Websites are subject to all types of vulnerabilities. With the push to get products out the door as quickly as possible – some websites may be released with potential problems, including PHP injection, data manipulation exploits, and many other possible issues.
Many internal teams may not have the time or the resources to test a website or application as thoroughly as necessary. However, this is why many companies end up reaching out to external testing firms to help meet their QA needs.
Choosing the Right Partner
Before developers hire an external team, they often need to complete an internal audit in order to determine what they will need from outsourced experts.
- What’s the budget?
Determine your budget ahead of time, and make sure to look at the priority items. A priority list will help you to figure out your most critical security needs and help you ascertain where to start. If budget is tight, then lower priority items can be pushed back to a later date. Don’t let an outsourcing firm up-sell you by adding on more testing than your budget allows. It should be the other way around: The outsource firm should create a priority-based testing approach that fits your budget.
- What needs to be tested?
How many sites will need to be tested? Which sites will be accessing the most critical data? Create a list of everything that you need tested and ensure that those using sensitive data rank higher on the priority list. A reputable QA firm will help guide you through this process.
- What types of skills do you need?
Not all outsourcing companies are created equally. Figure out what types of tests that you think you’ll need and what types of skills that your team is lacking. Then you can focus on finding a partner that can fill these needs. Many testing houses offer standardized “off the shelf” solutions, which may not address all your needs, or may include tests that you don’t really want. Firms that offer a customized ‘boutique approach’ are usually a much better value as you only pay for what you need and want.
- How often do you plan on running tests?
In an ideal world, testing would be an ongoing process. In all reality, testing is heavily restricted by budgets and timelines. You may want several testing phases or sprints based on your release and development model. While you may want to use an external testing house to work with you on a series of test sweeps, try to avoid firms that require you to sign up for a long-term engagement. Try to select a testing house that is confident enough in their level of customer satisfaction that they don’t require any long-term commitments.
- What guarantees are being offered?
While no outsourcing company will be able to guarantee that they will find every single bug, a reputable QA house will offer some form of satisfaction guarantee. If they don’t, you may want to keep on shopping.
Looking for a testing partner? Learn more about iBeta Security Testing.