NashTech Insights

Designing testcases for security testing

Ankit Lohia
Ankit Lohia
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Security testing, which aims to find flaws and vulnerabilities in an application’s infrastructure, codebase, and interactions, is an essential step in the software development process. Designing testcases for security testing is a crucial aspect of this process. This involves creating test cases that simulate various attack scenarios and vulnerabilities, allowing for a comprehensive assessment of the application’s security posture.

Understanding Security Testing

Different approaches are included in security testing to evaluate the security posture of an application. It consists of:-

  • Penetration Testing: Simulating real-world attacks to identify vulnerabilities that malicious actors could exploit.
  • Vulnerability Assessment: Identifying vulnerabilities through automated tools and techniques.
  • Security Code Review: Analyzing the source code to uncover security flaws. The ultimate goal is to minimize security risks and maintain a resilient application in the face of evolving cyber threats.

Key Components of Test Case Design for Security Testing

  1. Identify Threats and Risks: Start by determining any hazards or risks that the application might encounter. This requires taking into account both internal and external dangers. Identifying potential weak areas and attack vectors requires an understanding of the application’s architecture, data flow, and interactions.
  2. Selecting Test Scenarios: Choose pertinent test scenarios based on the identified dangers. Consider test cases for brute force attacks, password guessing, and credential stuffing, for instance, if the application deals with user authentication.
  3. Defining Test Cases: Each test case should simulate a specific attack scenario. For example:
    -> For SQL Injection: Craft input that could potentially manipulate SQL queries, aiming to access unauthorized data.
    -> For XSS: Inject malicious scripts into user inputs to demonstrate the ability to execute arbitrary code on the victim’s browser.
    -> For CSRF: Create test cases that trick users into performing actions they didn’t intend, exploiting session vulnerabilities.
  4. Utilizing Security Standards and Best Practices: Adhere to security standards such as the OWASP Top Ten, a list of the most critical security risks. Incorporate best practices like input validation, output encoding, and access control into your test cases.

Code Examples

1. SQL Injection:

Consider a login form vulnerable to SQL injection. Craft an input that includes SQL commands, attempting to bypass authentication and gain unauthorized access.
Input: ‘ OR ‘1’=’1
SQL Query: SELECT * FROM users WHERE username = ” OR ‘1’=’1′ AND password = ”

2. XSS:

Create an input field susceptible to XSS attacks. Inject a malicious script to steal user cookies.
Input: <script>document.location=’’+document.cookie</script&gt;

3. CSRF:

Design a test case to exploit a missing CSRF token protection, making unauthorized changes.
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Considerations for Test Execution

  • Perform security testing in a controlled environment to prevent harm to production systems.
  • Use test data and avoid using real user credentials.
  • Conduct tests during different application states (e.g., logged in, logged out) to uncover various vulnerabilities

Reporting and Remediation

  • Produce detailed reports for each identified vulnerability, including steps to reproduce, impact assessment, and potential mitigation strategies.
  • Collaborate with developers to prioritize and fix vulnerabilities, emphasizing secure coding practices.


Effective security testing involves meticulous test case design, thorough execution, and collaboration between testers and developers. By incorporating security principles and standards, organizations can build applications that stand strong against ever-evolving security threats. Remember, security is an ongoing process, and regular testing is crucial to maintain a robust defense against potential breaches.

Feel free to adapt and expand on these sections to create a comprehensive blog post that addresses the intricacies of designing test cases for security testing.

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Ankit Lohia

Ankit Lohia

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