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Security Testing with Selenium: Discovering Security Lags and Endangered Areas

Author: Jessica Cyrus
by Jessica Cyrus
Posted: Jul 27, 2019
selenium testing

The cyber security risks have been increasing at an alarming rate as many enterprises and small scale businesses undergo digital transformation. According to a recent survey of the annual Pwnie Express study, The Internet of Evil Things, 59% of the businesses are affected by malware attacks and another 32% were impacted by Ransomware. Not only are these the only security concerns a company has; risks associated with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), password and patch management and a number of other security concerns are threatening businesses every day.

No matter the kind of business, every online presence is prone to security threats. Hackers have become intelligent in discovering the least-noticed areas and a single point of entry gone unnoticed has the ability to create havoc for the entire organization. These security vulnerabilities have to be properly identified and remedied before the hackers get to it.

To find such security lags, it is important to have a strong security system in place and perform regular testing to completely check if there are any neglected areas where the security is missing or weak. To do a complete testing, it takes a lot of time for the business to keep an eye on it at all times. Therefore, many companies hire third-parties to take care of security. Many platforms and applications may release updates many times a month and every time, it is important to check the total software for any lags.

Most of the security tests are conducted at a particular completion stage of the application but it is important that developers are empowered too about the security and the security testing process is involved during the developmental stage. Though there are a lot of security testing tools available one of the most user-friendly software is Selenium.

Selenium Testing for Security Vulnerabilities

Selenium testing is one of the automated testing software that is gaining momentum in the past few years as it is free, open-source software and is very easy to use. Selenium testing can be used to easily automate the testing procedure with a set of test cases and one can get a solid report at the end of it with answers to all the test cases along with any security loopholes that it has identified on its path of testing.

From functional testing to vulnerability testing, Selenium is capable of efficiently testing all kinds of applications. One of the major advantages of working with Selenium is that one has the option to code in a lot of different languages for the test cases and operate it remotely. With Selenium Grid, a business can simultaneously employ different people to test simultaneously on the same application from various locations from different operating systems.

A few of the vulnerabilities that Selenium is capable of testing are authentication, cross-site forgery, security misconfiguration, invalidated redirects and insecure object references. It is important to have security awareness about the areas where the loopholes will be present to conduct proper testing.

Combining Selenium Testing with ZAP

The OWASP (The Open Web Application Security Project) ZAP, Zed Attack Proxy, is a tool that helps to find penetrations in the web applications. This is an easy-to-use tool for developers and testers alike who may be just beginners or have strong knowledge and experience in security testing. This can also be used as an additional toolbox too. This is ideal for a wide range of developers and ZAP can perform automated testing to check the functionality and security, and sometimes can also be used for manual operations. ZAP is a free security tool that is maintained by lots of volunteers who keep on constantly updating and refining it to test better.

One has to execute Selenium tests through ZAP through which one can intercept or modify HTTP/HTTPS and Web Socket traffic. To test web applications, you can install ZAP on your website and set up the proxy settings before initializing Selenium WebDriver. The requests start with Selenium Test Automation which passes through the web browser, to ZAP and finally to the web application.

After identifying the areas prone to security threats through Selenium and ZAP, you can then rectify it. After the test has been completed, the results will identify the areas where the vulnerabilities occur, any errors and warnings. At the end of this combined testing, you will have a clear idea of where the applications are prone to security attacks.

On a final note

It is important to understand the necessity of security testing at regular time periods and makes use of an advantageous tool like Selenium that reduces the time spent and gives results with great efficiency. Continuous analysis and constant reports are necessary to prevent major losses for the business by smartly identifying the security loopholes before it falls into the hands of the hackers.

Read more on Why Selenium Is Automated Testing The Best?

About the Author

Jessica Cyrus has started her career as a QA- Engineer at Nexsoftsys,which is a software consulting company.

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Author: Jessica Cyrus

Jessica Cyrus

Member since: Jun 13, 2016
Published articles: 8

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