While traditional penetration testing (pen testing) has long been the go-to method for identifying security vulnerabilities in an organization’s network and web application, a new approach has emerged: penetration testing as a service (PTaaS).
With the evolution of cyber threats in the digital landscape, organizations are looking for effective ways to secure their web applications. PTaaS combines the rigor of traditional penetration testing with the continuous vigilance of scanners providing a new perspective on security testing.
But is it just a fresh coat of paint on an old practice or a legitimate and innovative option for businesses looking for enhanced security?
This article dives deep into PTaaS, uncovering its distinctive features and advantages over traditional penetration testing. We examine the integral role of scanners in PTaaS, illuminating how they complement human-led testing by detecting anomalies that might escape the human eye.
Differences between Penetration Testing and Penetration Testing as a Service
Penetration testing, or penetration testing, is a traditional method vulnerability identification method in a system. This typically involves a team of cybersecurity experts simulating cyberattacks on a company’s network or application to uncover potential security vulnerabilities.
Once the process is complete, the team provides a detailed report outlining the identified weaknesses and suggesting ways to mitigate them.
However, this approach to penetration testing is, by nature, a one-time exercise. It provides a snapshot of the application’s security state at the time of testing, but does not account for new vulnerabilities that may appear after testing.
Therefore, the time elapsed between penetration tests can leave organizations vulnerable to threats. This is where Penetration Testing as a Service, or PTaaS, comes in.
PTaaS revolutionizes the traditional penetration testing model by introducing a continuous approach to web application security testing. Instead of a one-time exam, PTaaS offers continuous real-time testing that combines the benefits of manual pen testing with automated scanning tools.
The most distinctive feature of PTaaS is its continuous approach to security testing. Unlike traditional penetration testing, which provides a single view of vulnerabilities, PTaaS provides continuous monitoring and testing of web applications.
This strategy ensures that new vulnerabilities are detected and addressed quickly, reducing the window of opportunity for potential cyberattacks.
Combination of manual pen tests and scanners
PTaaS leverages both human expertise and machine efficiency by integrate regular pen tests with automated scanners. While manual pen tests perform in-depth testing and can simulate sophisticated attacks, automated scanners offer continuous analysis capabilities.
These scanners can scan large amounts of data quickly and identify issues that human testers might miss, such as minor configuration errors. They can also quickly identify common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) as they arise.
This combination of manual and automated testing allows for more thorough and ongoing security assessment. It ensures that vulnerabilities are not only identified during scheduled penetration testing, but are also continuously detected and addressed as they arise.
The symbiotic relationship between humans and automated scanners
Automated scanners are renowned for their ability to quickly identify common vulnerabilities. Their capabilities include identifying issues such as outdated software, incorrect configurations, and known vulnerabilities, achieving speed and scale unattainable by humans.
In contrast, the unique value of human pen testers lies in their ability to think creatively, exploit complex vulnerabilities, and understand complex business context. They are adept at creating unique attack vectors, simulating social engineering attacks, and detecting flaws in business logic – issues that automated scanners might miss.
PTaaS optimally harnesses the power of both, delivering a comprehensive and powerful cybersecurity solution.
The industry perception of PTaaS
Industry opinions on PTaaS are varied and reflect a wide range of experiences and expectations.
In digital communities where cybersecurity professionals come together to share information, like Reddit and StackExchange, PTaaS is an ongoing topic of discussion. Some industry professionals view PTaaS as a dynamic solution that combines the benefits of automated testing with human expertise, providing a more continuous and adaptive approach to security testing.
However, concerns are also raised in these discussions. For example, some express skepticism that PTaaS can match the depth of traditional penetration testing conducted by experienced professionals. Others worry about reliance on automation, the possibility of false positives, and the possibility of overlooking vulnerabilities that a human tester might detect.
Despite these concerns, the benefits that PTaaS can bring to the table are recognized. These include continuous monitoring of systems, the ability to quickly identify and respond to vulnerabilities, and the combination of human-directed testing and automated scans for a more comprehensive security assessment.
Industry discussions highlight a key point: the digital landscape is changing rapidly and cybersecurity strategies must evolve alongside it. In this context, PTaaS appears to be a legitimate and scalable option. It’s not just repackaged traditional penetration testing, but an improvement that leverages the best of automated, human-led testing.
Presenting the Case: A Unique Approach to PTaaS
Outpost24, a leading cybersecurity provider, has developed a unique approach to penetration testing as a service (PTaaS) that sets it apart from other service providers. Recognizing the need for a more dynamic, interactive and real-time solution, Outpost24 has incorporated several innovative features into its PTaaS offering.
One of the most striking features of Outpost24’s PTaaS is its emphasis on a continuous feedback loop. This means that the process does not stop at the simple identification of vulnerabilities. Instead, any remediation undertaken to address vulnerabilities is also retested, ensuring that the fixes are effective and the web application’s security posture remains robust.
This continuous monitoring and testing mechanism improves the resilience of the web application against potential threats.
Outpost24 also offers the unique advantage of allowing customers to interact directly with the penetration testers who perform their security assessments. This interactive element facilitates clearer communication and a more nuanced understanding of identified vulnerabilities, their potential impact, and required corrective actions.
It creates an environment for collaborative security improvement, which is more effective than a one-way delivery of test results.
The PTaaS platform provides real-time information on identified vulnerabilities, allowing companies to accelerate their remediation efforts. Along with real-time vulnerability discovery, Outpost24 provides detailed steps to replicate identified vulnerabilities.
This allows companies to understand the potential avenues of exploitation a threat actor could take, allowing them to develop more effective defense strategies.
Find the right PTaaS provider today
While traditional penetration testing has served as an essential tool for identifying vulnerabilities, its periodic nature can leave gaps in security. These gaps can become targets for cyber threats that emerge between testing. PTaaS fill these gaps by offering a continuous and dynamic approach to security testing.
Outpost24’s approach to PTaaS illustrates how the service can be more than just “penetration testing with a fresh coat of paint.”
Through continuous feedback, interactive communication and real-time information, Outpost24 provides a PTaaS offering that raises the bar for web application security testing.
Sponsored and written by Outpost24