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SAMM - Security Testing - 1

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Security Testing - 1

Objective: Establish process to perform basic security tests based on implementation and software requirements


  • Independent verification of expected security mechanisms surrounding critical business functions
  • High-level due diligence toward security testing
  • Ad hoc growth of a security test suite for each software project

Success Metrics

  • >50% of projects specifying security test cases in past 12 months
  • >50% of stakeholders briefed on project status against security tests in past 6 months


  • Buildout or license of security test cases
  • Ongoing project overhead from maintenance and evaluation of security test cases


  • QA Testers (1-2 days/yr)
  • Security Auditor (1-2 days/yr)
  • Developers (1 day/yr)
  • Architects (1 day/yr)
  • Business Owners (1 day/yr)

Related Levels

  • Security Requirements - 1


A. Derive test cases from known security requirements

From the known security requirements for a project, identify a set of test cases to check the software for correct functionality. Typically, these test cases are derived from security concerns surrounding the functional requirements and business logic of the system, but should also include generic tests for common vulnerabilities based on the implementation language or technology stack.

Often, it is most effective to use the project team’s time to build application-specific test cases and utilize publicly available resources or purchased knowledge bases to select applicable general test cases for security. Although not required, automated security testing tools can also be utilized to cover the general security test cases.

This test case planning should occur during the requirements and/or design phases, but must occur before final testing prior to release. Candidate test cases should be reviewed for applicability, efficacy, and feasibility by relevant development, security, and quality assurance staff.

B. Conduct penetration testing on software releases

Using the set of security test cases identified for each project, penetration testing should be conducted to evaluate the system’s performance against each case. It is common for this to occur during the testing phase prior to release.

Penetration testing cases should include both application-specific tests to check soundness of business logic as well as common vulnerability tests to check the design and implementation. Once specified, security test cases can be executed by security-savvy quality assurance or development staff, but first-time execution of security test cases for a project team should be monitored by a security auditor to assist and coach team members.

Prior to release or deployment, stakeholders must review results of security tests and accept the risks indicated by failing security tests at release time. In the latter case, a concrete timeline should be established to address the gaps over time.

Additional Resources