As mentioned in previous blogs, we have explained how penetration testing, a kind of authorized simulated cyberattack against various networks, software, hardware, and users or IoT devices in the organization is crucial for businesses. When to perform a penetration test is also something we have touched upon in our earlier blogs, especially in the circumstances where a new infrastructure or application is being implemented or upgraded, and even when new office locations are being opened.
Among the many benefits of a penetration test includes having a holistic view of the various hardware and software infrastructure and security. Specifically, a security strategy to be always one step ahead in terms of thinking like a malicious hacker and serving as a guideline for future cybersecurity experts.
When we talk about outsourcing as a practice of hiring an external third-party company for undertaking or implementing certain services or developing products, the first thing that comes to mind is cost savings or cost reduction. This is because it is primarily with the objective of cost in mind, yet, there are many other advantages to why companies outsource.
Companies use outsourcing to cut labour costs, including salaries for its personnel, overhead, equipment, and technology. It is also used to dial down and focus on the core aspects of the business, spinning off the less critical operations to outside organizations
Since 1989, when outsourcing was first recognized as a business strategy, scores of organizations, from manufacturing to financial institutions began to outsource certain functions and aspects of their business to third parties. This even included developing and producing a small part of a large component such as a car or machinery, for example.
Penetration testing as a function is also among those that have been outsourced, having produced outstanding results for companies, saving them time and cost.
Hiring a professional or a team, or even training the current IT staff in cybersecurity may not solve the issues that an organization faces, which could also be on an air-tight budget and may not have enough employees or resources.
Why should you outsource your organization’s pen testing?
- Leverage advanced techniques and industry best practices of third-party service providers: Many pen testing service providers are available who will be able to leverage on their platforms, assessment methodologies, and tools to find security vulnerabilities and weaknesses in your company and digital infrastructure, and report back to you the mitigation strategies or even help with the remediation itself. The pen testing service providers use automated vulnerability scanning and other internally developed or open-source techniques. They have a systematic way of planning and preparing for the pen tests, discovering targets to be exploited, exploiting the vulnerabilities, analyzing the tests, and creating reports with suggestions of fixes to close loopholes. The tools used are countless, from spear-phishing activity trackers and password cracking tools to automated web applications for pen testing and network security pen testing, which is not something an in-house IT team will look into. Using these tools saves tremendous amounts of time and effort. Also, these firms innovate often and bring in new ideas in the software testing process, which you can capitalize on when you hire their services.
- Leverage skills: Security professionals are qualified under certain certifications such as the Global Information Assurance Certification GPEN, Certified Penetration Tester (CPT), and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP). These certifications enhance their knowledge and because they need recertification after a certain period, it means that they improve their skills and knowledge with the latest security enhancements and risks as technology and the risk landscape changes so fast.
- Cost: Yes, cost is an important reason, but it may not be the only powerful reason why you should outsource. Organizations can save on hiring full-time software testers and avoid paying for costly training and certifications. There is no need to invest in a testing department when the process itself is not part of your service offering or business plan.
There are many more reasons to outsource pen testing, but these are the top three. You can choose from the many types of pen testing firms, including the technology-centric ones, and then there are also bug bounties and boutique and testing firms (those that charge based on man-hours). You can choose which one fits your project, budget, strategy and business plan.
Even if your firm only needs to outsource penetration testing services annually or at the time of making a significant change to the applications, infrastructure or system’s security controls, it is wise to use third-party service providers. The reason for this is because when complex enterprise systems are targeted by bad actors, you need to be trusted, experienced, and specialized security experts to thwart those attempts and mitigate them before the damage has been done.