5 signs it’s time for a web app penetration test

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Penetration testing is a powerful tool in any organization’s security arsenal. By simulating real cyber attacks under secure conditions, pen-tests bring to light unknown vulnerabilities (including zero-days, logical vulnerabilities, and business logic errors). They allow companies to understand the exploitability of vulnerabilities, test the strength of security defenses and thus strengthen security posture.

Read on to find out when penetration testing is needed.

5 signs it’s time for penetration testing

Your system / service goes online / in production

IT / development teams often work under impossible deadlines and are forced to remove applications / systems / services without proper security assessments. When applications / systems are new, they tend to have security holes and vulnerabilities in the security layer that penetration testing is equipped to detect.

Without penetration testing, organizations are at high risk of data breaches and infiltration attacks. Thus, companies should assess the security of their systems / services before deployment.

Remember that penetration testing should be done right before systems go into service / production when they are no longer constantly evolving. When testing is done too early in production, systems and networks can continue to undergo changes. Security holes and weaknesses that arise after penetration testing can be overlooked.

You have made significant changes to infrastructure / web applications

Significant changes to infrastructure or web applications include:

  • installation of new software / infrastructure / applications
  • code changes
  • old software being downgraded
  • new integrated third-party services
  • new physical office sites added to the network
  • physical office move
  • introduction of new IoT devices into the system
  • network equipment changes, etc.

Such major changes in IT infrastructure create vulnerabilities that can be ignored by automated scanners. Through security penetration testing, organizations can identify security holes or misconfigurations, or logical errors that can result from these major changes.

Typically, organizations continue to make rapid changes to systems, infrastructure, and technology to be agile and keep pace with ever-changing technology. These rapid changes inadvertently create exploitable gaps and weaknesses in the IT infrastructure. Over the past year, however, the global pandemic has driven organizations to overwork and forced them to digitally transform in full swing.

Several organizations have moved into remote work without formal policies. Organizations have adopted all kinds of technologies and software solutions to ensure that remote work runs smoothly without too much research on vendors and their security posture. Employees access sensitive data from personal devices on shared / insecure networks. Collectively, organizations are at high risk from cyber attacks.

With penetration testing, organizations benefit from full visibility on the main threats. Armed with this knowledge, they take the necessary preventive measures. Organizations can focus on formalizing reactive and interim technology, pivoting the successful implementation of technology to continuous security.

You have applied security patches

Security patches are fixes made to previously released software with the aim of correcting errors / vulnerabilities / security vulnerabilities. Because patch information is publicly available, attackers generally tend to seek out and find ways to violate the patches and the vulnerability being addressed.

Although many organizations do not apply the fixes, it is not uncommon for attackers to exploit the fixed vulnerabilities as well. It is therefore not advisable to apply security patches on all devices as soon as they appear without considering their impact, nor to completely ignore the security patches.

Organizations should take a strategic, security-focused approach to security patches. They should test patches in a secure environment before applying them to the entire IT environment. With web penetration testing, organizations can prioritize critical areas for remediation and ensure the patch is effective in securing vulnerabilities.

You have changed policies

Corporate, end-user, and information security policies affect the security posture of organizations. Information security policies are the heart of functional security and define the scope and activities of the organization’s security management systems. Major changes in security policies affect the IT environment and, consequently, in-depth mandates security penetration testing. They provide in-depth information about newly defined information security systems.

Changes in trade policies and end-user policies can create vulnerabilities and logical loopholes, which cannot be detected by analysis tools and simple vulnerability assessments. Penetration testing is essential to identify such misconfigurations and logic faults.

Your industry is regularly targeted

If you’ve received alerts of clever and sophisticated cyber attacks targeting your industry, it’s time to take some security penetration testing. This may be due to technological or regulatory changes in the industry or to other factors that are expanding the attack surface.

Conclusion

Perform pen-tests at least once a year and twice if you have had any major changes discussed in the article. Regular penetration testing by trusted security experts like Indusface allows you to strengthen your security posture.

The post 5 Signs It’s Time for a Web Application Penetration Test appeared first on Indusface.

*** This is an Indusface Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog written by Ritika Singh. Read the original post at: https://www.indusface.com/blog/5-signs-its-time-for-a-web-application-penetration-test/


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