As soon as your application is linked to a network, it will become the target of cyberattacks by hackers. This article explains how to mitigate the effects of cyberattacks and how to prevent them with security testing practices.
Author: Nataliia Syvynska, TestMatick, https://testmatick.com/
According to recent sociological studies, in the past 2021, the price of damage from global cyberattacks was about $15 trillion. Simply put, every 11 seconds, various ransomware attacks web businesses. The cumulative number of attacks worldwide is increasing by 15% annually. Cybercriminals mostly look to financial and banking digital wallets, Decentralized finance (DeFi) projects, smart contracts, and cyber theft of personal data.
Few Words about Cyberattacks and How They Are Carried Out
In short, a cyberattack is the manipulation of digital systems that aims at malicious action. Usually, it starts with the hacker hiding his physical IP address. As a rule, all sorts of proxies and VPN programs are used for this purpose.
Then a virtual machine is used instead of a real PC. Hackers use software that can emulate the work of a desktop computer. The virtual software is easy to change, and even on one physical device, you can run up to 10 simultaneously working machines.
Also, it is possible to use a real PC to which you can connect remotely. A hacker who can control a third-party PC not only hides but can also easily compromise a potential victim (for example, by hacking a personal account in social networks or by transferring funds without permission).
How to Prevent Cyberattacks in 2022
While cyberattacks are often considered a major disruption, there are simple but effective ways to mitigate their effects.
Let’s look at a couple of them:
- Constant data backup. It is recommended to keep a copy of all data in a safe place to protect your important information from the illegal actions of the hacker.
- Control over web access. Manage accounts with a minimum list of permissions for daily operations. This approach significantly reduces the damage if a hacker does gain access directly to the account information.
- Two-factor authentication is your forte. Even one additional code to help with the base password increases the overall security of your account.
- Regular software updates. Software developers regularly find flaws in them, which are covered by new version releases.
- Use antivirus programs and firewalls. A good way to detect potentially malicious programs and limit other risks like Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
- Security testing service. Use the advanced web security technologies available from the world’s top software testing companies.
Generating Cyberattacks for Testing Purposes
In this case, the objective of QA engineers is to test the configured cyberattack protection systems under maximum realistic load conditions. They perform load testing of information systems with malicious and legitimate traffic.
The checklist to successfully complete this type of software verification is the following:
- Emulation of traffic by tens of thousands of users as realistic as possible;
- Generation of various DDoS options;
- Zero-day attack, scripting, and malware generation;
- Emulation of infected hosts;
- The constantly updated base of attacks;
- Implementation as hardware platforms, and in virtual generators, for testing in virtualization environments;
- Emulation of payload traffic along with malware.
What Levels of Protection to Use
- Validation of the user’s identity;
- Validation of physical device and user account information;
- Full isolation of suspicious web activity, list of compromised devices, client accounts, and IP addresses;
- Activity history analytics for proactive measures to combat cyberattacks.
It is important to note that any cyberattack is important and should be resisted. If done intelligently, the level of web security and QA services will always be with the highest priority of reliability.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution that provides 100% development security. However, if you use testing tools early in development, you can easily find potential vulnerabilities and prevent them from being exploited in attacks.
Application security testing should be applied to any third-party code that is in development, since we cannot know for sure if this component (commercial or open source) is secure.