Attack Simulation or Penetration Testing?

software testing
software testing

Better (to be) safe than sorry! Cybersecurity has been in the spotlight for a few years now, compelling organizations to invest a considerable amount to their security budgets and build a strong strategy to mitigate associated risks. These threats continue to increase as attackers discover more sophisticated ways to breach business’ security. A report by Cybersecurity Venture states that companies’ spending will reach up to $1 trillion between 2017-2021. Although preventive measures are critical yet it is also important to validate these measures. By 2025, the security testing market is speculated to grow and become a $4 billion market.

Testing your Cyber Security like other areas 

Just like a business invests in other areas, it is important to emphasize on testing the security aspects. Security systems with configurations have a greater probability of human errors and misconfigurations. Each application or system tends to introduce vulnerabilities as it evolves. When businesses expand and grow, their operations grow more complex and give birth to more and misconfiguration controls and security vulnerabilities. CIOs and CISOs realize the need for security testing, they also require vulnerability scans and pen-tests on a regular basis by a reliable penetration testing company.

Making the Right Choice 

There are some disadvantages of vulnerability scans and management solutions that revolve around prioritizing the detected weaknesses. Although they detect thousands of potential vulnerabilities, most of them pose to be false. Only a small percentage of those vulnerabilities are exploitable and only a few may lead to a possible attack on the security assets of a business. The only wat to find out if a vulnerability is critical is by exploiting an app from all aspects. This can be done by hiring penetration testing services that are designed to check all defenses while referring to the vulnerabilities that lack security controls. Penetration testers highlight major weaknesses that can lead to a deadly attack. However, pen-tests are expensive and have a few limitations including time, scope, and dependent on talented pen-testers. With all these roadblocks at hand, pen testers usually perform testing on a small area of the infrastructure that is the most business-critical, leaving the other areas invalidated.

Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) 

It has been a few years since BAS technology is introduced in the software testing landscape with a promise to provide insights into validating a business’s security stature. It was considered a great tool in the beginning, but early adopters realized that it is another system with its limited scope to controls validation and covers only a few scenarios. In addition, users found themselves limited in the scope of simulation.

BAS revolves around the collection of security control data and performing offline risk modeling analysis rather than testing real-life based scenarios. Users receive false alarms and are misguided with burden of managing another security system. Even the modern BAS systems that revolve around sending phishing emails fail to achieve their objectives.

Businesses should Test instead of Simulation 

The main idea or objective of businesses is to challenge their security from an attacker’s perspective and all the techniques they would use to attack their networks. Running automated penetration testing would lead to more fruition instead of simulations, playbooks, and false alarms. A penetration testing company should focus on identifying ways to explore and mitigate all existing flaws in their security systems.

Automated Penetration Testing 

As businesses evolve, so do their testing efforts. A cutting edge technology can take over all the burden of performing ethical hacking by automated penetration testing. This technology includes all possible ways a hacker would use to access a system including scanning, sniffing, spoofing, cracking, malware injection, post-exploitation, etc.


Security professionals are changing their preferences with respect to performing pen-tests as frequently as a weekly routine. Not only do pen-tests highlight the possible weaknesses in the system, but they also provide remediation processes to strengthen their apps and systems. It is time for organizations to focus on cybersecurity risk validation. Whether they choose to pick vulnerability scans, BAS technology, or penetration testing, they need to have a proper system in place to follow a proactive approach to securing their businesses. They should hire a penetration testing company to improve their cyber resilience rather than just being a target for new malware that has just been discovered. Organizations can hire different service providers and invest in tools that can help them steer in the right direction. The key to success is in moving forward with a focus on security risks in business terms and set proper budgets for cyber resilience.