Pen testing, or penetration testing, is a cornerstone of security for SaaS businesses. However, companies often overlook its significance, viewing it as “just another expense.” But with cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated, it’s more than just checking a box; it’s a proactive approach to safeguarding your business and your customer’s data. With the cost of cybercrime forecast to increase continuously and reach USD 5.7 trillion by 2028, ensuring robust security measures is essential. Investing in quality pen testing is not only a must but is a strategic move to protect businesses and data.
The Value of Quality Penetration Testing
Pen testing involves experts conducting simulated cyberattacks on a computer system to unveil vulnerabilities. It is more than a security check. A comprehensive pen test provides an in-depth examination of a system’s strengths and weaknesses, delivering actionable insights that significantly bolster a company’s security posture.
Quality pen testing also assesses an organization’s resilience against malicious attacks and ability to safeguard sensitive data. While budget-friendly, low-cost pen testing might seem economical; it often results in superficial assessments that overlook crucial vulnerabilities that could expose businesses to unforeseen risks and costly repercussions.
A comprehensive pen test enables businesses to make informed decisions, prioritize necessary fixes, and enhance their overall security posture. Continuous engagement with the pen tester throughout the process enhances its value even more, and instead of just receiving a final report, businesses benefit from real-time communication and a collaborative approach.
Questions to Ask Penetration Testing Vendors
Now that you know why you need a quality pen test, choosing the right vendor is essential. But where do you start? Here are some critical questions to ask to help guide your decision:
Talent and Quality Factors
- Where is the pen testing team located? The location of the pen tester can affect the understanding and application of regional or industry-specific regulations. This information helps establish whether the pen tester has the relevant local knowledge to conduct a thorough and compliant assessment.
- Who will be conducting the pen test? Are they full-time or contract employees? Knowing who will perform the test helps assess the reliability and quality. Full-time employees may offer consistency and a higher level of accountability than contractors. The answer provides insights into the professionalism and commitment of the team handling the pen test, which can influence the quality and reliability of the results.
- What are their qualifications and past experiences? The qualifications and experience level directly impact the value and relevance of the pen test. A pen tester with substantial, hands-on experience is vital to provide confidence in the results. Knowing the pen tester’s background allows assessment of their competence, expertise, and ability to handle the task.
- How many hours will be dedicated? The time devoted reflects the depth and thoroughness of the pen test. Understanding the hours allocated helps gauge the comprehensiveness and whether it will be a detailed and valuable assessment.
Communication and Engagement
- How will the pen tester communicate the findings? Effective communication is key to understanding and acting upon the findings. Get clarity from the vendor on how they share findings and if this will include a written report with actionable steps. The communication method impacts how easily the findings can be interpreted and applied to improve security measures. Ideally, you should be able to communicate directly with the pen tester to get clarification on any issues.
- Will there be regular updates or just a final report? Determine in advance whether the chosen vendor provides regular updates in addition to the final report. Updates can drive a more responsive and adaptive approach to identified vulnerabilities; continuous engagement indicates a committed vendor. Knowing the frequency and style helps determine how engaged and collaborative the process will be, allowing for timely actions and decisions.
Outsourcing and Location
- Do you outsource any services overseas? If so, where? Outsourcing can impact a vendor’s control and oversight over the pen testing process. Different locations may also have varying regulations and standards concerning cybersecurity, which can affect the quality. The answer will give insights into the vendor’s operational model and whether they maintain complete control over the process. It also provides information on the geographical locations, which might have different cybersecurity norms and regulations.
- How does this impact the quality and security of the data? This question addresses the potential risks associated with outsourcing, such as data integrity and confidentiality. It helps in understanding how the vendor ensures that the quality of the pen test and the security of the data are not compromised. The response will reveal the vendor’s commitment to maintaining high-quality services and data security despite outsourcing. It will show the measures they have in place to safeguard data and ensure that the pen testing process remains robust and reliable.
Post-Penetration Testing Actions
After receiving a pen test report, the journey towards enhanced cybersecurity isn’t complete. The subsequent steps and actions based on the report’s findings are paramount.
Read the Report
Understanding the pen test report is essential. Focus on extracting clear, actionable insights, and avoid getting overwhelmed by technical jargon. Recognize where your vulnerabilities exist and formulate strategies to address them effectively.
All vulnerabilities are not of equal consequence. Address the most critical issues promptly and manage risks effectively. Adopt a strategic approach to remediation, prioritizing actions based on each vulnerability’s severity and potential impact.
Cybersecurity is a continuous journey. A single pen test is not a comprehensive solution but a component of an ongoing security strategy. Maintain regular testing and monitoring practices to ensure your defenses evolve, keeping your systems robust and secure.
Providing Profound Protection Value
Pen testing is a critical requirement for SaaS companies. It’s not just about identifying vulnerabilities; it’s about understanding the profound value it brings in safeguarding a business’s digital assets.
For businesses aiming to thrive in a digital landscape filled with uncertainties and threats, investing in quality pen testing is not merely an option; it’s a necessity. Organizations must make strategic decisions to secure a resilient and prosperous future.
You can read the original article posted in Forbes by Rhymetec CEO, Justin Rende.
Exploring Penetration Testing Services?
Rhymetec was founded in 2015 as a Penetration Testing company. Since then, we have served hundreds of SaaS businesses in all their cybersecurity, compliance, and data privacy needs. We’re industry leaders in cloud security, and our custom services align with the specific needs of your business.
A Rhymetec pen test entails an intentional launching of simulated cyberattacks by our own penetration testers to access or exploit computer systems, networks, websites, and applications. Our pen testers will identify exploitable issues so that effective security controls can be implemented or will test the robustness of your current infosec program.
Rhymetec’s suite of Penetration Tests offers Blackbox, Greybox, and Whitebox testing, including: