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3rd Party Penetration Testing

What is third party penetration testing, why do you need third party penetration testing and how to choose a third party penetration testing provider.

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3rd Party Penetration Testing

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What is third party penetration testing?

So, what does the term third party penetration testing mean? 3rd party penetration testing – also known in the industry as outsourced penetration testing or pen testing services. Third party penetration testing involves hiring an external penetration testing company to conduct tests on your IT infrastructure, web apps and systems. 

3rd party penetration services are the most effective way for organisations to understand the gaps and vulnerabilities in their security posture and therefore potential threats to the business.  

Unlike vulnerability assessments, 3rd party penetration testing services are conducted by highly skilled penetration testers. The third party penetration testing involves the pen testers making attempts to hack IT infrastructure, networks, systems, and applications to uncover those vulnerabilities.  

Ethical hackers using ethical hacking techniques and methods enable 3rd party penetration testing services providers to arm organisations with a better understanding of the risk of attack. 

DigitalXRAID answering the question of what third party penetration is
3rd party penetration testing providers UK

Third-party penetration testing will identify any vulnerability in network infrastructure, web applications, and systems – safeguarding a company’s security posture before cybercriminals can exploit them.  

Penetration testing outsourcing provides detailed information on the following: 

  • Where a hacker might target 
  • How they would access the IT system  
  • How strong the current security posture is 
  • How effective security defences are 
  • The potential impact of a breach 

Companies should conduct 3rd party penetration testing with an experienced and highly qualified penetration testing vendor at least once a year.  

 

Why does your organisation need 3rd party penetration testing?

Third party penetration testing is used to examine a company’s digital infrastructure and assets.  

This can include internal and external networks, IT systems and web applications. 3rd party penetration testing services can uncover anything from internal weaknesses or issues in your IT infrastructure, to potential exploits in your web applications.  

By engaging 3rd party penetration testing services, organisations can gain a better understanding of risk and vulnerabilities, and action can be taken to prevent cyberattacks.  

The insights provided by 3rd party penetration testing can also be used to fine-tune security policies and address security vulnerabilities with patching and other remediation. 

Organisations are recommended to perform regular penetration testing and to engage a provider of 3rd party penetration testing whenever the following happens:  

  • A potential new security threat is discovered  
  • An application is created or updated 
  • In the event of office relocation, network migration or a move to adopt remote or hybrid working 
  • A new database or data storage site is created  
  • A cyber attack has occurred or is actively happening 

 

There are many reasons that an organisation should engage with a third-party penetration testing services provider: 

  • Demonstration of security best practice  
  • Cost savings of penetration testing outsourcing vs hiring in-house  
  • Check if there are any vulnerabilities that an in-house team has missed 
  • A more holistic view of the threat landscape for more comprehensive testing 
  • Access to highly skilled professionals and gold standard testing methodologies 

In-house vs. 3rd party penetration testing

Some organisations choose software solutions to run automated pen testing. However, software solutions will only ever test what they are told to, and they can only check for known adversaries. This makes the results of the penetration testing far less effective in identifying vulnerabilities. 

The only way to truly understand if your business has any vulnerabilities that put you at risk of a cyberattack is to enlist a 3rd party penetration testing service provider. 

 

Discuss your cyber security options

Get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business, or call us on 0800 090 3734

Benefits of third party penetration testing

So, why do you need 3rd party penetration testing services?  

There are many benefits of penetration testing in general. These are only increased by outsourcing to a 3rd party penetration testing provider.  

Third party penetration testing reveals your security weaknesses and how vulnerable your company is to cyberattack, as well as identifying potential threats to your overall cybersecurity. The findings uncovered by penetration testing outsourcing can be used to improve your internal security management processes. 

Third party penetration testing will inform and safeguard your security posture before a cybercriminal has a chance to exploit your vulnerabilities.

 

DigitalXRAID explaining the benefits of third party penetration testing
Third-party penetration testing will identify any vulnerabilities

If any weaknesses identified as part of 3rd party penetration testing are left unpatched, cyber criminals are likely to exploit them and compromise business operations.  

3rd party penetration testing reporting should provide you with a clear view of any weaknesses so you can ensure that security controls and processes are addressed.

This helps to reduce information security risk and 3rd party penetration testing reports can help to improve cyber security awareness from the top down. 

