Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Pentest as a service for the top 9%, fast-growing SaaS companies

As someone in charge of SaaS business you're probably being constantly reminded of the need to focus on continuous application security, but making this happen is not an easy task.

Until, of course, you stumble upon and adopt the pentest-as-a-service approach to security.

You see, gaining customers' trust is crucial to a SaaS business's success because it directly affects revenue. The best SaaS firms consider cybersecurity an integral part of their business strategy.

Penetration testing as a service vendor

This mindset demands that you have strong and flexible cyber security measures in place to safeguard your customers' data and mitigate the constantly growing list of security threats.

This is precisely the outcome that the pentesting-as-a-service model of application security provides to fast-growing SaaS companies.

Table Of Contents

    What is penetration testing as a service (PTaaS)?

    Pentesting-as-a-Service, or PTaaS, is an all-encompassing application security delivery model which includes a self-service capability through an automated vulnerability testing tool, secure-by-design practices and manual web app penetration testing services throughout your software development lifecycle.

    With PTaaS you have the tools and support necessary to conduct on-demand automated vulnerability assessments, while improving the security aspects of your software design program, and all of this is backed up by in-depth penetration testing services for a deep-dive into your applications.

    It enables real-time visibility into your AppSec posture and helps your developers find and fix vulnerabilities without always needing the help of external cyber security consultants.

    If you want to ship every new relase of your software with zero known security gaps, this is the model that will help you do this!

    How is PTaaS different from traditional penetration testing services?

    Continuous testing services like penetration testing as a service (PTaaS) have been designed to keep pace with the rapid tempo of a DevOps or even DevOps-inspired modern software development environments.

    Another key difference is that while many standard pentesting services are irregular, which gives cybercriminals enough opportunity to exploit the attack surface and expose sensitive data, the PTaaS delivery model provides real-time alerts whenever a vulnerability is discovered, allowing your team to respond quickly and effectively.

    As you can see, when it comes to maintaining a stable software security posture, traditional penetration testing falls short.

    This is primarily because security threats and attack vectors are not static problems. There are multiple sources that introduce these threats and vectors into your apps and cloud infrastructure throughout the software development lifecycle.

    This was the reason that the PTaaS space evolved - because it offers more real time and continous automated pen tests, vulnerability management and data compliance solutions.

    How is a pentesting-as-a-service different from a bug bounty program?

    Penetration testing as a service solution provider

    In simple terms, a bug bounty program comprises freelance white hat testers finding and validating exploits, in exchange for notoriety and money.

    In certain rare cases, the activities that a bug bounty hunter is able to undertake might be carefully controlled by the SaaS vendor, but that really defeats the purpose of this exercise.

    Most bug bounty hunters usually follow a "free-for-all" strategy. They don't really follow a specific penetration testing framework, instead they work on evaluating automated vulnerability scan results.

    Depending on the rewards on offer, the bug bounty hunter will stop after they've identified the first few weak spots.

    Penetration test services companies, on the other hand, conduct penetration tests to specific frameworks. Therefore, consistency is uusally the critical difference between a structured PTaaS solution and a bug bounty hunter.

    Are bug bounty programs a form of continuous testing & continuous monitoring?

    The commonly cited attraction of bug bounty programs is that your company might benefit from multiple testers performing penetration tests on your software.

    However, contrary to such opinions, unless you are a massive brand like Apple or Google, your bug bounty program won't give you the continuous monitoring capability that you're seeking.

    The simple reason for this is that the big brands offer big rewards and finding new vulnerabilities in their platforms enhances a bounty hunter's professional sense of self-worth.

    Can the same be said for your application? Is your brand big enough to compete with these behemoths in terms of prestige, notoriety or budget?

    Don't get me wrong: bug bounty programs can be an important element of a best-practice AppSec program.

    But they are an effective follow-up measure, rather than a critical, core component of said program.

    PTaaS offers you consistency, reliability, more stable project planning ability and a more structured application security capability.

    By choosing the right penetration testing-as-aservice vendors you are also able to control the capability, qualifications and thoroughness of the people undertaking your penetration tests.

    Want my team to show you how to put a scaleable application security structure in place?

    What is the penetration testing process used in PTaaS?

    The traditional approach of conducing a penetration test once a year is completely unfit-for-purpose in this cloud computing age where data storage is decentralised and software is being updated multiple times a day.

    Clearly, very few companies can afford dedicated, in-house security professionals to monitor the security risk in their applications and infrastructure.

    You're reading this because you likely want a pentesting process that aligns with the changing dynamics of your SDLC.

    Trust me when I say, what you actually need is an application security structure that will increase the trust that your potential customers and paying users place in your organization.

    Penetration testing as a service solutions are the quickest way to build this stucture and grow your sales.

    What are the inclusions of the best pen testing as a service solutions?

    The right PTaaS model will give your team self-service tools for finding weaknesses and checking the efficacy of a fix. Such solutions should also provide you with a knowledge base that can be used by your developers to implement best-practice vulnerability resolutions without wasting hours on Google.

    The method is straightforward: you keep building and managing applications and infrastructure, while your chosen PTaaS solution supercharges your developers' vulnerability remediation efforts.

