Security Audit

Penetration Testing Service: How to Pick the Right One?

Updated on: April 28, 2022

Penetration Testing Service: 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 a 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 a penetration testing service that caters 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.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing refers to the practice of simulating an attack on a network, application, or website to find vulnerabilities and evaluate its security posture. A penetration test or pentest involves manual exploitation of certain vulnerabilities to assess their severity, risk, and exploitability. 

A penetration testing service provider follows a typical procedure to check your systems for vulnerabilities and then exploit them. The process starts by planning the scope of the pentest, followed by information gathering and vulnerability scan. After that security experts exploit certain vulnerabilities to assess their impact and risk.

Categories of Penetration Testing

You can categorize pentesting as white-box penetration testing, black box penetration testing, and grey box penetration testing. So, what do these signify?

In White Box Pentesting, the pentesters move in to test a system with complete knowledge of the system – the location of various assets, external and internal components involved in the target system – as well as access to the code structure. This approach is suitable for an in-depth analysis of the code structure and security loopholes caused by design issues.

Black Box Pentesting resembles the process followed by a real hacker. In this case, the tester does not have any insight into the target system. They apply a series of recon tactics to learn about the target system and then attempt a breach.

The Gray Box Pentesting combines elements of both white box and black box pentesting. In this case, the pentester is partially aware of the target system and conducts a penetration test with limited information.

Why do you need a 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!
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Starting from $99/month

The three-stage layout of a Penetration Testing Service

Penetration Testing as a Service platform usually focuses on the regularity of scans and assessments. 

It starts with a baseline assessment where security experts run an analysis of your current security posture by assessing how the security layers in place would react to an actual attack

After that, the pentest company conducts quarterly or half-yearly scans to keep track of new vulnerabilities.

By integrating your penetration testing service platform with the software development life cycle, you can avail of Continuous Re-testing to ensure that a scan is run with every new product update.

You get a personalized security testing regime that works for your organization and fulfills your unique needs as a company. You can avail a set of features that only come with a long-term partnership.

  • Continuous monitoring of your network & assets.
  • Manual pentest to ensure zero false positives.
  • On-demand assistance from security experts.
  • Integration with CI/CD tools.
  • Real-time monitoring of vulnerabilities.
  • Thorough guidance for remediation.
  • Automatic rescans and publicly verifiable certificates.

The Benefits of Availing the Right 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

Here are some specific features that you can unlock:

3000+ tests

With the right penetration testing service partner like Astra Pentest, you can get automated vulnerability scanning with 3000+ tests along with manual pentesting led by experienced security experts ensuring non of the vulnerabilities are left unchecked.

Hacker-Style Pentesting

A pentester applies recon, scan, and exploitation tactics followed by real hackers to make an assessment of your security posture from a hacker’s perspective. This helps you understand how a certain vulnerability can expose sensitive information and how much damage it can cause. 

Immediate retest after code changes

If a vulnerability sparks up after making a code change for an update, the pentest provider will raise an alarm before the change goes into production.

Collaborative Remediation Support

Nothing works like a penetration testing service platform that lets your developers collaborate with the pentesters to understand and reproduce exploits and fix issues. You can avail in-call assistance from security engineers who can help you with an in-depth understanding of the vulnerabilities.

All these features and benefits that we have discussed so far, should work as a guide for you to judge and pick the best penetration testing service for your business. On top of these, you can look for online reviews to find out more about a particular pentest service provider. Having the right pentest partner makes a huge difference in your experience and of course, the end result.

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

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. 

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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