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Get Greater Coverage Between Manual Penetration Tests by Adopting an Automated Solution

Posted by Olivia Scullard - 28 July, 2020


What is the Importance of Penetration Testing?

Pen testing is a vital part of any business’ security, and an integral part of a risk-based approach to staying on top of threats. It involves scanning and exploiting an organisation’s IT infrastructure in order to unveil any vulnerabilities that may be of use to an actual hacker with malicious intent.

It is crucial to undertake regular manual penetration testing to gauge the security of internal and external networks, systems and applications, and moreover, to assess how employees respond during a real-world attack.

However, manual testing only occurs periodically and is typically a long process that requires the expertise of a highly skilled, ethical-hacking professional.

New vulnerabilities will inevitably emerge between these scheduled manual assessments as the environment changes. Automated pen testing provides greater coverage and visibility in a shifting threat landscape and helps keep track of your environment between manual scans.

We provide penetration testing services for a variety of applications and systems, including web and mobile applications, internal and external infrastructure and wireless networks. If you are interested in implementing Penetration Testing within your business, please contact our expert security advisors.

7 Benefits of Automated Penetration Testing

Automated testing can empower organisations to co-ordinate penetration testing themselves and uplift security in a proactive way. They can provide added value to periodic manual tests and support a business’ efforts in detecting threats and mitigating risk. Some benefits of automated penetration testing include:

1. Minimising the risk of human error.

Implementing automated testing can reduce human error by providing an optimised scan of the entire infrastructure. Automation can provide value to manual testing by scanning large applications that can then be manually analysed to determine greater business impacts and exploits.

2. Providing visibility during periodic manual tests.

Businesses do not have to wait between manual tests to find vulnerabilities within their network. While manual tests are often run annually or bi-annually, hackers are finding new areas of risk to attack at a more frequent rate. Automated scanning allows for monthly, weekly or daily testing that allow for increased detection and protection.

3. Relieving the team of experts.

Any individual with basic security competencies can run the automated scans. This means that IT security staff are not overburdened with tedious and time-consuming work and can instead focus their expertise on other proactive prevention and mitigation tasks.

4. Greater efficiency and speed.

There is virtually no risk of delay with automated testing. While booking external, manual tests may be sporadic and difficult due to the busy schedules of testing experts, an organisation can take advantage of automated solutions to test as often as they deem necessary. Not only is the wait between tests cut down, but the attack lifecycle can also be shortened with automated techniques.

5. It is relatively inexpensive.

Performing manual penetration testing more often can be a costly service due to the need for an expert hacking skill set in conjunction with the necessary technical resources. Automated penetration testing can be a reasonably low-cost solution to this issue, and can be very helpful for smaller businesses that do not have the global intel or bandwidth.

6. Supporting compliance efforts.

Complying with PCI DSS standards requires the regular execution of vulnerability scanning. Gaining or maintaining this industry standard involves complying with a 12-step checklist and requirement 11 entails running regular internal and external vulnerability scans. Automating this part of the pen testing process will make it easier to meet this standard and will allow you to focus on business compliance efforts where they are needed most.

7. Increasing reporting capabilities.

An automated pen test can run through the entirety of an attack lifecycle and promptly provide a curated report of all weaknesses. Since automated solutions can handle such large applications in shorter periods of time, vulnerability reporting is optimised and these issues are able to be remedied faster.

Automated penetration testing can enhance detection of vulnerabilities and uplift remediation efforts by beating attackers to the exposed gaps within your business. While manual penetration testing can provide businesses with a periodic professional overview, automation can deliver greater coverage in the meantime.

Considering implementing Manual or Automated Penetration Testing within your business? Get in touch with our cybersecurity specialists by clicking below.

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