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When Is It Time to Invest in Security Testing?

When should you consider investing in security testing? How can you benefit from security testing in the long term, and what should you consider when acquiring this service?

When is it time ton invest in security testing

Key Considerations

  1. Does your organization's business involve a web application whose failure or data leakage would negatively impact your business? If you answered yes, consider the following:
  2. Is the critical web application actively developed, with maintenance updates or new features released daily, weekly, or monthly? If you also answered yes to this, you might need continuous security testing for your web application. Remember, applications are never truly finished. Regular maintenance and updates are necessary for any actively used web application.


When Is a Good Time to Get Web Application Security Testing?

Right now is a good time to test a critical application if it hasn't been security tested yet or it has been over a year since the last testing round. 

Security measures should be implemented as early as possible. The longer security testing is delayed, the more technical debt accumulates, and potential issues multiply with new features. (Reab blog: technical debt). For the best results, engage your security partner early in the design and development phases. 

Penetration testing can be performed anytime the application is mostly functional, otherwise release-ready, or already released. If the application is actively developing, continuous security testing is an excellent option. 

The most important thing is to start sooner rather than later. 

Should Testing Be Done Immediately or After Updates Are Completed?

Two common themes often arise when planning security testing:

  1. Realizing that security testing should have started a long time ago.
  2. Considering whether to conduct security testing after the upcoming changes or new features are completed.

Often, security testing should have been done earlier. Testing an untested application already in production might be delayed by months or even years due to the postponement of the latest updates. This is a vicious cycle.   

Based on our experience, there's rarely a perfect time for security testing. However, continuous security testing integrated into the application's development process ensures up-to-date security and resolves the question of "when is the right time to test," preventing uncontrolled technical debt. 

Business-critical applications in active use evolve constantly. It's naturally frustrating if a new feature can't be tested immediately. However, it's not worth endlessly waiting for a new feature in the pipeline to be completed because there is usually other valuable testing to be done. 

The best results are achieved by considering application security as early as possible. Approach discovered bugs and vulnerabilities with an open mind and aim to learn from them. Often, the same issues recur if they are not detected early or addressed correctly. 


What to Consider When Acquiring Continuous Security Testing?

Not everything needs to be tested constantly. Continuous security testing services are particularly beneficial for Internet-facing, business-critical, actively developed applications. Once you've identified these critical applications, it's time to plan the testing implementation.

  • Determine Testing Targets: Work with your security partner and developers to identify which applications and components need testing and how it should be conducted. Define the scope, estimates for workload, and costs. (Read the blog: Mitä tietoturvatestaus maksaa ja mikä hintaan vaikuttaa?)
  • Visibility and Scheduling: Make your application's development roadmap visible to your security partner and consider its schedule. Continuous security testing should be integrated into the development process and aligned with the application's development milestones.
  • Flexible Contracts: Negotiate a contract that allows flexible testing with minimal barriers, so that contractual issues do not delay testing when problems or testing needs arise.
  • Quality Considerations: Quality security testing is expert work that takes time. If budget constraints arise, prioritize testing the most critical parts. Avoid unnecessary compromises on quality. 
  • Automated Tools vs. Manual Testing: Security testing is expert work which utilizes automated scanning tools, but that is just the starting point. Scanners alone only provide a superficial check, as their coverage, depth and context-awareness are limited. Real assurance comes from testing by a security professional skilled in penetration testing using both automated and manual tools. 
  • Communication: Communicate the security measures to users, customers, and other stakeholders of your business-critical application. Enhancing and ensuring security builds trust, signals professionalism, and supports a positive customer experience.


  1. Ensure that business-critical applications and other systems undergo regular penetration testing, especially after major changes and updates.
  2. Ensure sufficient test coverage, focusing on the most critical elements.
  3. If the application is maintained and developed, integrate security testing into the process.

Interested in enhancing your application's security?
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