Why Automation is important in Web Application Security Assessment?

The importance of vulnerability assessment is the unearth fact and nobody can’t deny it. The technology has revolved in the recent years, the world has seen the things happening that they can’t even imagine. The rising Ecommerce industry has changed the way we shop and think about any product/brand, now if your business does not have the website, social media presence, then your business is not performing well, or you are not doing it right. Every organization needs to have a corporate website, whether they are doing online business or not. This rising industry has created many opportunities, think of a small business. But, at the same time this growth has raised many important questions and the most important of them is about the security.

The security threat is real, in the recent years we have seen many renowned web application and websites got compromised, some of them are belongs to the large organizations. Think about an ecommerce website, as a buyer, you must be curious how they are using your information; can they protect your personal information and credit card information? The business owner has the same question in the mind to protect against the hacking attack and to fix the vulnerabilities like SQL-injection vulnerability.

Here comes the role of an information security professional and the tools that he/she utilize to perform the test your web application. Cross-site-scripting and SQL-injection seems the most dangerous vulnerabilities, along with the remote code execution RFI, LFI and others. You must have read that the kid has exploited the SQL-injection to hack into TALK TALK website. So just imagine, how important the automated tool is, even a kid with the tool can hack the known web infrastructure. Well, the point is not to encourage the usage of automated vulnerability scanning tools to hack, but the point is to encourage the usage of automated tools to find the vulnerability and fix it before the kid is exploit.

Web Application Vulnerability Assessment Approaches:

Primarily, there are two ways or approaches to conduct a web application vulnerability assessment test:

   •    Manual, check list based web application security assessment
   •    Automated: Tools that perform the vulnerability test

The world is moving towards automation, we want everything to get done automatically, then why not the web application security test? Both the aforementioned approaches have their own pros and cons, but the development of the smart automated vulnerability assessment tools pushed the manual approach backward.

The manual approach is not feasible anymore, because it takes time. On the other hand, automated tools can scan and review the entire web application effectively and efficiently.  

In the coming lines, we will describe different benefits of automated testing tools:

Time & Cost effective:

Reviewing the complex codes manually requires time and the human resources, you can’t work 24 hours a day, but a scanning tool can work 24 hours continuously. The automated tool does not need time to have lunch, power nap or any kind of break. Conducting a manual test needs more man on the job, means it is costly. On the other hand, purchase the license of the tool and use it for multiple scanning at multiple sites. Cost effective, isn’t?

Accuracy Matters:

Human are born to makes mistakes, but carefully developed programs are not. This matter is about the security, so we can’t take risk. If you have assigned someone to check the codes manually and what he/she missed one part of the entire web application, make sure it is not the one liner code. While the tool is not going to miss any part, tools are born to give false-positive response, but it can be identified easily.

Automated Tools are helpful for the Developers:

The developers, designers and other starters try to create such an application which should be effective and according to the requirements of the client. It is also important for analysts to guide the developers in such a way that there should be some secure ways through which data enter in the web application. The automated testing tools help the whole team to get through the different tests simultaneously and during the development as well. It also supports the quality assurance team to manage the application easily.

The automated testing tools also help the developers and other team players morally as they have thoughts after testing that almost the whole application has been tested properly and there may not be the major loop holes in the application.

After providing you the best possible information of the topic, we can conclude that the web application auto scanner are very useful for the web applications and now become the tools of time saving and effectiveness.
Irfan Shakeel
Irfan Shakeel, the founder of ehacking project, he also hosts cyber security training classes at EH Academy. He has discovered many vulnerabilities in the famous platforms (like Google, Dailymotion, Harvard University & etc.). He specializes in Network hacking, VoIP pentesting & digital forensics. He is the author of the book title “Hacking from Scratch”.

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