Security Audit

Independent Penetration Testing Services: How to Pick the Right One?

Updated on: September 30, 2022

Independent Penetration Testing Services: How to Pick the Right One?

Businesses across industries are striving for increased agility and scalability. Web applications are built in a fast-paced DevOps environment in this era that marks the peak of digital transformation. Every aspect of our life has a virtual correspondent.

We enjoy a more connected existence by trusting businesses with a lot of our personal information. And all of it works out just fine until someone decides to find a way to steal your data, and eventually does that.

No wonder, you have set out to find an independent penetration testing service that would help you prepare for the onslaught of cyberattacks.  

Only a small number of enterprises have been able to adopt a DevSecOps approach, where security best practices are imbibed in the general routine of software developments. Even then, security misconfigurations are quite inevitable.

At least 90% of all websites carry some vulnerability. The best you can do to prevent these vulnerabilities from being exploited by hackers is to find independent penetration testing services that cater to your specific needs. Here is some help for you to learn how penetration testing as a service works, what are some desirable qualities, and how you should go about choosing the one for you.

Why do you need an Independent Penetration Testing Service?

Right from the beginning of this article, we have focused on the fact that businesses today need security solutions that can keep pace with the DevOps-driven software development cycles. By opting for a penetration testing service, you can bring about agility in security testing methodology.

Every feature update of your application brings about the possibility of a new vulnerability. Apart from that, every web app uses other components to run smoothly. There can be a number of plugins, extensions, and other third-party assets, that keep your site alive. A vulnerability in any of these components can expose your web app too.

The idea is to opt for a penetration testing service that provides you with continuous scanning, accurate reports, and thorough guidance for fixing vulnerabilities.  

The Essential Features of  a Penetration Testing Service

Life becomes easier when you partner up with the right penetration testing providers. Here are some things that you can and should expect.

  • Periodical manual penetration testing to ensure no vulnerabilities go unchecked.
  • Continuous scanning with product updates to keep your assets free of security loopholes at all times.
  • Zero false positives are ensured by manual pentesters.
  • Complete pentest reports with POCs for developers to reproduce exploits.
  • The scope for a smooth collaboration with security experts to fix vulnerabilities. 

It is one small security loophole v/s your entire website / web app

Get your web app audited & strengthen your defenses!
See Pricing
Starting from $99/month

Read also: Step-By-Step Guide To Web Services Pentest

The Benefits of Availing the Right Independent Penetration Testing Service for Your Business

As we keep saying, the penetration testing service model fits right into the idea of DevSecOps. It is the best way for you to maintain a strong security posture without compromising on the speed of software development cycles. Conducting regular penetration tests also means that your security components are tested repeatedly against attacks.

Image: Astra Pentest Suite’s Vulnerability Dashboard

Features you should look for in penetration testing services

  • A combination of manual and automated pentesting
  • Ample remediation support at no additional cost
  • Scan behind the login page
  • CI/CD integration
  • Compatibility with your framework
  • Zero false positive assurance
  • Actionable reports
  • Free rescans

Also Read: The 6 Best Penetration Testing Tools – All You Need to Know | API Penetration Testing: What You Need to Know

Top 7 penetration testing services to choose from

If you are looking for application pentest services cloud penetration testing services or independent penetration testing services in Boston, these are some of the pentest providers that you should look into. We have listed their best features pros and cons for your understanding.

Astra Security

As a cyber security company, Astra Security packs an enormous punch with its cloud-based Pentest Platform and Website Protection. You can control both of these products with the same dashboard. It’s a neat arrangement. We will leave the website protection side and focus on the pentest platform.

penetration testing services - Astra
Astra Security

Astra’s pentest platform combines a powerful vulnerability scanning tool with the depth and thoroughness of manual pentesting.

APIs to cloud infrastructure, server configurations to business logic errors, SQLi to payment manipulation, Astra pentest covers an incredibly wide range of security vulnerabilities and loopholes.

Read also: 7 Best API Penetration Testing Tools & Everything Related

Just to be clear, Astra Security is not a penetration testing service company, they offer solid products – a platform in fact – that caters to all your security testing needs.

