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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. 

DevSecOps Strategy Guide: Balancing Speed and Security

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This eBook details how to accelerate software development without sacrificing security.

  • 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 provides solutions that help organizations manage application security, quality, and compliance risks effectively. With Synopsys, organizations can transform the way they build and deliver software, aligning people, processes, and technology to intelligently address software risks across their portfolio and at all stages of the application lifecycle.

Code Build Test Operate
Software development begins, which includes designing the system in an IDE, writing and reviewing the code for errors. During the building phase, the team takes the requirements documented during the planning phase to build the software. The software is assessed by the testing team to determine whether it meets the necessary requirements. Software is deployed and monitored in the production environment.
Developer tool integrations
Secure code as quickly as you write it by placing risk insight, remediation guidance and secure coding education at the developer's fingertips. Learn more
Static analysis
Find security and quality issues in proprietary source code. Learn more
Interactive analysis
Identify and verify security vulnerabilities in running web applications. Learn more
Continuous security scanning
Perform continuous web application security testing in production. Learn more
Software composition analysis
Automatically discover open source and third-party components and their associated security and license risks in any application or container. Learn more
Real-time threat alerts
Get real-time alerts when new vulnerabilities are reported in your applications or containers. Learn more
Application security posture management
Streamline AppSec policies, test orchestration, correlation and prioritization of security issues across the enterprise to obtain a unified view of security risk. Learn more

Explore how to build security into DevOps