The Importance of Web Application Penetration Testing

Posted by Melanie Klag on Oct 8, 2019 10:46:00 AM
Melanie Klag

Web application penetration testing, or web app pen testing, is another way to ensure your company, its data and all of your customers’ information is protected against a cybersecurity threat. All applications, especially custom/-in-house developed applications that store, process or transmit sensitive data, are vulnerable to attack. More importantly, applications are one of the easiest ways for hackers to access your organization. Therefore, businesses must find and fix any vulnerabilities their web applications may have. That’s why you need to administer a web application penetration test.

What is a Web Application Pen Test?

Web application penetration testing simulates a cyber-attack on your web application. Therefore, its sole purpose is to identify vulnerabilities in your application that an attacker might use to gain access to your data. Penetration testing should assess the various types of code and systems used in your application as well as on the software that the applications runs.

Until recently, penetration testing was primarily done at the network level. However, pen testing is now more common at the application level because of the introduction of the Secure Software Development Life Cycle (SSDL), which focuses on security during all phases of building an application and its maintenance.

The Open Web Application Security Project, a nonprofit organization that provides information on improving software security, created a top 10 list of application vulnerabilities to be aware of. As such, most pen testers will typically test against what is on that list. The OWASP top 10 list, which was last updated in 2017, includes: injection flaws, broken authentication, security misconfiguration, insufficient logging and monitoring, and more. View the full list here.

Why You Should Get an Application Pen Test

As stated, every application used by every person in every organization is vulnerable to a cyber threat. According to the 2018 Global Security Report from Trustwave, all web applications had at least one vulnerability, while the average number of vulnerabilities found per application was 11. That is eye-opening!

There are a multitude of reasons for vulnerabilities. From human error at the development level to not updating software patches and more, all open up applications to risk. However, misconfiguration ranks as the most common type of vulnerability discovered in real-world penetration tests, according to Pen Test Metrics 2018. But in reality, the reason for the vulnerability isn’t the biggest issue; that would be finding it and fixing it before a hacker does. Therefore, this is why pen testing your applications is a must.

How Often Should You Pen Test Your Apps?

As a best practice, it is recommended that you undergo web application penetration testing four times per year, or once a quarter. However, the majority of firms that run web application pen tests only do so once a year. As many times as you can do the assessment, do it. Even once or twice per year is better than not at all.

Are You Ready to Run Web Application Testing at Your Business?

Now that you know that all web applications, even your in-house, custom-built apps, are susceptible to cyber-attacks, are you ready to do something about it? Web application pen testing is the best method of proactively protecting your business’s and customers’ data. The pen testing can save you lost time, lost revenue, and most importantly, loss your solid reputation. SubRosa Cybersecurity is ready to secure your applications with web application penetration testing.

Topics: "Pentesting", "Cybersecurity", "Penetration Testing", Application Security