It is one small security loophole v/s your entire website or web application

Get your web app audited with Astra’s Continuous Pentest Solution

Let us look at some features that put Astra on top of this list

Continuous penetration testing

As opposed to giving you a point-in-time snapshot of your security posture Astra’s pentest can help you create a consistent security testing mechanism. It’s pretty simple actually. Astra provides integrations with your CI/CD tools like GitLab.

Penetration testing services - continuous  penetration testing

Once your pentest tool is tied into your CI/CD pipeline, you can set it up to run automated scans whenever you launch an update.

Read also: Continuous Penetration Testing: The Best Tool You’ll Find

More integrations

Astra’s pentest can be integrated with workflow management tools like Slack and Jira. It helps you make security testing a part of your software development lifecycle without really changing the workflow around it.

penetration testing services - integrations
Astra’s pentest platform – integrations

When the scanner finds a vulnerability, it can just send an update to the Slack group of your choice.

Zero false positives

You are well aware of the amount of time you can lose chasing false positives, if you are not, we wish you never find out.

Astra’s manual pentesters ensure zero false positives. That is something of value.

3000+ test cases

Astra’s automated scanner is thorough and regularly updated. It covers all major vulnerability indexes, maintains a solid vulnerability database, and the scanner rules are updated every week.

All-purpose dashboard

The interactive dashboard built for each user is a sight to behold. There’s little you can’t do with it.

Manage and monitor vulnerabilities, update their status, assign them to team members, collaborate with our security experts, view compliance challenges, and acquire accurate information about the risk element associated with a certain vulnerability.

cloud security audit - pentest services

If you happen to be using Astra Website Protection, you can manage that from the dashboard too.

Scan behind logged-in pages

We know it is a pain to re-authenticate the scanner every time the session runs out while scanning pages behind the log-in screen. We figured out this could be solved with a login recorder, so we built an extension. It’s super easy to set up. here’s a video that explains more.

Astra’s login recorder

Actionable report

We at Astra, hate it when a vulnerability report is too complex or too large to use, or not comprehensive enough to prompt action. It is the duty of penetration testing services to create an actionable report – something that triggers the right steps and supports them.

Astra does it right every time. You get a report that is equally suitable for executives and developers. Complete with video PoCs and foolproof remediation guidelines, it is something you can put to immediate use.

Collaborative remediation

You can use the vulnerability management dashboard to access in-call assistance from Astra’s security experts if you hit a roadblock while resolving a vulnerability. It just makes things roll faster.

On top of all this, the pentest platform by Astra is optimizable for the technology used in your web apps, and it is also suitable for single-page apps.

Pros:

  • Upfront pricing
  • Remediation support
  • Automated and manual pentest
  • Scan behind log-in

Cons:

  • No free trial is available
  • Could have had more integrations

Make your SaaS Platform the safest place on the Internet.

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Intruder

penetration testing services-intruder

Intruder is a cloud-based penetration testing service that provides vulnerability assessments for web applications, network infrastructure, and Android & iOS mobile apps.

The company was founded in 2013 by penetration testers who saw the need for a more efficient way of conducting pentests. Intruder is headquartered in London, with offices in the US.

Intruder has a team of penetration testers who are certified by Offensive Security (OSCP, OSCE, etc.), GIAC, and eLearnSecurity. The company also offers a training program for penetration testers who want to become certified.

Features:

  • Vulnerability assessments for web applications, network infrastructure, and Android & iOS mobile apps.
  • team of penetration testers who are certified by Offensive Security (OSCP, OSCE, etc.), GIAC, and eLearnSecurity.
  • Offers a training program for penetration testers who want to become certified.

Pros:

  • Vulnerability assessments for multiple platforms
  • Team of certified penetration testers

Cons:

  • No mention of pricing on the website

Detectify

detectify

Detectify is an attack surface monitoring tool. It offers continuous monitoring of your software assets and also comes with a vulnerability scanning service.

Detectify is a competent tool when it comes to vulnerability monitoring and management but it doesn’t offer manual pentest.

Pros:

  • Free trial
  • Wide coverage

Cons:

  • No manual pentest is offered

Cobalt.io

cobalt

Cobalt.io is an excellent platform for you to connect with pentesters if that is something you are looking for. They offer a wide range of penetration testing services that might interest you. But they don’t come with integrated automated scans. So, if you are trying to build up a DevSecOps environment, Cobalt.io may not be for you.

