Penetration Testing: Should You Go For Automatic Or Manual Penetration Testing?

Australia has seen some of the worst examples of cybercrime to hit web and mobile applications; not just the average user in the country, but big businesses (and even government agencies)! August 9, 2016 was one such an event, when a series of malicious attacks targeted the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The deliberate attempt was carried out to sabotage the national survey.

With cyber attacks becoming the norm more than ever, it’s important to review the cyber health of your web and mobile application.

How can this be done? Regular penetration testing will help identify vulnerabilities within the system that can be exploited by cyber criminals and hackers. 

Penetration Testing – What Is It?

This kind of testing will dig deep into your system, find vulnerabilities and try to exploit them. The intent of penetration testing isn’t to hack into a system, but try to determine whether it can be done, and more importantly, and how. The testing is often stopped once the objective is received.

Lean Security offers two types of penetration testing—automated and manual. Which one is better? Let’s find out.

What Is Automated Testing?

Automatic penetration testing provides broad testing during the security assessment of a computer system. This significantly reduces the time and effort otherwise required to find and report issues.

What Happens During Testing?

In addition to highly able and qualified penetration testers, Lean Security also offers a plethora of automatic security testing tools. They help find vulnerabilities (in the shortest time possible and a variety of target systems) in an internal network when performing onsite security assessment.

How Does Manual Testing Differ?

Sadly, all software vulnerabilities can’t be assessed for vulnerabilities using the help of a simple scanning tool. Automated penetration tests are great when it comes to testing of common, well-known vulnerabilities. However, they lack in one important detail: the inability to scan for domain specific vulnerabilities! This is where manual penetration testing comes in the picture.

This type of penetration testing is led by experiences (of the penetration tester) and intelligence. Skilled testers will find the exact same vulnerabilities in disparate systems, shown by automatic testing.

However, manual penetration testing is also able to pick up vulnerabilities that aren’t identified by automatic web application scanning. This uncanny ability to pick up false positives is what makes manual pen testing an invaluable service. 

Automatic vs. Manual Pen Testing – Which Do You Need?

Realistically speaking, you will need a little bit of both in order to keep your web application security sound and healthy.

In fact, businesses cannot afford to just employ one type of penetration service! The solution that makes the most sense is: use automatic web security scanning for major vulnerability testing, then complete the penetration test by running a manual check (for logical vulnerabilities). This will ensure:

o   Increased accuracy of security audits

o   Detection of more vulnerabilities

o   Decreased costs

o   Save time

Penetration testing for your web application is important. Identify and safeguard your web application against malicious activity by signing up for one of the best advanced web application security penetration testing services by Lean Security.