    The best PTaaS vendors will give hae the following inclusions in their PTaaS model (we certainly do!):

    1. Automated vulnerability scanning tool to run automated scans every time your devs push new code.

    2. A knowledge base to help your devs easily access best-practice remediation instructions.

    3. A Penetration testing-as-a-service platform that helps you access expert help when you need it.

    4. Collaboration tools so that your team can get on-demand help from qualified white hat testers.

    5. Dashboards with real-time data to help you visualise your security posture and better understand the ROI from your investment.

    6. Manually verification of your security posture on at least a monthly basis.

    7. Manual penetration testing services 2-4 times per year.

    Want my team to show you how PTaaS might work for your team?

    Which penetration testing methodology do you use in a pen testing-as-a-service project?

    The OWASP Top 10 list has become the de facto norm for risk reduction activities in modern software development and SaaS security folklore.

    The OWASP Top 10 list is widely recognized as an important resource for understanding the the most common vulnerabilities in web applications. While the OWASP Top 10 doesn't really cover every potential cybersecurity hole, it does a good job of highlighting the most widespread and severe threats to web applications.

    However the OWASP Top 10 is not a penetration testing framework, even though some pentesting service providers do use it as one with unsuspecting clients.

    OWASP produces a specific framework called the Application Security Verifications Standards (ASVS).

    By using ASVS, our pentesters can evaluate around 286 controls spanning 14 distinct domains, making our coverage substantially more extensive since it not only includes OWASP Top 10 vulnerabilities, but also stretches into new aspects of the product lifecycle including development methods that might need remediation.

    With ASVS, you can rest easy knowing that you're getting in-depth, high quality results and maximising the value from your PTaaS project.

    Which SaaS companies will benefit from a pentesting as a service solution?

    PTaaS works effectively for both small and large businesses. Companies whose current regulations impose substantial compliance obligations may benefit from the systems' pliability since most can handle anything from a comprehensive testing program to bespoke reporting capabilities.

    Will a penetration testing-as-a-service solution help me pass my ISO 27001 or SOC 2 compliances?

    ISO 27001 guidelines lay out a detailed plan for businesses to protect their assets, including a set of guidelines on how to implement and maintain an effective information security program.

    Pentesting is an important aspect of the procedure for risk management and evaluation prescribed by accreditations like SOC 2 and ISO 27001.

    To get SOC 2 or ISO 27001 certification, your software business must undergo an independent audit to show that they have effective security and confidentiality procedures in place.

    Though PTaaS is an important component of your accreditation process and improves your ability to maintain a robust security posture, it is not the only thing you have to do to maintain your certification, even though they play an important role in doing so.

    Want to see a PTaaS platform that will help your developers find & fix their own vulnerabilities?

    What pen test platform do you provide as part of your PTaaS solution?

    I am a big proponent of the fact that every software team should be in charge of their own destiny. That's why with every Audacix PTaaS subscription we provide our clients with complete and heavily discounted Cyber Chief subscription.

    This will, in fact, spare you thousands of dollars every year on subscription fees so that you can actually achieve your desired ROI from your investment.

    Cyber Chief is a frictionless web app vulnerability scanner designed to reduce false positives and it's also a vulnerability management tool that allows your SaaS business to release software with zero known vulnerabilities.

    It equips your software development team to discover and repair, potentially, thousands of flaws in your cloud applications and web-based services.

    Thanks to its one-click interface, Cyber Chief is so user-friendly that even a developer with zero experience in cyber security, or AppSec can use it with almost no training.

    Key Benefits of using Cyber Chief

    Cyber Chief web application vulnerability scanning tool
    1. Cyber Chief effectively places your development team into the shoes of human hackers and helps you see how uncover the vulnerabilities they will find in your cloud platform, web application and even website.

    2. Cyber Chief ensures that your SaaS will help your developers find and fix vulnerabilities by giving them detailed vulnerability resolutions, including code snippets where possible.

    3. You can run automated scans from your CICD or DevOps pipelines so that you are never reliant on someone from your team manually having to run vulnerability scans.

    4. Request manual testing services and receive your pentest results for the same project through the Cyber Chief delivery platform.

    5. Shorten your team's remediation process through by using Cyber Chief's intuitive collaboration functions that are part of the vulnerability management function.

    Want a free trial of Cyber Chief to try it for yourself?

    Will a web application security testing solution help me patch my vulnerabilities faster?

    It's no secret that in today's lightning-fast digital environment, the majority of attacks against businesses focus on flaws in the application or program itself. While opportunities are still favorable, cybercriminals move rapidly to capitalize on them.

    A recent study found that a web app vulnerability exists in the application for 69 days before it's reported. Given that vulnerability remediation time is in addition to this time, you are right to be worried by this statistic.

    Pentest as a service for SaaS companies

    While some SaaS businesses take months to fix vulnerabilities found during a web application security testing project, most Audacix clients fix their vulnerabilities in just 4-5 weeks.

    What differentiates my team from our competitors is our detailed and comprehensive pentest reports. They make it easy for your programmers to understand the vulnerabilities and best practice fixes to resolve them.

    Also, my team won't swamp you with theoretical pen test results and expect you to fix them all at once. Instead we will guide your team with a simple and easily understood system to prioritize the vulnerabilities they need to patch first.

    SaaS Brief