Penetration Testing is the process of simulating a hack under certain rules of engagement in order to discover, exploit, assess, and fix vulnerabilities and security loopholes that exist in a website, application, device, or network. Security engineers try to discover and exploit vulnerabilities in your system while ensuring zero harm or downtime.
The distinction between traditional penetration testing and penetration testing as a service (PTaaS Platform) often goes unacknowledged. This article sheds light on various aspects of penetration testing as a service and the advantages it brings to businesses.
What is Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS Platform)?
Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS) is an agile security methodology where your system is tested and scanned continuously by automated vulnerability scanners as well as manual pentesters to identify vulnerabilities that might be present or surface with a new update and stay informed and patch them.
Deploying PTaaS ensures real-time testing, early feedback on the smallest of changes, and easy access to security professionals. At this point, you get notified about a security loophole incurred by one of the code changes along with some guidelines to fix it.
Your developers get the chance to fix the vulnerability before the updates go live ensuring the safety of sensitive data.
How PTaaS platform works
A PTaaS platform usually deploys a three-step procedure to ensure security for your systems.
1. A baseline assessment
The pentesters provide a detailed report of your current security posture – how the security measures in place would fare in case of an attack. This also comes with recommendations for enhanced security measures.
2. Regular assessments
The Penetration Testing Service (PTaaS) provider runs quarterly or half-yearly tests to identify any new vulnerabilities that might have surfaced. This helps you keep track of your organization’s security.
3. Continuous retesting
This is where Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS) goes an extra mile. It runs tests every time a new feature is updated or every time there is a code change so that any new vulnerability is immediately addressed to.
Also Read: API Penetration Testing: What You Need To Know | Continuous Penetration Testing: The Best Tool You’ll Find
What Should You Expect from a PTaaS Platform?
The PTaaS model of security testing essentially adds a layer to the standard one-time penetration testing service. It does have some limitations in terms of personalizing the solutions or working in very complex environments. However, the benefits definitely outweigh the limitations. Here is what you should expect from PTaaS.
- Continuous monitoring of your network
- On-demand access to Penetesters and Security Engineers
- Fast results from human-led Pentests
- Accurate vulnerability assessment
- Integration with the SDLC
- Real-time alerts to report vulnerabilities
- Minimal gap between discovery and remediation of vulnerabilities
- Automatic rescans to verify the remediation.
Benefits of Pen Testing as a Service (PTaaS)
The PTaaS model aligns perfectly with the present software development culture. The speed and agility afforded by DevOps adoption have to be complemented by an agile security methodology like Penetration Testing as a Service. Here are some of the most important benefits of this PTaaS model.
Hacker-Like Testing in Real Time
Penetration Testing involves the exploitation of vulnerabilities by emulating the hackers. It allows you to find out how your security posture appears to a hacker and how the current security measures fare when faced with a real-life cyberattack. With PTaaS platform, the tests happen on demand and you can visualize the vulnerabilities in near real-time.
Early Feedback on Code Changes
As we have been saying, PTaaS fits perfectly into the software development lifecycle. That means, your developers get a vulnerability alert before any new code goes live. This gives you the opportunity to stay one step ahead of malicious actors.
Real-time Remediation Support
A good penetration testing as a service platform provides you with detailed remediation support – videos and screenshots to assist developers in finding and fixing the vulnerability. This saves a lot of time as the developers do not have to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what went wrong and why.
Access to Security Engineers
Availing Pen Testing as a Service (PTaaS) allows your developers to get in touch with security engineers for fixing security loopholes. Security requires some special skills along with the ability to do something allegedly boring on the scale. Enlisting the help of security experts makes sure that vulnerabilities do not stay unfixed, consume too much of your developers’ time, or live in the funnel forever.
Also Read: 11 Best Penetration Testing Tools & Platforms of 2022
Features Of A Good PTaaS Service
1. Comprehensive Vulnerability Detection
The tool should continuously monitor and scan assets to find any hidden or new vulnerabilities that could have risen. It is also important that these scans be conducted every time an application is updated, a new feature is added or some other form of change is made.
