Cyber threats are on every company’s radar, per KPMG’s 2021 CEO Outlook Report. Survey responses from 1,325 participating CEOs indicate that the technology, telecom, and banking industries are the most highly focused on preventing cyberattacks. However, that doesn’t mean everyone else is complacent. Cyber risks ranked #1 as the primary threat to future growth among all CEOs surveyed, and 67% plan to increase funding for threat detection and security innovation. Penetration testing as a service is one such innovation they’re turning to.
Penetration Testing as a Service, Explained
Penetration testing as a service, based on the Software as a Service (SaaS) model, is a recent addition to companies’ potential arsenal of cyber defenses. It has all the capabilities of manual pen testing, along with automated functions, web-based access, and faster turnarounds.
This model accommodates rapid system updates and proactive penetration testing as new threats arise. To understand how these function and why they matter, you’ll need:
- A general overview of penetration testing technologies
- The penetration services that are available with this platform
- A deep dive into ways this method may improve your security ROI
Every organization can benefit from working with a quality penetration testing partner.
What Does Penetration Testing as a Service Mean?
There is nothing new about calling penetration testing a service. Cybersecurity firms have been providing risk assessment tests for years. Pen testing, service model or not, means simulating an attack on the target organization’s system to understand how a real attacker would operate.
What’s new is the platform that stores the testing, scanning, and reporting software—it resides on the vendor’s servers, in-house or in the cloud. In the service model, computer programs can automate much of the pen testing itself. This approach allows IT professionals to schedule and monitor targeted tests with limited manual intervention. Increased frequency leads to quicker remediation of newly discovered vulnerabilities and lessens the chance of a successful attack.
Additional benefits of the penetration testing as a service model include:
- Subscription billing may be available to improve the predictability of costs
- Continuous monitoring Scalable design allows vendors to add functionality
- New updates are easily implemented
- Web-based interface grants easy access to authorized users
- Targeted testing permits users to only pay for what they need
What type of targeted penetration tests are available?
What Are the Types of Pen Testing Services?
The best penetration testing companies tailor their assessments to the specific needs and means of your organization’s cybersecurity program. That means offering internal, external, and hybrid tests. It also means testing any kind of infrastructure (or all of it) you need to examine.
Penetration testing can target all the vulnerable access points in a system, including:
- Firewalls – Ensuring that perimeter protective barriers will not allow malware or phishing attacks to penetrate the system. These are almost always external penetration tests.
- Network security – Testing all the access points on the network for vulnerabilities. This includes the hardware, software, processes, and configurations, often tested internally.
- Cloud computing systems – If you store data in a cloud, the provider’s defenses are tested for weaknesses. These tests are often hybrid, bridging the external and internal.
- Web applications – Public-facing applications are exposed to the world and face a barrage of possible attacks. Some common attacks include SQL injection, password theft, and unvalidated redirects to other web pages. Cross-site scripting injects code that is delivered to the client’s browser, initiating an attack. These are also often hybrid tests.
Penetration tests can also be optimized to specific regulatory compliance needs – and is often required or suggested for frameworks like PCI-DSS, HITRUST, NIST SP 800-171, and others.
How Does Penetration Testing Improve ROI?
Regardless of what kind of penetration testing service you use, and whether you opt for a service model or not, pen testing will have a positive impact on your overall security ROI.
Forbes recently reported on a global survey of 1,100 IT and security professionals. Startlingly, 80% responded that their companies had received ransomware demands in 2021, and more than 60% of paid the fee to recover locked files. More frequent penetration testing may have detected the weaknesses in their systems and prevented an attack. Automation on the new platform makes periodic testing a reality, possibly saving your company millions of dollars.
B2B businesses can quickly provide prospective clients with a recent penetration test report. This quick response may be enough to procure new business and increase your revenue.
And compliance penetration testing, mentioned above, can help prevent non-compliance fines.
Managed services move the burden of monitoring security breaches and testing vulnerabilities away from your IT staff and into the hands of experts. It’s a proactive measure that makes reaction—mitigation and recovery—significantly easier to manage. And, unlike some penetration testing companies, RSI Security can fix the problem before or after it’s detected.
Leverage Penetration Testing as a Service Today!
Penetration testing as a service is a state-of-the-art approach to cybersecurity. It uses offensive measures to maximize defense by allowing you to understand exactly what attacks will look like before they happen. The frequency and ease of management in the service model makes pen testing accessible to organizations of all sizes, at any state of cybersecurity maturity. Contact RSI Security today to learn more about penetration testing as a service—or get started!