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Continuous testing (CT) is a software development process in which applications are tested continuously throughout the entire software development life cycle (SDLC). The goal of CT is to evaluate software quality across the SDLC, providing critical feedback earlier and enabling higher-quality and faster deliveries.

Why is continuous testing needed?

There are many commercial solutions and tools that detect and remediate common injections at the static code level. However, many development teams face a shortage of skilled resources who can consistently track and sort critical vulnerabilities, particularly those that are triggered only in runtime environments.​ Many organizations track these vulnerabilities manually, but this can create significant bottlenecks and inefficiencies in their efforts to incorporate security testing within development workflows.

Continuous testing helps track testing for application, microservice, and API security vulnerabilities or logic flaws by working with existing CI tools to detect issues early, mitigating costly time and effort downstream.

With many organizations adopting DevOps and DevSecOps, embracing automation is a large part of enabling efficiency and speed. In modern AppSec, continuous testing is one of these key practices. 

How does continuous testing work within DevOps/DevSecOps?

In the increasingly fast development environment, software release cycles are shortening, pushing organizations to adjust their practices in order to keep up. DevOps practices and tools are essential to this success, and continuous testing plays an important role.

CT helps boost the DevOps pipeline because it fosters testing at all stages of the SDLC, from development to deployment. At the center of DevOps and DevSecOps is the idea of performing activities (like security testing) as soon as possible, speeding up all development activities. Incorporating continuous testing into this framework helps guarantee that development moves forward unhindered, and software of the highest quality is released. 

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  • Integrate and automate AST tools in the SDLC
  • Define and automate AppSec policies
  • Invest in security training for developers
  • Leverage platform-based AST that evolves with your business

What are the benefits of continuous testing?

Continuous testing offers many benefits. At a higher level, it removes the roadblocks that can happen when performing testing in a single step. With continuous testing, code is automatically tested as soon as it is integrated. This directly supports DevOps and the goal of delivering high-quality software, faster.

Additionally, CT helps save developer time and effort because they no longer have to wait for QA teams to finish testing before fixing their code. Instead, testing happens continuously, enabling real-time proactive fixes to code quality and security issues. Multiple activities can occur simultaneously.

A more overarching benefit of CT is that it reduces risk. With CT, software is checked many more times and in many more ways throughout its entire life cycle, instead of once during a specific phase of the SDLC. This enables more visibility into and more opportunities to discover areas of weakness.

Continuous Testing | Synopsys

How can Synopsys help?

Synopsys Seeker® is an interactive application security testing (IAST) solution that offers continuous runtime security testing. Seeker helps teams implement continuous testing, regardless of their development framework, and seamlessly integrates into current practices. Seeker also easily scales with your organization’s needs.

To understand Seeker IAST, think of it as the Swiss Army knife for app functional tests—it does it all.

  • Ad hoc testing. Seeker is perfect as a starting tool for ad hoc and manual functional tests because no security expertise is needed.
  • Agile testing.​ Seeker can also be used as a security tester during functional testing; it helps speed testing and finds vulnerabilities fast.
  • Automated testing.​ Seeker provides continuous verification and response. It will fail the build automatically if critical security vulnerabilities are detected.

 Key Seeker capabilities include

  • Seeker addresses real vulnerabilities that surface during app runtime tests, without requiring any manual human intervention or additional scans. It will automatically verify and alert in real time about high-severity vulnerabilities.
  • It’s versatile; Seeker works with any type of test (matured CI/CD, ad hoc/agile test, manual test or automated).
  • It’s frictionless; Seeker performs continuous security testing in the background without affecting or bringing down your continuous pipeline.
  • Seeker delivers real-time, accurate, and prioritized findings. It provides stack traces down to line of code, and dataflow maps of all APIs and endpoints, including tested and untested URLs, so you have a full picture of the security status of your application. You can take the list of untested URLs and feed it into your testing process to improve functional and security testing coverage.
  • Seeker offers seamless integration with any SDLC that supports cloud, microservices, and serverless-based deployments.

Explore How to Build Security into DevOps