Year 2014 witnessed $1.3 trillion online sale worldwide, which was a record high ever! The overwhelming majority of U.S. shoppers are now buying products online and the trend is expected to continue for years to come. All existing and prospective retail businesses are going to want to ride this trend. To maximize their potential, they will need to find ways to stand out from the crowd of ordinary or average eRetailers.
When it comes to building an eCommerce platform, software professionals adopt extensive testing to ensure the proper functionality of the website being built, which correct.
But, this is just one part of the puzzle. This often makes them overlook the Security aspect of software quality. Also, during typical SDLC, security testing is performed towards the end of the development phase. Being very near to the hard release deadline, not enough time is spent to perform proper security testing.
The consequences of not assigning security testing enough priority could be devastating to the business. In such a world of ever increasing cybercrime, hackers can take undue advantage of security vulnerabilities and literally spoil the hard earned reputation of the eRetailer. It is a bitter fact that loss of business due to loss of repute is far worse than the loss of business due to non-functional eCommerce site.
The solution is easy. In Agile software development methodology, one of its manifestos says –’Test early and test often’. i.e. we should start security testing early in the game. This may sound a big overload into the software development process, but to be honest it sounds more complex than it actually is.It is not debatable that there is a cost to quality, but in the long term, quality products always outperform average products in terms of sales and revenue.
Why is Security Testing important to begin with? The obvious response to that would be – to find out security vulnerabilities or weaknesses into the web application. But many are not aware that there are several types of security vulnerabilities, including SQL Injection and Cross Site Scripting (XSS) which are the most common and most dangerous web security vulnerabilities. Below is a chart that shows statistics on such vulnerabilities that cause sites to go down
Most often security testing is performed manually, but again very few are aware that automated scanning for most common types of security vulnerabilities can be very easily performed with the help of some Security testing tools. Surely saves some valuable time having to learn techniques and efforts needed to execute those strategies manually. There are several open source automated security testing tools which further add a major cost benefit into the equation.
Many of the tools like OWASP ZAP and Vega are very easy to configure and run like a simple virus scan. ZAP can also be integrated to run alongside of automated test scripts in frameworks like Selenium WebDriver etc. These tools detect and pinpoint the vulnerabilities into your web application and also provide possible solutions to fix them. They can also help in making sure that the site is PCI-DSS compliant. We, at Adapty Solutions, have a flair for such tools and have found them very handy and easy to integrate with our environment. More so when you are running against time to go live these tools used as part of sprints are big saviors.
Running security scans with the help of such tools throughout the development cycle reveals the eCommerce vulnerabilities earlier. Fixing the identified security issues earlier in the development lifecycle ensures the low cost issue handling. Furthermore, the open source security testing tools promise high ROI while simultaneously providing a major quality boost with respect to web security.
Finally, building a secured online shopping platform will lead to more trust and confidence with shoppers and result in more online business.