the rich experience in security testing and domain expertise that a well-vetted, qualified QA partner has.

Proper security testing is a must. Here are a few areas that can be easily secured by a competent partner:

  • XSS injection. An attack in which a hacker injects client-side scripts into pages of a web application viewed by other users. QA partners get to know the code of your product better than the developers themselves, so they can generate a list of targetable areas within the application.
  • SQL injection. Similar to an XSS injection, malicious SQL statements are inserted into an entry field for execution.
  • URL injection. In this attack, the insertion of dangerous code makes it look like your application is referencing or giving credit to a detrimental site. Your partner can diligently comb your product for every possible link that may fall victim to a URL injection attack.

Delivering high product quality is something that many partners do well. But safeguarding your product, protecting your users, and shielding your company’s reputation in the market is a challenge that not many can confidently take on. Learn more about onboarding a new QA partner to be effective.

The right partner ensures that the above boxes are checked, and that your team is up to date on the latest security testing best practices. It also guarantees that your testing is thorough, your test coverage is optimal, and every vulnerable field or path within the application is secured.

Want to learn how security testing services can protect your business?

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Written by QA Experts

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Our bloggers are the test management experts at QASource. They are executives, QA managers, team leads, and testing practitioners. Their combined experience exceeds 100 years and they know how to optimize QA efforts in a variety of industries, domains, tools, and technologies.