Web Application Security Testing: Manual, Automatic and Behavioural

Web application security testing is a way to identify and remove vulnerabilities in web applications. The different types of Web Application Security Testing are Manual, Automatic, and Behavioral. The difference between these types is how they work and what they do. This article will discuss the differences between them all so you can make an informed decision on which type will be best for your company!

Web Application Security Testing – What Is It?

It is a process of finding and eliminating vulnerabilities in web applications. These vulnerabilities can be found in the code of a web application, or in how people use it. This testing is done to help identify security risks and resolve them before they become too much of an issue for your company.

Why is Web Application Security Testing needed? It is important because web applications are a common attack vector for hackers. They are an easy way to gain access to sensitive data and systems. Web application security testing is needed to discover and fix the vulnerabilities found before they can be exploited by hackers.

Web Application Security Testing is generally of three types, they are Manual, Automatic, and Behavioral. The pros and cons of each type of web application security testing will be discussed below!

Manual Web Application Security Testing And When To Use It

What exactly does Web Application Security Testing manually mean? Manual website security testing is the method of discovering, evaluating, and eliminating vulnerabilities in a web application by manually inspecting the code and inputs.

This type of testing is done by analysing the source code of the web application and inputting test data into it to see if any errors occur. Despite being a slow, tedious process, it is very accurate.

When to use it:

  • When you need a detailed examination of the code and inputs.
  • When you want to find vulnerabilities that are not found by other types of testing.
  • When the time and resources to do manual testing are available.

Pros:

  • Very accurate.
  • Can find vulnerabilities that are not found by other types of testing.

Cons:

  • A slow and tedious process
  • Not as scalable as other types of testing

Automatic Web Application Security Testing-When To Use It

What Is Automatic Web Application Security Testing?

Automatic web application security testing finds vulnerabilities in a web application by inspecting the code and inputs automatically using scanners and tools. DAST is another process of discovering security flaws in an application while it is in production, and it comprises both human and automated testing with various types of testing tools.

This type of testing is done by analysing the source code of the web application and inputting test data into it. It is a fast, accurate process, but it may not find all vulnerabilities.

When to use automatic:

  • When you need a quick and accurate scan of the code.
  • When speed is important to your testing process.

Pros:

  • Fast, accurate results.
  • For large web applications in a fairly quick and accurate manner.

Cons:

  • May not find vulnerabilities that are found by manual or behavioral testing.
  • Less scalable than other types of testing.

Behavioral Web Application Security Testing And When To Use It

Behavioural web application security testing is the process of finding vulnerabilities in a web application by monitoring how it behaves when it is used.

This type of testing is done by observing how the web application works when users interact with it and analysing it to find any suspicious activity. Despite being a slow and tedious process, it can find vulnerabilities that automatic and manual testing cannot find. However, it is less accurate than automatic or manual testing.

When to use behavioral web application security testing:

  • When you need to find vulnerabilities not found by other types of testing.
  • When your priority is to protect user information and privacy!

Pros:

  • Can be very accurate when done correctly.
  • Can find vulnerabilities that are not found by other types of testing.

Cons:

  • Slow and tedious process.
  • Less scalable than other types of testing.

Differences between Manual, Automatic, And Behavioral Web Application Security Testing

A huge difference between the two types of Web Application Security Testing is how they work. Manual web application security testing requires testers to manually look for vulnerabilities using scanners or tools. While this method is thorough, it can be time-consuming and may not catch all the vulnerabilities in a web application.

On the other hand, automatic web application security testing uses scanners or tools to automatically find vulnerabilities in a web application. This method is less time-consuming than manual scanning, but it may not find all the vulnerabilities in a web application.

Behavioural web application security testing requires testers to assess the web application security and find loopholes by monitoring the way it behaves during user interaction scanners or tools. While this method can be accurate when done right, it can be time-consuming and may not be as versatile as the other types of web application security testing.

Which Type Of Web Application Security Testing Is Best For My Company?

The most well-suited type of web application security testing for your company depends on its needs. If you need a detailed examination of the code and inputs, then manual testing is the best option. If you need a quick and accurate scan of the code, then automatic testing is the best option. If you need to find vulnerabilities that are not found by other types of testing, then behavioural testing is the best option. However, keep in mind that none of these types are perfect and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. You should test your applications with all three types of tests to get the most comprehensive coverage.

