Digital security is more important than it’s ever been. Strict data protection regulations and the increasing rate of data breaches are making digital security a priority for businesses and consumers alike.
Web developers must take responsibility for the security of their applications by carrying out regular penetration testing. This is not only to protect their clients but also their reputations and livelihoods.
Developers are known for prioritizing features over security. Even when deadlines are tight, vulnerabilities can no longer be tolerated. In the age of cloud computing and native cloud app development, even a vulnerability within a small program could lead to the exploitation of an entire system.
Web developers need to pentest to remain competitive in their field—that’s the biggest reason to carry out a pentesting program. But that’s just the start. Below, we explain why pentesting has become so critical for web developers.
Identify Security Vulnerabilities Early
It’s impossible for developers to identify bugs and UX issues in a piece of software before having it tested. The same goes for vulnerabilities. Without regular penetration testing, you won’t find out about potentially dangerous vulnerabilities until it’s too late.
The consequence won’t just be in the form of customer complaints. The average data breach costs over $1M USD and could ruin a developer’s business.
By performing penetration testing, developers can pinpoint vulnerabilities early and increase the security of their applications. Pentesting measures security comprehensively across an app’s components, including the source code, backend network, database and more.
You don’t have to pay a penetration testing firm thousands of dollars to keep your security tight. Automated penetration testing allows for affordable and continuous testing on your schedule. It’s the easiest way for devs to beef up their security—and it’s a value-added service that clients love.
Discover Critical Vulnerabilities
Pentesting doesn’t just identify vulnerabilities. It also grades them based on severity so you know which fixes are needed ASAP. Obviously, patching up the big leaks in the ship is more important than patching up the small ones. Without regular penetration testing, you may not know which leaks are big and which are small.
By understanding which vulnerabilities are critical, you can learn more about the scope of your future pentests. In essence, once you’ve seen a critical issue, you’ll know what to pinpoint in later tests. You will also be able to take the results of your pentest into account while writing new code to prevent vulnerabilities from occurring in the first place.
Data Breaches Are on the Rise
The rate of data breaches is growing every year. In 2021, illegal breaches increased by 17%, and the trend is unlikely to slow down. Law enforcement is unable to keep up with the pace of tech developments, and hackers are ready to leap on every new opportunity.
For example, unsecured cloud networks are causing a dramatic rise in attacks, and these attacks are often blamed on developers. Whether devs deserve the blame or not is a non-issue. The point is that developers need to perform more security tasks, such as penetration testing, in order to protect their users from attacks and themselves from retaliation.
Protect Yourself from Legal Action
A data breach can be a catastrophic event for a business. While developers are not held responsible for data breaches according to most GDPR rules, the aftermath of a breach can result in legal action against developers.
Businesses that are forced to pay hefty fines or who lose significant business as a result of a data breach are going to look for some way to recoup their losses. They often send their legal teams after developers, systems integrators, security consultants and others to find out who is responsible and sue for damages.
End users can also sue developers for data breaches. The developer Scatter Lab is currently involved in a class-action lawsuit due to a data breach involving a chatbot app.
Developers that are able to demonstrate that they took security precautions, such as regular penetration testing, will find themselves in a much better defensive position if a breach occurs.
Improve Your Coding Abilities
Penetration testing makes you a better coder. It’s like having a spell-checker for your digital security. It highlights all of your security risks and gives you the opportunity to learn to write tighter code.
Every pentest is different, and every test will reveal something new about how you code—what you’re doing right and what needs improvement. You might think you’re an amazing developer (and you might be right), but technology moves too fast for anyone to keep up with current risks and vulnerabilities. Pentesting can reveal new threats that may not have existed before, keeping you on the cutting edge.
Whether developers like it or not, they need to start thinking more about security during app development. Pentesting helps you do that.
Penetration Testing for Developers
All developers need to consider penetration testing as critical to their business. Whether you’re a freelancer or an established developer with a large staff, your business is only as secure as your code. One data breach could land you in legal trouble, or it could cost you clients.
Automated penetration testing is an affordable way for developers to easily test their code and prevent data breaches before they happen. With digital attacks at an all-time high, the time to improve your security is now.