Software Testing is a method to check whether the actual software product matches expected requirements and to ensure that the software product is Defect free. It involves the execution of software/system components using manual or automated tools to evaluate one or more properties of interest. The purpose of software testing is to identify errors, gaps or missing requirements in contrast to actual requirements. With 8.4 billion connected devices, IoT is here with a bang and Gartner predicts the number to touch 2.4 billion by 2020. As these connected devices are making their way into almost all spheres of our lives, we are now beginning to sense its impact- both positive and negative.

These devices, though are invented to make lives easy, do possess potential security vulnerabilities. The research shed some light on webcams, baby monitors, and another half a million smart devices in Barcelona which were vulnerable to cyber-attacks. There were reports of parents filing complaints of hackers taking over the baby monitors.  A couple in Texas woke up to a voice over the baby monitor, who had hacked into the Wi-Fi connecting the baby video monitor as well, threatening to kidnap their child. And then there were reports of people pointing out privacy issues with webcams, with several saying they returned them as they did not want to accept the terms and conditions allowing the manufacturer to access any data collected by the devices.

From an architectural point of view, IoT devices do a lot - from storing data in AWS, connecting Wi-Fi, monitoring, managing sensitive data and information; the list is endless. Now as these connections deepen, so does the security risks associated with them. The more connections each device has, the more entry points it provides hackers to access the data. As a result, the method in which software is tested needs to change soon to hold this nuisance at bay. And here’s how one needs to evolve their approach to testing in the face of these challenges:

Upgrading Test Automation Plans with Service Virtualizations

A huge factor contributing to the success of test automation is to replicate an ambiance that is similar to the production environment. Now, it is difficult to achieve this objective in the IoT era because all of the interconnected systems on which IoT apps depend aren’t readily available for testing. Unlike in a simple web page testing which requires a few protocols to be up, the interconnectedness of IoT means there are a lot of things that need to be working to get a proper testing environment. Hence, it is imperative to create a product-like environment that may not be the exact same thing as the actual environment the software may exist in but it will be the next best thing before sending the software into production.

Continuous Security Testing A Must

A survey by Fortune 500 CEOs states - the rapid pace of technology change and cybersecurity are the top two concerns. With multiple connection points and so much going on within those connections, it’s quite a task to lose sight of what poses a security risk and what doesn't. But this has to change and continuous security testing is very important as the rate of change for IoT software gathers up speed. To ensure best security models, testers need to infuse security testing into the software in the development process itself, so that the security checks occur more frequently.

Figuring Out What Need Not to Be Tested

Deciding what to test and what not test without sacrificing security will help bring down concerns about maintaining appropriate test coverage and relieve pressure around strict deadlines. If you want to identify areas that can be excluded from the testing then look for protocols that have already been tested and will remain the same for the next few releases. This will give much time and make it easier to prioritize the test plan.

Undoubtedly, IoT is an exciting prospect but it does bring with it a certain level of security risks. To ensure the security of the connected devices and enjoy the benefits it has to offer, software testing teams must evolve and expand their QA practices on a continuous basis to match the ever-growing technology.