Pros:

  • Wide range of pentest services including cloud and API pentest
  • Pentest as a Service provider

Cons:

  • No continuous pentest offering
  • Too expensive

Qualys

penetration testing services - qualys2

Qualys is a great tool for cloud penetration testing. They can test your SSL/TLS configurations, scan cloud infrastructure, and offer vulnerability detection and response services.

Among the other features of Qualys are compliance support, end-point security, and continuous monitoring.

Pros:

  • 30 days free trial
  • PCI-compliance support

Cons:

  • Doesn’t ensure zero false positives
  • Limited to cloud pentesting

Breachlock

breachlock

If you are looking for a one-stop solution that offers penetration testing, compliance management, and security monitoring, Breachlock is the tool for you.

Breachlock offers penetration testing services for web applications, network infrastructure, and mobile apps. They also have a managed service offering which includes 24/x365 monitoring, detection, and response.

Pros:

  • Managed service offering
  • Compliance management
  • Security monitoring

Cons:

  • No mention of pricing on the website

Acunetix

acunetix

Acunetix is a great tool for web application penetration testing. It offers automated and manual pentesting, as well as vulnerability management. The tool is also available in an on-premise version. It is a good tool for scanning your web app for SQLi, XSS, and misconfigurations.

Pros:

  • Pin-points vulnerability location

Cons:

  • Doesn’t offer manual pentest

Why consider Penetration Testing Service by Astra Security?

Astra’s Pentest is driven towards one goal – simplifying penetration testing for businesses. To be honest, getting a security audit can be a complicated affair. Astra Security puts a lot of effort into ensuring a superb user experience.

Penetration testing service
Image: Astra’s Pentest Suite
  • Astra’s Pentest comes with an interactive pentest dashboard that allows you to monitor the vulnerability analysis, assign vulnerabilities to developers and collaborate with security experts.
  • There is a login recorder feature that enables the scan of logged-in pages. It saves you a lot of time by not requiring you to authenticate every session. 
  • With a responsive security team, Astra ensures that all your queries are answered.
  • The pentest report comes with video POCs and detailed guidelines to help the developers. On top of that, the scope of collaboration makes the entire process easier.
  • The pentest dashboard can be integrated with CI/CD tools enabling you to get automated scans with product updates.
  • Astra’s Pentest dashboard helps you with compliance reporting by comparing scan results with compliance requirements.

It is one small security loophole v/s your entire website / web app

Get your web app audited & strengthen your defenses!
See Pricing
Starting from $99/month

Conclusion

The primary reason for investing in a penetration testing service is to build agility in security efforts and to scale without compromising on safety. The cyber threat landscape is rife with evolved hacking tactics. Hackers launch mass attacks that try to exploit you irrespective of the size of your company or your niche. A lot of effort goes into building a company and creating trust among clients and customers, and it can all go south very fast with a single security breach. Regular Penetration Testing helps you stay ahead of the curve and prevent mishaps. 

FAQs

What is the cost of penetration testing?

The cost of penetration testing is between $99 and $399 per month. Learn more

How frequently should I conduct pentests?

It is ideal to run quarterly pentests to keep your systems up-to-date.

What is the timeline for web app pentesting?

Web app pentesting usually takes 4-7 days to complete.

Do I get free rescans after fixing the vulnerabilities?

Yes, you get 1-3 rescans after fixing the vulnerabilities which you can avail within 30 days of the initial scan completion.

 

          

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Ankit Pahuja

Ankit Pahuja is the Marketing Lead & Evangelist at Astra Security. Ever since his adulthood (literally, he was 20 years old), he began finding vulnerabilities in websites & network infrastructures. Starting his professional career as a software engineer at one of the unicorns enables him in bringing "engineering in marketing" to reality. Working actively in the cybersecurity space for more than 2 years makes him the perfect T-shaped marketing professional. Ankit is an avid speaker in the security space and has delivered various talks in top companies, early-age startups, and online events.
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Our suite of security products include a vulnerability scanner, firewall, malware scanner and pentests to protect your site from the evil forces on the internet, even when you sleep.

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