How Pentesting-as-a-Service can Reduce Overall Security Costs

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If your job involves keeping applications or data secure, you know how important penetration testing can be in identifying potential weaknesses and vulnerabilities. But you may not know that classic pen testing could inadvertently expose your organization to unnecessary risk while driving up your costs. 

Alternatively, PTaaS (Penetration Testing as a Service) for web applications offers a way to improve cybersecurity, enhance protection, and reduce costs.

Gain a deeper understanding of the difference between classing pen testing and PTaaS, explore the true costs of legacy pen testing, and gain insights into the many benefits of adopting PTaaS.

How do classic penetration tests work?

Penetration or pen tests are authorized simulated cyberattacks where your company employs white hat hackers to identify and resolve potential security vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.

Pen tests can give you a clear snapshot of a web application’s security, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of your existing security controls. They also come with some hidden costs and potential downsides.

For example, classic pen testing can’t keep pace with today’s DevOps processes, where organizations publish code on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis — meaning that you may need to pause your development process to suit your pen tester’s schedule.

And if your pen tester identifies vulnerabilities, your remediation doesn’t occur until long after you complete testing, exposing your live code to sustained risks.

How does PTaaS differ?

A hybrid alternative to traditional pen testing, PTaaS is a cloud-native, semi-automated service that delivers on-demand pen testing.

PTaaS provides continuous security monitoring that keeps your applications secure, regardless of how many production code changes you make.  

PTaaS allows you to combine the always-on nature of dynamic application security testing tools (DAST) and the power of ethical hackers’ human expertise to combat ever-changing cybersecurity challenges.

What are the true costs of classic pen testing?

When comparing the costs of classic pen testing and PTaaS testing, traditional pen testing may seem like a tempting option — but there are hidden costs to think about. 

Consider this example: Your business receives a competitive quote for pen testing where the vendor will perform a web app pen test for $850/day for ten days, charging you $8,500 for the project. Sounds reasonable?

Unfortunately, the true costs of pen testing are much higher when you add the cost of your organization’s time, expertise, and resources. Let’s look at some hypothetical but realistic numbers from the ‘Economics of Penetration Testing’ whitepaper.

If you value your team’s time at a nominal $500/day, it’s easy to see how the hidden costs add up:

Before the test

  • Create the pen testing offer (2+ days, $1,000)
  • Research vendors and negotiate contracts (5+ days, $2,500)
  • Scope and schedule the project (2+ days, $500)

After the test

  • Review the penetration report (3+ days, $1,500)
  • Create remediation issues (2+ days), $1,000)
  • Conduct remediation (10+ days, $5,000)

In our example above, your team’s time would be valued at a minimum of $11,500, meaning the true cost of your one-time pen testing cost is at least $20,000. And this doesn’t take into consideration other factors that can increase costs, including:

  • Internal delays: The pen tester is ready to start on your agreed-upon date, but your organization isn’t prepared. 
  • Performance disruption: The pen tester inadvertently disrupts service performance, meaning your team must address business complaints.
  • Scope changes: The project scope changes mid-stream, meaning you need to restart testing. 
  • Scheduling conflicts: You need to pause development to meet the pen tester’s schedule instead of your DevOps deadline.

Cost benefits of PTaaS 

A comprehensive, cost-effective alternative to classic pen testing is PTaaS which offers organizations a hybrid solution that has several benefits.

Manual testing: Some PTaaS solutions rely on automated scanning. Oupost24’s SWAT solution includes peer-reviewed tests carried out by our expert team of in-house pen testers. This reduces the chance of false positives, as well as business logic errors and backdoors that automated scanners miss.

Real-time testing: PTaaS provides access to real-time, continuous testing that more closely mirrors today’s agile DevOps experience. Your company can perform pen testing on demand while keeping close control of total costs.

Faster delivery: Classic pen testing can take weeks or months to establish. However, you can get PTaaS testing set up within days, meaning you don’t have to wait to identify (and rectify) vulnerabilities.

Enhanced ROI: PTaaS’s cloud-native pen testing approach delivers more significant ROI than classic pen testing, allowing you to control your total costs while increasing your organization’s security.

Ongoing reporting: Traditional pen testing typically results in the creation of a “final” report that provides your organization with test results. However, continual PTaaS testing allows you to generate reports on demand, allowing you to gain insight into your security status anytime you wish.

Enhanced collaboration: With PTaaS, your DevOps and SecOps organizations can more easily collaborate on findings, working together to keep your organization’s applications and data safe.

Improved validation: Unlike classic pen testing, where remediation validation is not typically part of the process, PTaaS allows you to validate your remediation efforts after implementing its report recommendations.

You’ll be able to ensure (and verify) that the changes you’ve implemented have effectively addressed the security concern.

A PTaaS solution protects your organization and your budget

To lower your overall security costs, consider moving away from traditional pen testing and investing in a robust PTaaS testing solution.

Unlike classic pen testing that provides a one-time snapshot of your web application’s security vulnerabilities, the right PTaaS solution more closely echoes your DevOps schedule, allowing you to continually monitor for potential risks. 

PTaaS solutions offer real-time testing, allowing you to perform testing more quickly, improving validation, enhancing collaboration, and boosting your ROI. By embracing a PTaaS solution, you’ll better protect your business — and your budget.

Learn how Outpost24’s PTaaS solution could fit in with your organization.

Sponsored and written by Outpost24.

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