CREST recommend that 3rd party penetration testing is carried out annually as a minimum.

With continuous updates to software and changes to applications and systems being used by the business throughout the year, it’s recommended to conduct third-party penetration testing whenever a major upgrade or change takes place. 

3rd party penetration testing looks for a range of issues and vulnerabilities in your systems and networks 

Insecure setup or configuration of networks  
3rd party penetration testing services will use security experts to try and breach your systems. The penetration tester will be looking for weak passwords and any vulnerabilities to open ports, unpatched apps and incorrectly set user access privileges.  

Incorrect encryption and authentication  
Pen testers will conduct an assessment on whether data is encrypted to a sufficient level as part of third party penetration testing.  

Code and command injection
Third party penetration testing experts check that any forms hosted on websites are built to protect against SQL injection attacks and find how far they can access if someone successfully breaches them.  

Session management
Third party penetration testers will use tools and methodologies to assess if any cookies or sessions tokens are susceptible to exploitation for malicious use. 

The average cost of a data breach in the UK is now $4.35 million, which has increased dramatically over the last year. Ignoring vulnerabilities in your networks, systems and applications can lead to millions of pounds in fines, damages to business operations resulting in severe business downtime.  

The benefits of 3rd party penetration testing mean you can prevent cyberattacks before they occur.  

As mentioned, organisations can also make more informed investments in cyber security solutions where it’s most needed. This will utilise the budget much more efficiently and improve ROI (Return on Investment). 

It’s not always possible for organisations to hire highly skilled security professionals in-house, especially when considering the cyber security skills gap.  

Specialised skills and qualifications are needed to conduct effective pen tests. The cyber security industry is short of 2.7 million workers. By outsourcing to a 3rd party penetration testing provider, businesses free internal IT staff to work on in-house projects. 

The key benefit of third party penetration testing services conducted by a cyber security specialist partner, is the access to industry-wide insight and extensive knowledge of the entire threat landscape. 

One of the key benefits of 3rd party penetration testing for business continuity is the timely mitigation of any security issues that may be identified in the pen test.  

Networks, systems and applications with vulnerabilities are at a much higher risk of exploitation. Threat actors use the same security tools as those used by penetration testing outsourcing providers to find those companies that have vulnerabilities.

The benefits of third party penetration testing in terms of compliance, for those who comply with certain security standards or work within a regulated industry, mean that you can support information security and compliance requirements. These include GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations), PCI DSS and ISO 27001 by supplying more up to date information and reporting. 

Another benefit of regular 3rd party penetration testing is that you can demonstrate audit trails and evidence your commitment to regulatory compliance. 

Discuss your cyber security options

Get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business, or call us on 0800 090 3734

The steps in 3rd party penetration testing

3rd party penetration testing services typically go through 5 main phases, potentially followed by a re-test. If any provider offers fewer steps than this, be aware that they may be offering a far inferior 3rd party penetration testing services than are available elsewhere. 

Types of 3rd party penetration testing services

As technology advances and the ways and means that cybercriminals use to gain access to networks, systems, and applications in an organisation’s infrastructure proliferate, so do the types of penetration testing 

These are some of the different types of penetration testing services available to test the security risks associated to your networks, systems and web applications, diagnosing the flaws in your security before they can be exploited. 

There are some common penetration testing services available for security assessments to understand risks across networks, applications and computer systems, whether internal or external. 

These are designed to diagnose any security risks or weaknesses in your infrastructure before cybercriminals or hackers can exploit them. 

Approximately 30,000 websites are infected with malware every day, with more than 60% of all internet-based attacks launched against web applications. State-of-the-art web application penetration test services will identify any weaknesses in web applications.

These services can also check the functionality of websites to pinpoint any failings. A web application 3rd party penetration testing service will provide the protection you need to safeguard your sensitive data. Regular web application penetration tests will defend against every conceivable online threat, beating hackers in their own game.  

With the increase in mobile usage and devices becoming a major part of our lives, organisations must take steps to secure these mobile apps to protect the business, its reputation and most importantly, its customers.

A 3rd party penetration test on your mobile application process will look for a range of exploitable vulnerabilities.

Whether it’s a disgruntled employee smuggling trade secrets, or a negligent staff member falling prey to a phishing attack, an internal environment security breach could prove disastrous for your company.