2. Business Logic Error Detection
Business logic error detection can help organizations find any flaws in the processes being carried out that might be affecting the revenue. These aren’t exactly vulnerabilities but rather errors that could affect the organization’s workflow.
3. Zero False Positives
Another feature of note for a vulnerability scanner or a PTaaS product is their assurance of zero false positives. Check if they provide thorough expert vetting of automated pentest results to avoid any false positives in the report.
4. Elaborate Reports
Elaborate reports are an essential feature of a good PTaaS company as it helps customers make fixes based on risk priority as this the detailed steps for patching each vulnerability will be mentioned within the report along with the CVSS scores for them.
5. Remediation Assistance
They should be able to provide expert assistance with vulnerability remediation for your organization’s security. This includes providing POC videos, immediate query clearance, and providing detailed steps within the vulnerability scanning report.
6. CI/CD Integrations
Integrations should be available with various forums to ensure that your organization’s projects, be it on any platform are safe from vulnerabilities at every stage of their development. This helps your organization to move from DevOps to DevSecOps thus giving more priority to security.
A good PTaaS services should provide services that are customizable according to the needs of the customer and focus on areas required by them.
Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS) by Astra Security
Astra is driven by one goal – providing cyber security in its simplest form to customers. It applies equally to Astra’s Web Application Firewall and Astra Pentest.
Let us see why availing Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS) from Astra makes a lot of sense.
- Astra Pentest requires minimum involvement from your end. The automated scanners can scan behind login pages without requiring you to authenticate it every time.
- You get a dedicated dashboard that you can use to monitor the vulnerabilities, look at the recommendations, and raise an issue whenever there is a roadblock.
- Astra has an impeccable record of responsiveness.
- The remediation support provided by Astra contains video POCs to help your developers reproduce and fix vulnerabilities.
- Astra’s security research team stays ahead of the curve in terms of finding new vulnerabilities.
Challenges In PTaaS
PTaaS provides numerous benefits to organizations and the overall security of their applications and cybersecurity infrastructure. However, it is not without its challenges. They mainly include:
- Expertise of Pentesting Company: Effectivity of PTaaS majorly lies in the expertise and skillset of the pentesting company hired. Organizations need to devote time and carefully evaluate various options, services, and their quality of it before choosing.
- Scalability: The PTaaS service in question should be flexible to accommodate and customize according to your wishes while also having the manpower to scale up their services should you require it.
- Integrations: Integration of PTaaS to an already present cybersecurity infrastructure can be time taking process requiring a lot of planning and forethought to ensure that no processes are disrupted in the process of pentesting.
- Compliance: The PTaaS provider chosen should be compliant with all the relevant compliances that your industry requires to validate the pentesting services obtained.
- Continuous Support: PTaaS is not to be a one-time service but rather an ongoing agreement between you and the PTaaS provider for continuous monitoring and support should you require it.
Embracing an agile development model comes with the risk of compromising security. Not integrating your security measures into the SDLC may lead to vulnerabilities remaining uncovered and eventually a hack. Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS platform) is the way to go when it comes to adopting an agile security model. It is more affordable, more suitable for an agile environment, and faster than the standard penetration test. It affords you just the kind of relief you want from endless security threats.
1. What is the cost of Penetration Testing?
The cost of Penetration Testing depends upon the scope of the test, and the number of scans. It ranges between $400 and $1000 per scan for websites and between $700 and $4999 for applications.
2. What is the timeline for Pentesting?
It takes 4-10 days to complete a Pentest and half as many days to perform the rescans after the vulnerabilities are fixed.
3. Do we get free rescans?
Yes, you receive 1-3 free rescans after the vulnerabilities are fixed depending on the plan. These rescan are to be availed within 30 days of the initial scan completion.