Interview Questions and Answers for QTP (Quick Test Professional)

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Security Testing

Security Testing:
Testing which confirms that the program can access to authorized personnel and that the authorized personnel can access the functions available to their security level. Security testing is testing how well the system is protected against unauthorized internal or external access, or willful damage.

The purpose of security testing is to determine how well a system protects against unauthorized internal or external access or willful damage.

Types of Security Testing:
1. Vulnerability Scanning
2. Security Scanning
3. Penetration Testing
4. Risk Assessment
5. Security Auditing
6. Ethical Hacking

7. Posture Assessment & Security Testing

Vulnerability Scanning is using automated software to scan one or more systems against known vulnerability signatures. Vulnerability analysis is a systematic review of networks and systems, that determines the adequacy of security measures, identifies security deficiencies, and evaluates the effectiveness of existing and planned safeguards. It justify the resources required to scope of organization's perimeter security or alternatively give you the piece of mind that your network is secure. Examples of this software are Nessus, Sara, and ISS.

Security Scanning is a Vulnerability Scan plus Manual verification. The Security Analyst will then identify network weaknesses and perform a customized professional analysis.

Penetration Testing takes a snapshot of the security on one machine, the "trophy". The Tester will attempt to gain access to the trophy and prove his access, usually, by saving a file on the machine. It is a controlled and coordinated test with the client to ensure that no laws are broken during the test. This is a live test mimicking the actions of real life attackers. Is the security of IT systems up to the task? Conducting a penetration test is a valuable experience in preparing your defenses against the real thing.

Risk Assessment involves a security analysis of interviews compiled with research of business, legal, and industry justifications.

Security Auditing involves hands on internal inspection of Operating Systems and Applications, often via line-by-line inspection of the code. Thorough and frequent security audits will mean your network is more secure and less prone to attack.

Ethical Hacking is basically a number of Penetration Tests on a number of systems on a network segment.

Posture Assessment & Security Testing combine Security Scanning, Ethical Hacking and Risk Assessments to show an overall Security Posture of the organization. It needs a methodology to follow.

The 6 testing sections include:
1. Information Security
2. Process Security
3. Internet Technology Security
4. Communications Security
5. Wireless Security
6. Physical Security

The Information Security section is where an initial Risk Assessment is performed. All pertinent documentation is compiled and analyzed to compute "Perfect Security". This level of Perfect Security then becomes the benchmark for the rest of the test. Throughout the other five sections, all testing results are reviewed against this benchmark and the final report includes a gap analysis providing solutions to all outstanding vulnerabilities.

Process Security addresses Social Engineering. Through Request, Guided Suggestion, and Trusted Persons testing the tester can gauge the security awareness of your personnel.

The Internet Technology Security Testing section contains what most people view as a security test. Various scans and exploit research will point out any software and configuration vulnerabilities along with comparing the business justifications with what is actually being deployed.

Communications Security Testing involves testing Fax, Voicemail and Voice systems. These systems have been known to be exploited causing their victims to run up costly bills. Most of these exploits will go unknown without being tested.

Wireless Security Wireless Technology has been gaining in use rapidly over the last few years. The Wireless Security Testing section was created to address the gaping exploits that can be found due to misconfigurations by engineers with limited knowledge of the recent technology.

Physical Security Testing section This section checks areas such as physical access control and the environmental and political situations surrounding the site. An example of this may be, if your data center has been placed in the flight path of an airport runway. What is the risk of having an airliner engine jump into your server rack? If you have a redundant data center, then the risk may be assumable. Another risk is having your call center located in a flood plain.

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At 7:10 AM, April 05, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one. It has defnly throwed a lot of light on the security testing part. thanx for the valuable info

At 1:57 PM, June 18, 2008, Anonymous Inder P Singh said...

Thanks! The article is a good introduction to the vast field of security testing.

I was also expecting a mention of some of the common practical security testing techniques especially useful for testing the security of web applications e.g. password cracking, SQL injection, Cross Site Scripting etc. Can we have another article introducing the same? It would definitely help all concerned better safeguard their web applications.


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