With comprehensive penetration tests of your internal environments, systems and procedures, we’ll ensure you have all the right countermeasures in place to prevent unauthorised personnel gaining access to privileged information. Third party Internal network penetration testing services are designed to simulate attacks from within your organisation, highlighting potential issues in your security and helping you guard against threats from malicious insiders. 

By mimicking real-world cyberattacks, external penetration testing outsourcing services will identify any gaps in your external environment security and allow you to carry out the necessary fixes to keep the hackers at bay.

Using the same techniques that a hacker would, experts conduct external network penetration testing services to discover whether your sensitive data is secure. On completion of the external penetration testing service, penetration testers issue a comprehensive report as standard.

Using this information, any flaws in your security can be addressed, allowing you to eliminate potential threats before they can harm your business. 

There are also specific third party penetration testing services for PCI DSS compliance, social engineering, cloud security reviews and cloud penetration testing, and full red team exercises to test your people and processes.

These are dependent on business needs and what industry regulations apply. 

What accreditations should I look for in a penetration testing provider?

CREST working with accredited partners DigitalXRAID

So, now you’ve decided on penetration testing outsourcing, what’s the best way to evaluate third party pen testing companies? 

Finding the best penetration testing companies in the UK for your business can be a challenge. Many penetration testing providers claim to be experts. However, only a CREST accredited 3rd party penetration testing provider can bring all the assurance of expertise, verified by the external accreditation.  

The quality of the results that can be achieved from third party penetration testing is largely based on the skill and qualifications that the penetration testers have. 

The NCSC recommends that public sector organisations use pen testers and 3rd party penetration testing services providers that are accredited as part of the CHECK scheme. 

For private sector businesses, CREST certified providers offer the highest standard of third party penetration testing security service available. 

CREST, or the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers, is a not-for-profit organisation and certification body serving the technical information security marketplace. It provides assurance for those needing help with digital security by validating the processes, procedures and credibility of its members. 

CREST provides companies who can offer the highest quality managed security services such as 3rd party penetration testing, with an internationally recognised CREST penetration testing methodology and certification.  

CREST accreditation gives organisations seeking 3rd party penetration testing services with confidence the work will be carried out by highly qualified individuals with the latest skills and knowledge of vulnerabilities and techniques used by real attackers.  

All certifications are reviewed and approved by GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) and the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) for added assurance. 

“There are many benefits in procuring penetration testing services from a trusted, certified external company who employ professional, ethical and highly technically competent individuals. CREST member companies are certified penetration testing organisations who fully meet these requirements, having been awarded the gold standard in penetration testing, building trusted relationships with their clients..”

– CREST International

Explore DigitalXRAID’s 3rd party penetration testing services

Our 3rd party penetration testing services will identify any weaknesses and potential vulnerabilities in your systems, networks and applications, giving you the chance to remediate before a hacker has a chance to exploit them.  

DigitalXRAID is one of the first companies in the world to gain CREST certification, making us one of the top third party penetration testing companies in the UK. If there’s a vulnerability, DigitalXRAID’s CREST certified penetration testing experts will find it.  

For more information on our 3rd party penetration testing services, cyber security consulting services, and how we can support you in staying a step ahead of cyber criminals with a range of penetration testing services, get in contact. 

For an in-depth view of what the third party penetration testing service entails and to get tailored quote scope your project. 

3rd party penetration testing services

DigitalXRAID has a unique insight into the offensive side of cybersecurity and the defensive side of cyber threats. With services running on both the offensive and defensive sides, we have a more holistic view, and a much deeper understanding of what techniques are being used for attack and defense.  

Therefore, our 3rd party penetration testing will dive deeper, uncovering vulnerabilities that others tend to miss.  

DigitalXRAID’s ethical security testers can offer you 3rd party penetration testing services, including: 

Learn more about these 3rd party penetration testing services

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Crown Commercial Service Supplier Cyber Essentials Plus ISO 27001 BSI ISO 9001 CHECK NCSC Cyber Incident Response CREST

We’re trusted by the UK Government as Crown Commercial Service providers as well as being accredited by two of the leading cyber security governing bodies. Our ISO9001 certification means you can rest assured our processes and approach are market leading.

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