Need of the hour: From traditional pen testing to crowdsourced pen testing

Web applications are getting more & more complex day after day. Cloud applications are getting increasingly API driven. And the code is deployed quite faster enough nowadays. That’s why security pen testing is changing and crowd sourcing model is in demand to resolve the issues that we face in traditional pen testing. We are focusing more on agile development and digital technologies are being used extensively.

Application security scanners have also some sort of limitations and traditional pentest consultants can be very expensive which limits how many pen tests can be done and how frequently they can be done by the security testers. So the concept of Crowdsourced pen testing comes into picture keeping all the shortfalls of the traditional approach. A lot of organizations need this crowdsourced pen testing due to various reasons which make quite strong in compare to traditional one like easily consumable; find the security issues as well as get them fixed. A Pentest talks about an application to identify vulnerabilities, exploit them and determine them how resilient that application is to attack. A crowdsourced pentest leverages a global pool in order to provide specialized skillset and finding the deliverables in SaaS platform.

The 3 main elements that distinguish a crowdsourced pen testing from a traditional pen testing are:

1. Crowdsourced pen testing has talent that is globally served. This provides access to more specialized skillset.
2. The findings and deliverables in SaaS platform that easily inaugurates with Agile and continue to it with the software development process.
3. It can be scheduled on demand.

An organization provides information about its application extract and a few select highly valid pentesters to do the product. These folks together work as a team to exploit the complete application, doing a thorough manual security review related to topics like input validation, authentication, and access control in order to find security bugs and issues.

As the team discovers problems in the application, they also submit to the organization in the cross-sourced platform. The Pentest Lead is responsible for reviewing each of report before submitting to sure that it’s valid. The lead is also responsible for assigning a critical quality rating to each most pent report and that is based on the likelihood, the vulnerability might be exploited as well as the business impact.

The organization receives the findings through the Pentest platform and at any time doing as well as after the Pentest is completed. Security team members and software developers can talk directly to the pentesters in order to ask questions, after the issues are fixed, request retest and verification. The findings are delivered in a platform that we can inaugurate with a bug tracking system such as JIRA and Github. And there is a dynamic reporting so that we can both view the results in the platform, inaugurate with our SDLC process or download the summary report in order to share with the stakeholders such as customers who require proof of the technical security tester. Now the crowdsourced pentest model, organizations can schedule manual penetration testing on demand and track the findings centrally in a platform. 

Authored By - Rahul Poddar
TCS Cyber Security Practice

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