Why Software Security Testing Should Play an Important Part in Program Development?

Software integration testing is a phase in the development of a computer program where different components are merged and tested if they will interface flawlessly.  In software development, different modules are created by several developers.  These modules have different functionalities and application.  The individual modules are tested by their developers.  Once it passed this unit testing stage, each module will be integrated into a single functioning program.  It will be tested then in order to determine if these individual modules will interface flawlessly. 

If the interface suffers no glitches, then software integration is achieved.  This is a critical phase of the development because the integrity and functionality of the software will be determined if its individual component could interact with each other.  If the software fails the integration testing stage, then unit developers would have to rewrite their program and develop its capability to interface with other applications.

Usually, software development project leaders will carry out integration testing based on simulated end user behavior.  The software will be deployed on a workstation and loaded with processes that mimic actual usage.  This is a positive testing process because it tries to achieve software integration and functionality based on its expected output.  If the positive integration test has been carried out successfully, the next step would be to calibrate testing by determining the extreme limits of the application.  This test will determine if the integration process will still work if the software is subjected to stressful usage.  After integration testing, the software will now be ready for systems testing and final deployment.

Software QA testing specifically determines the quality of the application being developed.  There are certain standards that developers must meet so that their software can be distributed to end users.  These standards are normally provided by international quality standards organizations.  Testing software quality involves many processes and stages.  From writing the program to actual performance testing, software quality assurance is always implemented.

During the initial development phase, the documentations and the required coding systems of the software will be checked if it conforms to industry accepted standards.  This is normally checked by a software testing professional in close coordination with the software developer. 

After the initial phase, actual build and design of the software will also be checked and will be subjected to different quality testing.  This ensures that the software fully conforms to the required standards of the IT industry.  Deployment and distribution of the software will only be possible after the software underwent different performance and functionality testing.  Performance testing is a long process wherein developers determine the actual capability of the application.  It is carried out in stages and usually involves limited number of testers. 

There are quality testing however that involves full distribution of the software and allowing end users to determine if the software functions based on its intended output.  The software will be subjected to different computing tests so that developers could study how it behaves and reacts to end user commands.  This stage of quality testing is critical because commercial production and distribution of the software is dependent on the result of the actual QA testing.

Software security testing is an indispensable part of software development.  Unfortunately, most developers do not give importance to software security.  That’s because the most common issues that arise during software development or during the lifetime of the program is caused by the internal coding of the application.  Cases of malicious attacks on computer applications are rare.  Most often than not, the problem of the software is caused by the errors developed within the software itself.

However, software security should get more attention now especially with the emergence of web based applications and distributed software utilizing web functionalities.  It is common knowledge that the web environment has lots of malicious codes that hunt vulnerable hosts.  It is in this light that software security’s importance becomes more pronounced.  Software developers therefore need to implement sound software security testing practices in order to bulletproof their application against malicious hacks.  Usually, these hacks are intended to disable the software thus rendering it useless.  It will certainly impact on end user confidence and will affect software sales and its commercial viability.

Software security testing should always be conducted on applications that handle databases and business intelligence.  These are the most common areas where malicious hacks on software are deployed.  Network handlers and communicators are also vulnerable to attacks.  Developers of these types of applications should always test their software for security vulnerabilities.  This will ensure the integrity of the software and will protect end users from possible system intrusion.  It can also build the confidence of end users in utilizing web based applications and programs.

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