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Continuous Testing

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Continuous Testing

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.

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.