Why you Should Secure your Test Environments

Posted by Koby Meir on September 24, 2020 4:32:26 AM EDT

While test environments are a vital part of the deployment process, when it comes to security they are not treated equally. The need to secure your production environment is a given but unfortunately, test environments often suffer from low to no security and in some cases are unnecessarily exposed to the web.

A typical deployment pipeline includes three non-production test environments each serving its own purpose.

Development: This is where the initial magic happens. It is the workspace in which developers can deploy and test code and make frequent changes per need.

QA (also referred to as Testing): In this test environment, testers focus on bug fixes and on ensuring that each component in the application is working properly.

Staging: This environment is used for the final stages of testing before the release to production. Out of all the test environments, staging typically mimics the production environment and oftentimes, real data is used in order to ensure the application is reliable and will not fail in production.

Such test environments may contain source code of future features that are not yet meant to be publicly available. In addition, they often include real production data and API keys. Such exposed test environments pose weak entry points into internal networks and can lead to data exposure and leaks.

In addition to potential leaks, since most test environments are not regularly monitored, attackers could "practice" their exploits on exposed staging environments until they are ready and able to take down your live application in one shot.

Every week, Reposify’s attack surface management platform discovers millions of exposed test environments including development, QA and staging environments which were left unprotected and can be easily accessed online and exploited by attackers.

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Topics: Attack Surface, test environments