Malicious actors are constantly adapting their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to adapt to political, technological, and regulatory changes quickly. A few emerging threats that organizations of all sizes should be aware of include the following:
- Increased use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning: Malicious actors are increasingly leveraging AI and machine learning to automate their attacks, allowing them to scale their operations faster than ever before.
- The exploitation of cloud-based technologies: Cloud-based services are increasingly being targeted by malicious actors due to the lack of visibility and control over these platforms.
- Increased use of ransomware: Ransomware is becoming a more popular method of attack, allowing malicious actors to monetize their operations quickly. According to CompTIA, ransomware attacks grew by 41% in 2022, while identification and remediation for a breach took 49 days longer than average.
- Phishing attacks also increased by 48% in the first half of 2022, with reports of 11,395 incidents costing businesses $12.3 million.
- Rise of IoT attacks:With the rapid proliferation of connected devices, IoT attacks are expected to double by 2025.
- Business disruption: According to the World Economic Forum report, The character of cyber threats has changed. Respondents now believe attackers are more likely to focus on business disruption and reputational damage.
Organizations of all sizes must look for new ways to defend their networks in response to these emerging threats.
Penetration testing and application security
Penetration testing is one of the most effective methods for uncovering and addressing vulnerabilities within an organization’s IT infrastructure. By simulating real-world attacks, security teams can identify weak points in their defenses before they are exploited by malicious actors.
Preventing SQL injection with pen testing
An SQL Injection attack is one of the most common web application security threats. According to the Open Web Application Security Project, injection attacks, which include SQL injections, were the third most serious web application security risk in 2021. In the applications they tested, there were 274,000 occurrences of injection.
SQL injection takes advantage of an application’s lack of input validation and allows attackers to inject malicious code into a database query.
The best way to prevent SQL injection is through regular web application pen testing. Pen testers can identify vulnerable code, detect malicious payloads, and suggest corrective measures such as input validation to mitigate the risk of an attack. Additionally, pen testing can be used to measure the effectiveness of existing security measures and identify gaps in coverage.
Vulnerability detection with pen testing
In 77% of cases, penetration vectors involved insufficient protection of web applications. 86% of companies had at least one such vector.
Pen testing is an essential part of any security strategy, as it can help detect vulnerabilities before they are exploited. Pen testers use various tools and techniques to identify potential risks in web applications, such as SQL injections and other attack vectors. By analyzing code and network traffic, they can uncover weak spots in your security infrastructure that malicious actors could exploit.
Drawbacks of traditional pen testing methods
Pen testing has become increasingly important as attackers have become more sophisticated and cybercrime has grown to include a variety of attack vectors. However, 32% of organizations do a pen test only once or twice a year because traditional pen testing methods have certain drawbacks that make it challenging to implement consistently for several reasons.
Firstly, pen testing is time-consuming and expensive, which limits the number of tests that organizations can do regularly. This means that pen testers may only find the vulnerabilities present in the system when testing; new threats may emerge after the test. Additionally, the lack of re-testing makes it difficult to validate how effective remediation efforts are.
Pen testing solutions come in many forms, ranging from automated scanning tools to red team exercises that simulate advanced threats. PTaaS (Penetration Testing as a Service) combines traditional pen testing with modern cloud-based technologies to provide continual protection against evolving threats and vulnerabilities.
The first step in web application testing is to perform an automated scan. This scan looks for common flaws such as input validation, SQL injection, and cross-site scripting.
Once the automated scan is complete, a manual review of the code can be performed to identify any remaining vulnerabilities. Automated scanning tools are useful for identifying known vulnerabilities and misconfiguration, while red team exercises provide a more intensive assessment of your security posture.
Benefits of PTaaS:
Traditional pen testing methods are becoming less effective in the face of increasingly sophisticated attacks. Organizations need to look for new ways to supplement their existing security measures with advanced solutions such as continuous monitoring, automated attack simulations, and threat intelligence.
PTaaS (Penetration Testing as a Service) is an innovative new way to help keep up cyber hygiene and takes a proactive approach towards preventing cyber-attacks that offers:
- Continuous Protection: Traditional pen tests may only assess the security of a system at one point in time. PTaaS helps ensure your organization is always protected by continually scanning for new vulnerabilities and threats.
- Cost & Time Savings: Leveraging a managed service frees up internal resources and takes advantage of specialist expertise, allowing organizations to respond quickly and effectively to any discovered vulnerabilities.
- Improved Security Posture: By utilizing the PTaaS solution, organizations can ensure that their security posture is constantly evaluated and updated by a team of experts. This helps reduce the risk of a successful attack and ensures that any discovered vulnerabilities can be quickly addressed.
Outpost 24 Application Pen Testing is a managed service that provides organizations comprehensive security and visibility across their applications. It combines advanced automation technologies with continuous monitoring to ensure organizations stay ahead of the latest cyber threats.