Penetration Testing Trends

Top 6 Penetration Testing Trends that Will Improve Information Security

By Dr. Rey LeClerc Sveinsson, ERMProtect

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is an important tenet of cybersecurity. It is a way for enterprises to gain eye-opening insight into how well their cyber security measures truly stand up against cyber-attacks. The testing assists companies to discover where they have security glitches so that they do not become major concerns down the road.

Penetration testing can identify a range of vulnerabilities as well as high-risk weaknesses that result from a combination of smaller vulnerabilities. Unlike automatically generated reports from tools that offer generic remediation tips, reports from penetration tests can rank and rate vulnerabilities according to the scale of the risk and the company’s budget. The scope of pen testing tools covers a broad range, including SQL injection, port scanning, password cracking, and more. As such, security professionals tend to leverage various penetration testing tools to ensure their needs are covered.

Penetration testing is one of the most effective measures a company can take to improve its corporate vulnerability assessments. Essentially, you’re hiring a good guy to act like a bad guy in hopes of beating that bad guy at his own game. For companies, penetration testing offers two important benefits — security and regulatory compliance.

What Is the Future of Penetration Testing?

As cyber attackers grow more skilled at infiltrating networks, penetration testing methods will need to keep pace, evolving along with the threats to help keep entities safe. This means pen testers will need to continuously test for new attack vectors and tactics, while at the same time staying laser focused on today’s biggest problems, such as phishing, ransomware, and misconfigurations.

Some of the top future trends in penetration testing include:

1.      Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Pen Testing

The future of penetration testing lies in using AI to make results more accurate and evaluations more efficient. Businesses are increasingly employing AI technology in their security strategies as it matures. Going forward, we can expect to see even more AI being used in pen-testing, especially for tasks such as reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning.

2.      Cloud Security

Pen-testers will be tasked with finding evolving vulnerabilities in these platforms as well. This is especially important since most companies use third-party vendors to manage and host their data on the cloud platform. Remote work has enhanced cloud security concerns, yet the threats transcend beyond the move to distributed employees.

3.      Internet of Things (IoT)

As the number of internet-connected devices (IoT devices) continues to grow, so does the need for cybersecurity. We can expect to see more attacks against these devices as cybercriminals attempt to exploit their vulnerabilities. Penetration testers will need to familiarize themselves with these new threats and learn ways to protect networks from them.

4.      Social Engineering

The use of social engineering tactics is on the rise and isn’t going away anytime soon. This means social engineering tests will remain important to organizations. By experiencing simulated attacks, employees learn the different ways hackers try to trick them into exposing company information assets.

5.      Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

As the name suggests, Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are threats that are specifically designed to evade detection and persist on a network for an extended period of time. They are often carried out by well-funded groups of attackers and can be very difficult to detect and mitigate. APT testing is needed to defend against these attacks. Instead of a vulnerability identification and exploitation exercise, APT testing is a simulation of a full-scale attack against a company’s environment involving elements of social engineering attacks, anti-virus and network attacks, and other intrusion tactics not conventionally used in a penetration test. APT testing aims to break into a firm’s computer network (with authorization of course!) with the aim of assessing the effectiveness of all implemented defenses.

6.      Stringent Regulatory Compliance

With both technology and cyber-attacks evolving, it only makes sense that regulatory compliance standards will change as well. Pen testers can expect to see more stringent regulations being put into place. Penetration testing will need to cover these new regulations and standards with their testing.

ERMProtect Can Help

ERMProtect has conducted thousands of penetration testing assessments in 35+ industry verticals. Our penetration test professionals leverage 25 years of experience in cybersecurity to secure your data, protect your business, and manage costs and risk. Our team can develop a penetration testing program that meets your company’s specific needs. Contact us today to speak with a penetration test expert at 305-447-6750 or email [email protected] for more information.

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