Why perform a pentest?

A pentest is a key step in the process of strengthening the cybersecurity level of any company. By subjecting the protection measures in place to a real test, the pentest makes it possible to very concretely identify the risks and to provide operational responses.


Protecting against cyberattacks

Every company has digitized part of its tools and resources, to some extent or another. This is why cybersecurity has become a crucial issue for companies’ business activities and their reputation.

Putting place a security policy, implementing protective measures and documenting procedures are essential steps. But only the pentest allows a concrete inventory of the risks while bringing immediate answers.

Performing a pentest is like enlisting the services of professional “bad guys” who put their expertise to work for the companies. The only way to counter hackers is to use their tools and techniques in order to find any flaws before them and to correct the flaws as soon as possible.

The pentester’s mission is to explore ever further and to stay one step ahead. The result is a level of protection for the company that invests in a pentest to reduce its level of risk exposure and to strengthen its value.


Identifying and correcting security flaws

The final result of a pentest is a report presenting the security flaws as well as the ways to correct them.

Each audit is unique, depending on the target itself and the conditions defined for the tests. It is not a matter of ticking boxes, but of understanding what an attacker can actually obtain by trying to hack the target. This is why the types of tests depend on the functional and technical context of each security audit.

It is not a matter of chasing bugs either, but of rigorously exploring the target of the audit in order to list all its vulnerabilities. That is why the pentest is based on a proven audit methodology reinforced by the pentesters’ experience.

It is not a matter of providing a simple list of flaws, but of prioritizing flaws according to their level of criticality. That is why the pentesters try to exploit the vulnerabilities identified, which makes it possible to evaluate their real impact.

Finally, the value of the audit also lies in the level of detail provided in the pentest report, in order to understand the principle of the flaw, to be able to replay the attack, to identify all the places where it is, and to base oneself on very clear recommendations for the correction phase.


Proving that my solution is secure

Buyers have become demanding on security issues.

For software publishers, security is a subject to be addressed during the sales process. Some clients ask to be able to see security audit reports.

Having a pentest performed by a third party specialist in the trade is a guarantee of reliability, when it is not simply essential. The deliverables obtained are the audit report, as well as a counter-audit report to attest that the identified flaws were later corrected.

It may be necessary to perform recurring pentests when clients regularly ask for evidence of security in a context where the product and technologies are changing rapidly.

Getting a seal of security approval or a security audit certificate may also convince clients in a competitive environment where security is an argument that sets a product apart and creates value.


Obtaining or renewing certification

A pentest is a step in the certification procedure.

Each type of certification (ISO27001, SOC2, PCI-DSS, Common Criteria, etc.) has its own specific features. Auditors specialized in obtaining these certifications can assist you from one end to the other of the procedure.

By doing a pentest, you can check the efficiency of the processes and protective measures put in place. It may or may not be a mandatory step. In any case, it creates real value to avoid the trap of basing oneself too much on declarative or theoretical aspects.

It is also possible to conduct penetration “pre-tests” applying for or renewing certification, in order to correct a maximum amount of security flaws and to approach the official evaluation with greater confidence.

The more security is anticipated with regular penetration tests, the easier it is to comply with various standards when it becomes necessary to embark on a certification procedure.


Making my staff aware of the issues involved

A pentest is better than slides for making your staff aware of the issues involved.

What is better than a real-life scenario? It is the most effective way to overcome scepticism and to convince people of the importance of making certain changes.

Following a technical pentest, developers and system administrators will work on the implementation of security fixes. This makes an impression on them, especially if critical flaws are discovered in the product that they built themselves.

Following a social engineering pentest, anyone who has been trapped by a phishing email, a vishing call or a USB key will remember it with the desire to not be caught again in the same trap. This makes them more receptive to prevention messages and to good practice guidelines.

Establishing a security culture necessarily involves the agreement and cooperation of staff, both technical and non-technical. The pentest is not necessarily aggressive if the process gives rise to explanations and in-house support. On the other hand, it is always convincing because it proposes only real concrete situations.

To go even further in raising the awareness of teams, the pentest can be complemented by training.


Being assisted by a professional team

Performing a pentest enables you to be assisted by security professionals.

At a time of “Uberized” and dematerialized services, it is sometimes good to be able to count on a human contact who can provide a made-to-measure service with a high level of expertise.

Vaadata offers high-level pentests. Rather than registering on a platform to launch tests, the client is free to choose between a packaged approach and a made-to-measure approach.

The packaged approach saves time for a first inventory. Following this initial audit, Vaadata's team will be able to advise the client on its security issues, according to the technical and functional context discovered during the audit.

With the made-to-measure approach, you can firstly discuss the business issues and associated security issues, before defining the need for a corresponding pentest. Everything can be adapted – the type of audit, its scope and conditions, the precise nature of the tests, etc. – to meet the objectives of the client company as precisely as possible.

In all cases, the creation of a relationship of trust, combining professionalism and openness, is the common thread of the discussions. Working together over a long period of time creates real close collaboration, even when the discussions are at a distance. In fact, close collaboration is based on precise knowledge of the client, its business activity, its specific features and the history of any tests already performed.

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