Keep these points in mind when choosing the type of web application security testing for a company-

  • The company’s needs.
  • The type of vulnerabilities the company needs to find.
  • Time and resources available for testing.

Conclusion

When choosing the best type of web application security testing for your company, you should consider its needs, the time and resources available, and the type of vulnerabilities that are most common in its applications. Based on this you can choose which type of web application security testing type is appropriate for your needs! That said, no single type of web application security testing is perfect so it’s important to test your applications with all three types. This will give you comprehensive coverage.

 

Silva Web Designs - Profile

Posted by: Silva Web Designs

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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How to Downgrade WordPress to a Previous Version

If you are looking to revert your WordPress version to a previous version, within this article we will explain how easy this is to do. Why would you want to do this? Well, maybe you performed an upgrade to the latest version then discovered that either your plugin or theme is not compatible with the latest version of WordPress. It could even be that a required plugin is essential to your website which hasn’t had an update to make it compatible with the latest version. It could even be that you were forced to use the Gutenberg update and you want to revert back to the Classic Editor. If the last issue is the problem, then there is no need to downgrade your WordPress version because you can simply install the Classic Editor plugin and that will fix your issue.

Whatever your reason for doing this may be, there are two ways to perform the downgrade, but first things first, let’s take a backup of your current site!

The two methods for downgrading are:

  • 1. Use a Plugin
  • 2. Downgrade Manually

But as we’ve mentioned, let’s do the backup first. For instructions to do this, have a look at this post; The Best 2 Tools For WordPress Website Migrations.

Now you’ve made your backup, let’s begin…

Downgrade WordPress using a Plugin

Using a downgrade plugin is a very simple yet reliable way of downgrading your WordPress version. It is definitely a lot quicker than having to replace the files via FTP manually. The most common used plugin for the job is the WP Downgrade.

Once you have installed and activated the plugin, you can go to SettingsWP Downgrade, then you can enter the WordPress version in which you wish to downgrade to as shown below:

In our example, we chose to downgrade to WordPress 5.4.1. You can select any version you want, for a list of versions you can downgrade to, check the WordPress releases here. Once you have entered your WordPress version, just click the Save Changes button.

Now you can go to DashboardUpdates, what you will notice now is that it will say ‘You can update to WordPress 5.4.1 automatically’, it basically tricks WordPress into thinking this version is the latest version. Simply click the Update Now button and you will be reverted to your desired WordPress version in no time! Pretty cool huh?

2. Downgrade Manually

Should the Plugin not work for whatever reason or you simply just prefer to do the job by yourself, then downgrading manually isn’t exactly that difficult. If you know how to use FTP, then this will be no problem at all.

So, once you’ve backed up your site, the first step is to download the WordPress release you wish to downgrade to. Again, you can download any WordPress release version by clicking on the following link.

Next step, we simply want to upload just the wp-admin and wp-includes folder, don’t touch ANY other folders, ESPECIALLY wp-content.

So, let’s go ahead and upload and overwrite all the files for the two folders we have uploaded.

When you’re done, log into your WordPress site, update the database should it prompt a warning, and you’re done! Check it all over and make sure it’s all working as expected.

Additional Notes on Rolling Back WordPress

I wouldn’t recommend staying on an older version of WordPress forever as this could potentially lead to security issues. Sure, if it’s a quick fix to get the site working again, or if the site was updated by mistake, then go ahead! But you should look to fix the issues and upgrade to the latest version as soon as possible ideally. If the latest plugins or themes are not compatible, that’s where we can step in and help if needed. On a lot of occasions, plugin and theme developers will update these to ensure compatibility with the latest versions. However, this is not the case all the time, unfortunately. Either way, we need to find a plugin or theme alternative or even hire a professional developer to take care of the updates in the meantime.

If you need help upgrading your WordPress Theme / Plugins to the latest version, get in touch by dropping an email to [email protected].

Drop a comment below if you need any assistance with our guide! Happy coding folks!

 

Silva Web Designs - Profile

Posted by: Silva Web Designs

Nathan is the Founder of Silva Web Designs. He is passionate about web development, website design and basically anything digital related. His main expertise is with WordPress, Magento, Shopify as well as many other frameworks. Whether you need responsive design, SEO, speed optimisation or anything else in the world of digital then get in touch. If you would like to work with Nathan, simply drop him an email at [email protected]

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