Banking software needs to be flawless, especially when it comes to the matter of security. Users trust their personal data to banks and they expect it to be safely stored and encrypted to prevent inconveniences and moreover data breaches. This is only possible if banks do security testing of their software before the release. Unfortunately, not all of the apps and websites really get tested thoroughly enough to be impossible for hackers to break in.
Why and how data breaches happen?
We are no longer surprised to see the "data breach" term in the news. Unfortunately, they happen not only in the financial type of business but also in healthcare/medical, gaming, web, government/military, etc. This is a sign that it's all gone too serious and users are no longer safe providing their data to organizations of any kind.
There are many reasons why data leaks. Security software gets smarter but hackers get smarter too. They can sell the hacked data to the interested individuals or use the information themselves. Usually, either employees of the company or poor network protection become the main and the easiest target for cyber-criminals.
With the help of simple social engineering, hackers gather all the needed information to hit their victim with an ’appropriate’ email which contains, let's say, a malicious PDF. Even though we already heard this kind of stories billions of times, it's surprising that this type of fraud still works just perfectly. As a result, it is obvious that employees can't be absolutely trusted with data security.
Feeble network security testing and flaws in security layers also bring unpleasant experience. Modern open banking systems keep enough personal information to be appealing to hackers, hence vulnerable by their nature. Cyber-criminals act through the sophisticated spyware and backdoor access points to fish out all the sensitive data.
The damage from a data breach
No matter how big the company is and how serious their cybersecurity software is — as practice shows, it's never strong enough to resist attacks. For the last 5 years, the latest data breaches we were to witness hit such big companies like Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, Evernote, Uber, Gmail, eBay, Slack, and many more.
The financial business sector also faced the dreadful experience of data leaks. The most prominent organizations that lost millions of records include Global Payments Inc., The Internal Revenue Service of the United States federal government, European Central Bank, NASDAQ, and more. These businesses faced distressing consequences after the data breach. They lost valuable clients, resources, money, and time to fix the damage and prevent future hacks.
The average cost of data breach — a record specifically, was $141 in 2017, as the IBM study claims. It means billions of dollars can be lost on such illegitimate acts. The most appealing data includes full names, birth dates, IDs and social security numbers, phone and credit card numbers, etc.
After a huge Equifax data breach, with 143,000,000 records leaked, we can only guess what hackers are capable of doing next.
Banking software testing stages and peculiarities
Testing can be different depending on the type of software. Banking applications have to be checked thoroughly to have a service of uncompromising quality. The testing process can be broken down into the following stages:
Review gathered requirements
Prepare business scenario
Conduct functional testing
Perform database testing
Do security testing
As long as we are talking about security in our article, we will focus on peculiarities of security testing. As you see from the stages guide, this is usually the last step in Quality Assurance of your financial application. However, this step is very important. Top testing techniques are as follows:
Access to application. This testing technique entails checking whether all roles and rights are distributed and managed as they are supposed to, so that access to sensitive data is only given to those users who have rights. Authentication and Authorization processes have to be flawless to provide secure experience.
Data protection. It is crucial to understand how the data is stored within banking database. As long as users trust their money and sensitive information, it is important to encrypt it and ensure the data flow and decryption processes are conducted safely and nothing leaks.
Forced attack. With the help of peculiar software tools, QA engineer tries to break into the software, guessing IDs, passwords, emails, and whatever data needs to be filled in the forms. If your banking software security is on top — encryption won't let him breach any data from the app.
SQL Injection. All input fields of your application have to be optimized on the matter of the text length that can be inserted. If your forms allow input of scripts and tags, there is a huge possibility someone will inject malicious code into your system and cause a breakdown or data breach.
Session Management. Every time user logs into the app or comes on your banking website, there's a sequence of HTTP requests that forms a web session. QA expert has to test how long the session is, how many sessions can be created by the one user at the same time, session cookie duration, session termination after log-out or a maximum lifetime, and more.
General data breach prevention tips
You can never be 100% sure that your software will resist hacking attacks. But what you can be sure of — is that you put the maximum effort into the matter of safety. A major number of data breaches happened because companies neglected the importance of security testing.
Test your software. Make sure your open banking system not only works and looks good but also is secure enough to collect and store the sensitive data of users.
Educate your employees. Everybody in the company who has access to the data carries the potential threat. People need to understand the responsibility and get proper instructions on how to act on their working place to prevent data breaches from happening.
Update and upgrade the app. If your banking software wasn't updated for a couple of years, it's time to. Technologies have to evolve with time, especially when it concerns security. Improve your safety, do network security testing and encrypt the data.
Our team of certified QA engineers is interested in making the web as safe as possible. Contact us and we will perform banking software testing to ensure your future users get the most secure and pleasant experience.
Created: 31 May 2018
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