Top 4 Cyber Security Mistakes To Avoid While Testing Software

Date: 8 August 2022

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When you are developing any new software, the chances of committing small mistakes despite your best efforts are quite high. And this in turn can make your software vulnerable to multiple cybersecurity threats, including malware attacks, DDoS, ransomware attacks, SQL injection, and more. According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, human errors are responsible for around 95% of cybersecurity breaches.  

So while performing quality testing of your software, you must practise utmost caution and detect all the unfixed bugs that can later create problems for your organisation and its safety. To make the task easier for you, we are going to give you a brief insight into 4 critical cyber security mistakes that you should definitely avoid!  

What are Some Common Cybersecurity Mistakes While Testing Software?

There are countless cybersecurity mistakes or oversights in software testing that might look insignificant but can result in severe security breaches. Here are the top 4 must-avoid cybersecurity mistakes while testing your software.

  • Overlooking Penetration Testing 

It's not always necessary that your company will be victimised by cybercriminals only if it handles credit card information and personal credentials of staff/customers. Adversaries always keep a keen eye out to penetrate a network and compromise all-possible valuable assets and data. That is why missing out on penetration testing is never an option!  

This particular process lets you assess the software security, compliance gaps, and data-breach consequences before a cyber attacker can get his hands on it. The test also allows the developers to know the loopholes in the security system and fix them accordingly to prevent potential attacks.  

In fact, penetration testing helps to identify security gaps that can lead to multiple information leaks, such as personal records, cardholder details, IPs, etc. 

With penetration testing, your organisation's security team can create the right cyber incident response plans, plan security budgets, and undertake strong security measures. 

  • Poor security, embedded credentials as passwords, and leftover backdoor accounts

Developers often use backdoor accounts at the time of testing the software. Using it is undoubtedly fine, but the problem arises when they forget to remove it. If any cybercriminal gets a hint of it, then your software can be prone to a massive cyber attack. 

There are multiple examples highlighting the fact that active backdoor accounts can push your organisation into the mouth of cyber danger. For example, Cisco discovered that the cyber attack they encountered was due to leftover backdoor accounts. A similar incident happened in the case of Project Basecamp. They mentioned countless logins and admin accounts in the ICS firmware.  

In short, unclosed backdoor accounts create a lot of scope for the cyber attacker to take advantage of. So whenever you use backdoor accounts while running a quality check of any software, it is important to remove all the login information. This is indeed an easy task but often overlooked, welcoming backdoor computing attacks.

To mitigate these risks, it's wise to consider partnering with popular managed IT service providers. These providers specialise in identifying and closing such security vulnerabilities, ensuring your software remains safe from cyber threats.

Additionally, weak, common, or hardcoded passwords and other internal aspects can become easy windows to security breaches. According to Verizon, 34% of cybersecurity breaches occur due to internal reasons. However, good password discipline can help strengthen the security system of any software.

This is where training staff in cybersecurity comes into play. With high-quality cyber awareness training and cyber incident response training, the key stakeholders in your business can exercise better cybersecurity practices and do their bit to protect the organisation and its critical assets.   

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  • Overlooking third-party code testing

It's true that experts do not always develop a software program from scratch as it can be time-consuming. Instead, they tend to create software with pre-existing codes and third-party and open-source tools. Virtual world video games can be a fantastic example of such an approach.  

Most third-party tools and software have their own security breaches. And when you use them to build your software, it automatically becomes vulnerable by inheriting the existing security loopholes.  

As a result, the final product can be affected. The problem takes a bigger shape when software developers cannot even state precisely which third-party elements they have used in the software coding.

In order to avoid this issue, developers must learn about the code accurately before using it in the program. On top of that, checking whether the third-party software and tools are tested and verified is crucial.  

This can be a tiresome task but it determines the security system of your future product. So avoiding it is not at all a smart decision. 

  •  Unbarred and unencrypted data

Lastly, yet most importantly, lack of encryption especially with sensitive data leaves your software vulnerable to boundless cyber attacks. The data can be anything from usernames, passwords, financial credentials, webcam access, etc. A fine example of such a security breach is when hackers stole about 150 million+ Adobe user passwords.

This is why practising data encryption is mandatory. However, encrypted data cannot alone avert cyber-attacks. For example, Adobe's codes were fully encrypted but restricted to reversible and symmetric encryption.

It's crucial to assess and check the reliability of the encryption tools and employ only state-of-the-art ones. As an added security measure, the tools must be completely implemented, ensuring that they can withstand any vigorous cyber attack. 

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Conclusion

As a final note, the most effective way of protecting your large-scale enterprise is to fortify your developer team. Training your team to take software testing and security measures seriously is essential. Unless you keep a keen eye on complete data security, you can end up compromising the reputation of your software. 

Data security is one of the highest priorities for any organisation today and it is always preferable to get the task done by experts. There are various programmers available and one can get a developer for hire who can take care of your security issues prior to releasing the final product. 

However, it is important that you discuss all the above mistakes with any developer that you hire in order to avoid becoming vulnerable to common cyber attacks. 

About the Author: Harikrishna Kundariya

Author-Headshot (1)Harikrishna Kundariya is a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies @Software Development Company. His 10+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.

 

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