How to Build a Security Testing Plan

A Security Testing Plan deals with identifying and analyzing the probable threats and vulnerabilities so the system is not affected. Detecting the probable risks in the system software helps software developers tackle the issue using their coding skills.

The primary goal of security testing is to find any threats and problems using a real-time and practical method.

You should check the program’s effectiveness to get a grip on where your software ranks in terms of security. It further helps to assess how vulnerable your program is to a cyber attack. We have prepared a well-researched guide that will help you build a Security Testing Plan.

The 4-Step Guide to Build a Security Testing Plan

We have prepared a 4-step guide to build your security testing plan.

Step #1: Determine your Approach

There’s a comprehensive range of things to cover when testing. In such a scenario, it becomes difficult to map out the first step. Instead, you must start off with easy fundamentals and determine your approach until all the fundamentals are covered. These are the five methods to determine your actions.:

Attack Vectors

  • Pre exploitation: Attacks that are done using email, application, or web
  • Exploitation: This stage covers Security Compromise, also collectively referred to as a security breach and violation. Here, users get unauthorized access to all your services, apps, networks, devices, and data. The intruders here bypass the software’s security mechanisms. It is thus dangerous as your data lose confidentiality as more people, especially hackers, gain access to your confidential data. This can even lead to legal troubles.
  • Post exploitation: It is the defence actions that you plan against cyberattacks to prevent data leaks.

MITRE ATT&CK™ Framework

To cover the fundamentals of the Security Testing plan, you can test your existing security controls to meet the ATT&CK matrix.

Types of Threats

“Programming and simulations go hand in hand” it’s the most underrated fact. To defend your software against phasing, crypto stealers, Trojans, or ransomware, you must test your software against similar vulnerabilities. You can simulate and test therefore resolving different threats.

In the Wild

The controls you design must detect the advanced-level threats flowing wildly. You can use IoCs (indicators of compromise) of the latest threat strains to measure your defense action plan. Besides, the In the Wild approach can be utilized simultaneously along with others as this approach uses the latest strains.

Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Groups

By understanding the strategies and techniques and copying the cybercrime group’s TTP, you can control geopolitical issues.

Step #2: Automate the Stuff that you have to Repeat

Security assessments are time-consuming. But they should not stop consuming your time. To save your efforts, follow the things mentioned below:

Start Building test templates

Determine the things that you want to test. Create test templates in advance. Following a modular approach and making it in advance will save you time and effort. Thus, you can be consistent in testing procedures and run them as and when required.

Schedule Tests

Predetermined cyber-attacks by following the simulations approach and schedule your tests to run on a particular frequency like hourly, daily, or weekly.

Automate Reporting Procedure

You can set up technical-level reports and then automate them to get assessment results as and when required.

Automate Alerts

Automate being notified when your system is vulnerable to cybercrime or is at threat.

Integrate Testing Results

You can use the techniques like SIEM and SOAR to integrate the test results and the guidelines.

Step #3: Measure the Results

Determining the effectiveness of a cybersecurity system is a very crucial testing procedure.. For measuring them, set the Key Performance Indicators (KPI), and they are classified as follows:

  • Cyber Exposure
  • Level of associated risk vectors
  • Potential threat types
  • Security performance monitoring
  • Industry-specific benchmarks
  • Deviation from target baseline

You can determine how effective your system and tests are, thus measuring the test reports.

Step #4: Select a Specific Testing Tool

Testing tools don’t have any security associated with them as they are primarily developed for everyone’s use. So, if you want to select a specific testing tool you need, you need to ensure that the following criterion is met or not!

Objective Metrics

Is the tool capable of generating the test report metrics for all the available vectors? First, it is necessary to determine whether the tool is worth using if the metrics aren’t available.

Mitigation Guidelines

Ensuring mitigation guidelines will help in determining if the team has overcome the gaps. Do you all have followed the mitigation steps or not?

The following things should be done to get rid of any found gaps.

  • Automation: Have you pre-designed templates, prescheduled testing, and alerts or not? What frequency have you selected for testing, alerting, and reporting?
  • Usage Eligibility: Do you need some additional coding and programming skills to perform the security test or not? Can anyone use it, or do you have a specialized team meant for it?
  • Maintenance: Do you need any additional components to use the tool for testing or not? If it does, then do you require a single component or many?

The Final Word

By following the 4 step guideline while building a Security test plan, you can ensure efficient security testing of your data and system.