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Penetration Testing: Trends & Challenges in 2022

Today, we see a heavy rise in applications, technologies, and devices everywhere with constant innovations and integrations. The scenario has pushed companies and enterprises to keep pace with the rising trends. However, one team seems always ready, that is the cybercriminals.

Cyber-attacks are continually growing, and attackers are finding newer infiltration ways. To cope with the changing threat landscape, cybersecurity professionals are also on the parallel run to implement new-gen security strategies and innovative approaches that help mitigate attacks.

Here is where Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing services prove vital by helping detect security flaws and control inefficiencies linked to business IT infrastructure. It is indeed a proactive approach and the best way to ensure your data is safe from intruders. And through the article below, we help you fetch insights on common security concerns and penetration testing trends in 2022.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration Testing or Pen Test points to an authorized cyber-attack on a network or system performed to determine its security effectiveness. The process emulates the attacking patterns of a real-time hacker. The testing exercise can go remote or on-site and diverges into three types – Black Box Testing, White Box Testing and Grey Box Testing.

Why Penetration Testing?

There are multiple issues that request the need for penetration tests. The following could be all or any of the factors driving you to a pen testing solution: –

  • Rising security threats
  • Compliance requirements
  • Disparate environments
  • Testing team concerns and efforts
  • Insufficient toolsets & management programs

Commonly reported security issues

When asked about the security challenges faced by organizations through our diverse engagements, 80 % of crises stood with phishing attacks. While ransomware was next with 68 %, security misconfigurations involved 57 % of the total stats. Another significant threat to organizations is the password quality (55%) that revolves around end-users. The vulnerability that end-users pose to an organization’s security posture is ever-increasing. Here are the three running security scenarios to observe regarding cyber-attacks this year.

  • Targeted attacks are climbing as cyber criminals have become more sophisticated and best at penetrating networks. As a result, you need proactive ways to secure information from falling into the wrong hands.
  • While switching from legacy systems /devices to new-gen gadgets like tablets and smartphones, you should anticipate more attacks. Cybersecurity must sustain with the technology adaptation and invent newer strategies to protect technologies from getting breached.
  • Also, malware and ransomware attacks have become more lucrative and popular for cybercriminals. Hence, organizations should be mindful of safeguarding their critical information from these growing threats.

Top Penetration Testing trends to adapt in 2022

  • DevSecOps

Yes, incorporating security in the DevOps model is the DevSecOps. It develops security as a code culture (SAC) by automating security workflows. The most beneficial groups with DevSecOps are the QA Testers. It helps them leverage the power of agile technologies to incorporate security testing in the development life cycle with zero flaws. DevSecOps has indeed been a reason to change and innovate for organizations reluctant to adopt DevOps model. Moreover, it integrates pen test activities by swift vulnerability discovery at the code level.

  • Blockchain-centric technologies

Doesn’t the term ‘Crypto’ seem familiar to everyone now? The era of crypto has just begun, and there will be no cessation anytime sooner. Besides the fact that blockchain tech that forms the foundation of Bitcoin, and its ilk has been security oriented, that doesn’t mean that they are breach resistant. For instance, take the case of NFTs or Non-Fungible Tokens. The next minute is theirs, and corporations wouldn’t hesitate to adopt the form of cryptographic tokens. However, they are also risky and might become the next lucrative target for cybercriminals. Penetration tests are sooner going to be an essential part of blockchain-centric technologies.

  • Cloud services attack

Cloud is moving fast, and both remote and on-site workplaces largely depend on the service. In comparison, remote workplaces have more security concerns while using cloud features. The threats generated here transcend to an entire distributed wing of an organization. It could be API vulnerabilities, legacy software issues, and configuration & integration flaws. For example, cyber attackers now use the platform as a service (PaaS) product to extend their ransomware coverage. By simulating a controlled cyber-attack on cloud systems & functionalities, a company can easily detect security flaws and reduce the threat within.

  • AI-centric cybersecurity

AI is the next vital aspect to think about sooner than later. The technology help determines behavioural patterns and changes. Significantly, this means that it can be implemented in systems too, where security professionals require coping with hundreds of events that happen over a second. It is the predictive capability of the AI that makes it a golden fetch for companies. Hence, Artificial Intelligence seems to be the most required counteract against AI-powered cyber-attacks.

  • Machine learning

Machine learning is becoming more vital and plays a crucial part in cyber security. Cyber security has become easy and robust with ML into play. ML creates patterns and operates them with algorithms using a large data set. This method becomes helpful while forecasting and reacting to a real-time attack. To employ ML to full benefit, you require complex and extensive data. And these inputs should come from comprehensive sources and also represent diverse scenarios. Through ML implementation, cybersecurity moves to an elevated range by helping detect attacking patterns and criminal behaviours.

  • 5-G networks

While considering the data exchange ecosystem, gadget connectivity is a vital aspect. The powerful integration and communication demand the essence of 5G networks. Multiple nations have voiced 5G networks to be nationwide infrastructure ie., their safety to be considered a national security concern. Here the key lies in the ‘security by design concept for 5G networks to tackle security risks from the foundation itself. Also, the present time is where organizations follow the US government’s lead -to label security deficient organizations as untrustworthy suppliers.

  • GRC, SIEM, and Helpdesk system integrations

Vulnerability assessments and penetration testing is becoming more integrated with patching systems, policies, and procedures. Hence GRC, SIEM and other helpdesk systems would also require the same to strengthen multiple teams into a cybersecurity unit. Incorporating these systems helps automate and streamline the jobs of diverse teams in the event of support and risk remediation. When a vulnerability is exposed, notifications go active to inform the responsible teams and suggest restorative actions. And when the issue gets mitigated, the continued pen-testing platform goes into the remediation tracking, helping notify the team that they can obtain the fix off the to-do listings. It will help them quick-navigate to other jobs and responsibilities.

Final Thoughts

The yearly survey and pen testing report clearly define the scope of testing in various environments and priorities as specified by top security professionals. And sighting to the 2022 report, both internal and external penetration testing services remain a critical part of an organization’s overall security strategy. Parallelly, businesses have also increased their security budget to identify and respond to emerging security threats. Regular penetration testing with the right tools from a trusted cyber security testing company affirms the modern-day key to addressing security risks for organizations and their end-users. Having a strong penetration testing program is no longer just good to have — it’s a must for any business to handle security risks proactively.

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