Is SaaS Penetration Testing Important to You?

Penetration testing of any online asset is a wise step, and SaaS penetration testing is the need of the moment given how many businesses depend on the software for their competitive edge. Physical data storage servers and large backend systems are now a thing of the past as third-party SaaS providers take up the responsibilities of storage, maintenance, and security. Businesses now depend on SaaS applications for their daily functions such as accounting and preparing payrolls as well as in their products and services.

However, the benefits of the SaaS software have become vulnerabilities in the hands of hackers and compromised the security of both the firms and their customers. A question of ‘how secure?’ has come up and one way to deal with this is through saas pen testing.

Advantages of SaaS Penetration Testing

Apart from the obvious agenda of the protection of the system against hackers, why should you go for such a time-consuming and expensive process? Here are a few reasons:

  • Compliance standards

Most firms choose to go with penetration testing as part of their compliance requirements. Each industry has its own specifications, be it from finance (PCI-DSS) or healthcare (HIPAA). If you’re a firm dealing with international transactions, you may also be required to deal with additional compliance standards such as GDPR for assurance of the protection of sensitive information.

  • Customer assurance of security

Even as a part of pentesting, customers are more inclined to trust firms that have conducted pentesting procedures by verified professionals. In this age of information, customers may find it difficult to entrust their sensitive information to companies that don’t deal with security properly as it showcases a sense of negligence.

  • Long-term savings

While the procedure in itself may be a costly affair, one needs to understand the true value of the procedure in terms of the protection it offers to one’s business and the sensitive information handled. The more reliant your business is on such data, the more crucial it is to regularly pentest. Security recommendations by experts at the end of the pentesting approach can ensure that you have got a professional standpoint on the overall security posture of the system and avoid costly remediation in the future.

  • Continued improvement of the system

Regular pentesting is recommended by experts to cover all the changes done to the system, accidental employee activities that may compromise security, etc. This offers you an opportunity to understand the flaws created by specific aspects implemented within the system, allowing you to evaluate the security of provisions planned for the future.

What can you expect from a SaaS Penetration Test?

Pentesting usually involves an ethical hacking team that discovers vulnerabilities in the system being tested, exploits them, and understands their business impact. They also provide you with the opportunity of testing your existing security barriers in the face of possible attack situations. It ends with a reportand accompanying recommendations on how to better your system’s defences and unique solutions that work in your situation.

Most penetration testing procedures follow the OWASP Application Security Standard as it provides an exhaustive list of possible issues to look out for and works as a testing guide. This is useful in cases of conducting pentesting as a part of meeting compliance standards such as PCI-DSS orISO 27001 which mandate the procedure to be done in specific ways.

SaaS penetration tests go through the following stages for the proper perusal of the system’s vulnerabilities:

  • First Stage – In this stage, ethical hackers find easily discoverable vulnerabilities through basic testing or what’s understood from the documentation provided by the firm. The vulnerabilities discovered in this phase can also be exploited quickly as they’re the go-to move for hackers who don’t want to – or can’t – waste too much time or resources on attacking your application.
  • Second stage – This goes a step further to understand the more complicated risks associated with the firm’s software. Compliance testing falls under this category and this type of testing is necessary for enterprise systems that deal with sensitive information of customers and their finances.
  • Third stage – The most rigorous stage of testing the system, this stage is reserved for firms fully dependent on their SaaS applications for the core of their business and who stand to lose a lot if compromised. Ethical hackers refine their attacking strategies from the perspective of targeted moves and exploit all vulnerabilities, individually and combined.
    The security testing will also involve looking at the entire system’s infrastructure, architecture, access privileges, management processes, etc. This is a time-consuming process as it works at reducing the risk of cyberattacks to a negligible probability of occurrence.

Ensuring security is a continual process that requires dedication and regular updates on the developments in the cybersecurity field. Today’s firms that benefit from SaaS applications should carefully look into the risks associated with the same and proceed accordingly.