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The Big Question: How to Plan for Information Security Testing.

The Big Question: How to Plan for Information Security Testing.

Often in the Information Security arena, people are confused over which tool to use and what benefit it has over the other. Are Bug bounties better than penetration testing, red team engagement or bug bounties, vulnerability assessments vs. pen testing, and trusted advisors role in all of it?

Before we examine each of the areas in detail, a quick introduction to each of the terms is listed below.

  • An assessment is used to find as many possible flaws so that a list can be created and amendment measures can be taken in a prioritized manner following the list is called a vulnerability assessment.
  • Test dedicated to evaluating whether a defense can obstruct an attacker looking to achieving one or more specific goals is called penetration testing.
  • Utilizing the benefits of a crowd to uncover vulnerabilities is called bug bounty.
  • Mimicking real-world attackers to continuously test and develop the effectiveness of a firm’s blue team is called red team engagement.
  • Someone who can tell the firm based on their goals and maturity which approach is to be taken is the role of a trusted advisor.

One of the most important factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding which way to go forward regarding assessment is the maturity of the organization. Depending on whether the organization is aware of how data is moving around, where the data is and how it is protected, whether the organization has a list of everything it owns and who has access to it and when was the access last reviewed.

Depending on these questions, if the answers are no- they should start with the basics.

However, if the organization is at a medium maturity then they should start with having a trusted advisor that can help with a strategy on assessments. Moving forward the organization should opt for a vulnerability assessment because a detailed list of amendments to work in a prioritized manner.

After conducting the vulnerability assessment, it is recommended to conduct penetration testing as the results of penetration testing can help to identify what to fix. After multiple cycles of vulnerability assessment and pen testing, they can continue finding more vulnerability in the not so sensitive part of your organization by opening them up to bug bounties. It has to be noted that only the right things are put in the crowd for them to be tested by many eyes. While pen testing, another area to be explored should be a red team assessment that mimics real-world attackers. This is the pinnacle of maturity testing that the organization can perform since the red team is independent of the organization they are testing for, but must be up to date with the tools and techniques.

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