What is Black Box Fuzzing and why do you need it?

Black box fuzzers attack code vulnerabilities the same way a malicious actor would.  Black box fuzzing is a type of dynamic application security testing (DAST) that uses one of the widest ranges of attacks to find unexpected code input errors. The goal is to uncover conditions that can trigger crashes or contribute to new and unknown security weaknesses.  Using a black box fuzzer before deployment uncovers the security holes that are in the product before it’s released and allows developers to fix them prior to launch. Addressing code problems early in the lifecycle will save money and avoid costly, damaging breaches and downtime.

DAST vs Black Box Fuzzing DAST

The difference between standard dynamic application security testing (DAST) and black box fuzzing DAST is that regular DAST is a controlled, calculated methodical scan that looks for known vulnerabilities, while black box fuzzing systematically bombards a system with an onslaught of data, properly formed and malformed, to also find unpublished or unknown vulnerabilities. This is important because cybercriminals are always looking for these undiscovered ways to hack an application. They even use fuzzers to do so. Your organization should be armed with the same and perhaps better tools than the attackers you are trying to thwart.

3 Reasons to Use a Black Box Fuzzer? 

Ultimately, the most compelling reasons to do security testing of any kind are to:

●      Preserve your customers’ safety and trust

●      Avoid expensive compliance fines

●      Prevent costly post-production remediation

Below are a few reasons a black box fuzzer is one of the best tools to help you achieve these security goals.

1. Comprehensive QA Before Release:  If a company releases a product that is easily exploited, it probably won’t stay in business very long. The damage to customer trust can be insurmountable and the cost to fix a vulnerability in an application that is already deployed is extensive. It is essential for your code to be properly secured before it goes out the door.

Pre-release, security testing in the development process helps ensure that code errors never see the light of day.  The right black box fuzzing tool will analyze networks, hardware, and applications like an attacker would, to find weaknesses and the conditions that create them before a product is released to the public.

2. Efficiently Check Numerous Protocols: With a myriad of uses for black box fuzzing from assessing web applications to testing custom devices, a fuzzer needs to be flexible enough to communicate across numerous protocols. Having the right black box fuzzer that can assess the needs of your specific protocol or use prebuilt protocol testing modules will simplify the code changes needed during the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) testing phase. It will also systematically validate the application’s secure development. 

Accuracy is a top priority, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. A fuzzer that communicates on numerous protocols out of the box or that can easily be configured to work with new protocols provides a more thorough and efficient way to strengthen security posture. This is especially important for highly regulated industries such as automotive and medical where failures to identify vulnerabilities pose a real threat to the safety of individuals as well as expensive post-production remediation and fines.

3. Fast Automated Testing: Time constraints can cause traditional security testing to be rushed, making efficient testing tools necessary. When testing is too time-consuming, it will likely be cut short, and incomplete testing leaves threats behind, ready to be exploited.  Automated testing shortens testing time without any necessary manual intervention required. You can automate scans during development and monitor after deployment.

Without the need to access source code, the right black box fuzzer can find the majority of vulnerabilities that a manual test would within the first 24 hours of automated testing.

Additional Black Box Fuzzer Benefits

Prioritize Threats, Save Resources: Finding threats in your security is important, but deciding which threats are the most important is crucial for efficiently managing remediation efforts. Resources are limited for remediation so rapidly prioritizing issues by risk allows for assessment of which must be mitigated first and which can wait. This helps your organization eliminate the threats that are most likely to be used by cybercriminals to attack your product.

Compliance Assurance: Several industries already require DAST to achieve compliance and other verticals will soon follow. Using black box fuzzing DAST for IoT, Automotive, Medical, Aviation, and Infrastructure scanning helps your organization adhere to tightly regulated compliance standards. Fuzzers that generate in-depth reporting of repeatable findings can create the information required by auditors to show compliance and meet regulatory standards.

Summation: Comprehensive black box fuzzing needs to check all of the boxes.  It must be able to test your security as if it were actually being attacked by a cybercriminal and do so efficiently.  The right black box fuzzer can also help your team prioritize so you can tackle the biggest problems first.  Make sure the black box fuzzer you choose is protocol-aware or can be taught a custom protocol, so you’re not missing threats.  Additionally, automation is a vital capability, to save you time and money while ensuring the quality of testing.  

Find code weaknesses fast and effectively with the only black box fuzzer that combines all of these options and more. BeSTORM has an on-demand demo available to show how a black box fuzzer works.

Read our latest e-book to learn more about how black box fuzzing can help your organization get the jump on cybercriminals by discovering and remediating vulnerabilities before they even know they exist.