A cyber attack happens every 39 seconds.
Automated penetration testing is essential for so many businesses, especially newer ones that rely heavily on technology. It can also benefit older enterprises with millions of users such as financial institutions.
Penetration testing is largely computerized already, but it’s not always automated. It’s a labor-intensive process, and it relies a lot on the tester making judgment calls and thinking like an attacker. The benefit of incorporating automation has been proven numerous times.
It’s time to learn more about automated penetration testing so that you can make sure your enterprise is protected. Keep reading for more.
What Is Automated Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing (pen testing) is a practice of simulating a cyber attack to see how your computer system handles it. It will help highlight any vulnerabilities that cyber attackers could potentially exploit. You can then eliminate these vulnerabilities before an attacker has the chance to take advantage of them.
A typical pen test might involve attempting to breach various application systems. It will look for security flaws such as unsanitized inputs that could be vulnerable to code injection attacks.
Automated pen testing streamlines things, reducing the time and manpower needed for testing. Setting up automated pen testing, however, can be difficult. With that in mind, once it’s put in place, it offers a range of advantages that make it often a better solution.
Benefits of Automated Penetration Testing
The biggest challenge with automated pen testing is determining what areas of your infrastructure should be targeted. You likely won’t be able to do this yourself, but a professional cybersecurity company can help set things up. Once it’s in place, automated pen testing will provide various benefits.
You can think of automated network penetration testing as a type of vulnerability scanner. It will look at your entire network and can identify most (sometimes all) of the security risks that are present.
After testing, it will give you an overview of the risks in your network showing which are the least and most dangerous. You can then take action to deal with the vulnerabilities found, and you’ll be able to prioritize things based on the significance of the threats.
Assess the Ability to Prevent Cyber Attacks
Aside from identifying and analyzing potential risks in your network, another key reason to carry out automated pen testing is to assess how well your system can withstand different types of hacking attacks. This factors in your system infrastructure, as well as you and your team.
You’ll get a good look at your cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses. This will show you the areas that have robust protection, as well as those that need improvement.
The average data breach costs a company $4.4 million. One of the main risks is that the private data of employees and users can be stolen. Any company that deals with such data has a responsibility to keep it protected at all times.
If user data is leaked, it can cause a huge loss of trust. Many of your users will no longer believe your organization can keep their data safe, and will likely turn to one of your competitors. This results in huge financial loss, and in some cases, can completely ruin a business.
If your business conducts any form of data collection, automated pen testing will help you ensure this data is kept secure. Doing this will help maintain a better image and reputation, leading to better customer loyalty.
Prevent Network Downtime
Manual pen testing can be very useful, but it also takes a lot of work. Automated pen testing makes things much easier by automating various parts of the entire process.
Being able to test efficiently will help you make corrections and improvements quickly. This will keep your system in a good state at all times so there will be fewer issues that cause network downtime.
Less downtime means more productivity. This is ideal for any business as your employees won’t be delayed in their work and customer satisfaction will remain high.
The Differences Between Manual and Automated Penetration Testing
The main difference between the two is that automated testing requires very little input after everything is set up. It will detect vulnerabilities and perform an analysis on its own. Manual pen testing is a meticulous process, and as such, it requires skilled security researchers to carry it out.
Because of this, manual testing can take several days to complete. Automated pen testing is much faster, saving both time and money.
It also requires far less effort than manual testing. As such, automated testing can be done frequently without the need for much preparation, which isn’t the case with manual testing.
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Manual testing does have an advantage here, however. Because it’s carried out manually, it can provide a more in-depth look at vulnerabilities with more detailed reporting.
Automated pen testing identifies common security flaws such as missing updates, configuration mistakes, and flawed permission rules – and does so very efficiently. Manual testing finds more acute flaws like loopholes, coding flaws, and logic errors which can be missed during automated testing.
Keeping Your Network Secure
Automated penetration testing can be incredibly useful when it comes to protecting your business. With that in mind, it’s not the only solution, as you can still choose manual pen testing. Either way, it’s important to take measures to protect your business and your customers at all times.
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