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Friday, December 23, 2011

What are different characteristics of security testing?

Security testing as its name suggests can be defined as a process to determine that whether a software or information system or application is capable of protecting data and keeping it secure.
It also determines that the software or the information system keeps the functionality of the system intact and as intended.

Security testing needs to cover up six important concepts. They have been discussed below in detail:
1. Confidentiality
- It can be defined as a measure of security which seeks to provide protection against the disclosure information or data to the third parties or any unauthorized parties other than the authorized parties or individuals.
- This is not the only way of ensuring security of the information.

2. Integrity
- This is a security measure intended to inform the information or data receiver about whether the information or data which is being provided is correct and fully legal.
- Most often, same underlying techniques are used for both confidentially and integrity aspects of security.
- There is a basic difference between integrity and confidentiality and that is: for integral security, additional information is also provided.
- This additional information usually forms the basis of not only encoding of the whole communication data but also forms the basis for an algorithmic check.

3. Authentication
- This security measure involves the confirmation of the identity of a particular person.
- It ensures that a packed product contains exactly what its packaging and labeling claims to be.
- The process of authentication is also used to trace the origins of a software system, application or an artifact.
- The process of authentication plays a big role in determining that a computer software system or application is a trusted one or not.

4. Authorization
- The process of authorization is an important security measure.
- It verifies the identity of the receiver of that particular service.
- It can be defined as a process for determining that a person who has requested for some service is allowed and is eligible to receive that service or to carry out some operation.
- The best example of authorization security measure is given by access control.

5. Availability
- Availability security measure assures that that the communication services and information will be always ready for use whenever they are needed.
- This security measure ensures that the required information is always available to the authorized people when they are in need of it.

6. Non- Repudiation
- It basically falls under the category of digital security measures.
- Non- repudiation security measure confirms that the data, information and messages are transferred and received by the people or parties claiming to have sent the data, information or messages.
- The security measure like non- repudiation offers a way to guarantee that the person or the party who had sent the message, later cannot deny sending the message and the recipient also cannot deny having received the message if any issue is raised.

Security testing as a term has a number of different meanings and cannot be explained in just one way. Security taxonomy provides a better way to under stand all these concepts.

- Discovery
- Vulnerability scan
- Vulnerability assessment
- Security assessment
- Penetration test
- Security audit
- Security review

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