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Saturday, December 10, 2011

What are different characteristics of Compliance testing?

Compliance testing perhaps sounds a very rare kind of testing, less often heard about. It can be defined as the audit of a software system or application which is carried out against well known criteria.

There are many kinds of compliance testing and some are even developed as per the requests of the customers or the clients. Basically the compliance tests are of the following types:

Systems in Development
It refers to the compliance testing in which the verification of the fact that the intended software system or application under development meets the lock down standards, configurations and specifications as requested by the client or the customer is done.

Operating systems and applications
- It refers to the compliance testing in which the verification of the fact that an operating system and software system or applications have been configured and designed appropriately and properly as per the requirements, specifications and lock down standards given by the clients and the customers is done.

- Thus, this kind of compliance testing provides robust, adequate and efficient controls to ensure the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the software system or application is not affected during its normal usage and is maintained throughout the whole working process.

Management of IT and enterprise architecture
- It refers to the compliance testing in which the verification of the fact that the all the in-place IT management infrastructure aspects of the software system or the application have been put in their appropriate place is done.

- This is generally done to ensure that the audit, change in controls, security procedures and business continuity have been documented, formulated and put in their proper place and remain effective.

Inter- connection Policy
It refers to the compliance testing in which the verification of fact that the business continuity controls and adequate security measures that govern the connection of the software system with other systems like the systems for tele- communication, extranets, intranets, internet and so on, have been put in their appropriate place, have been cross checked with the specifications and requirements stated by the clients and the customers and have been fully documented is carried out.

These were some standard compliance tests.
Apart from these there are some normal compliance tests which encompass either a few or all of the compliance tests mentioned above.
- Some lockdown policies are applied to the underlying applications or software systems and operating systems.
- Some of these policies are passed by the clients or the customers and some by the concerned parties.
- These policies can be referred and can be used as a guidelines as and when required by the customers or clients when the software testers or developers have already performed a compliance test.
- They can also be referred after the penetration testing and vulnerability assessment of the software system or application so that more security measures can be applied to the system’s enterprise in order to improve its security.

The national security agency or NSA as it is often abbreviated has provided a number of lock down policies and guidelines to increase the awareness of the security affairs that are affecting our operating systems, software systems and applications etc.
The policies cover the following:

- Database servers
(a) oracle 10g
(b) oracle 9i
(c) Microsoft SQL server

- Operating systems
(a) Apple server operating systems
(b) Apple Mac OS
(c) Microsoft Windows NT
(d) Microsoft windows XP
(e) Microsoft windows 2000
(f) Sun Solaris 8
(g) Sun Solaris 9
(h) Microsoft windows server 2003

- Routers
- Switches
- Web servers and browsers
- IP and VoIP telephony
- SQL Server 2000
- Novell eDirectory

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