Importance of Interactive Application Security Testing in Data Protection

Importance of Interactive Application Security Testing in Data Protection

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Data hacking is a daily occurrence around the world. This year, the estimated frequency of a data breach is one in every 11 seconds. You might have seen or heard the news about the recent data breaches that caused damage to several well-known companies and their clients. 

Several data breaches occurred because the hackers were able to explore the vulnerabilities of different software and web applications and the inadequacy of data security protocols of an organization. Hackers usually try to access the vulnerabilities to sensitive data, such as patient information, credit card numbers, usernames and passwords and other critical information. Therefore, organizations need to ensure that their web applications are secure even before they use them.

Web application testing

One of the ways to do this is through IAST or interactive application security testing solution. It is an interactive application that analyzes software codes for security vulnerabilities while web applications are running. The solution runs dynamic testing techniques by using tools to monitor a running application and collect information about what it does and how the application performs.    

The solution helps organizations identify and manage security risks according to what vulnerabilities the program discovers through manual, automated or a combination of both modes of testing to find vulnerabilities in real-time. The testing is different from other application testing methods because it functions inside the web application. 

Why is IAST important?

Interactive application security testing is essential to minimize data security risks. Ideally, before deploying web applications, the developer should check for vulnerabilities. Aside from ensuring that the application is safe from a data breach, they can apply quick fixes upon discovering critical vulnerabilities. 

Most security and development teams use dynamic application security testing (DAST) and static application security testing (SAST) solutions. The aim is to find security vulnerabilities and weaknesses in open source and proprietary source codes of the web applications they are developing. Often, the detection of most vulnerabilities can only be done by dynamically testing the application while it is running. 

While IAST identifies the security vulnerabilities, it also provides developers with the pertinent lines of code and advice on contextual remediation. The developers can quickly find and fix security vulnerabilities before producing the web applications to minimize the risk of security attacks leading to data breaches. 

Advantages of interactive application security testing

Because of the frequency of data security breaches, it is vital to test web apps while they are being developed. This will prevent or minimize the occurrence of data breaches. While web apps are just one of the causes of data breaches, testing applications before production provides many advantages. 

Using an IAST tool gives the following advantages:

  • You get real-time reports on the results of the test.
  • The test is automated.
  • It promotes the reusing of existing scripts for test cases.

With IAST, developers find security-related flaws quickly and fix them early before production. Likewise, it will help developers code securely and minimize defects along the software development cycle.

Photo by Juanjo Jaramillo on Unsplash

August 2, 2021
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