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What is PTaaS and How Does It Work?

Blacklock Security July 30, 2021

The correlation between the rise of online businesses and cyber-attacks is no coincidence. With nearly 1 cyber-attack happening every 39 seconds, every business is at risk. Unfortunately, many of them are underprepared because traditional penetration testing is costly, lengthy and complicated.

PTaaS (Penetration Testing as a Service) is an on-demand service that enables organisations to undertake security testing when they need it. Unlike traditional penetration testing, PTaaS locates, prioritises and manages security vulnerabilities from a single pane. This results in a more affordable, convenient, and accessible solution.

At Blacklock, our PTaaS is a hybrid platform that includes both automated and manual testing approaches. The model has the proven benefit of in-depth security testing that eliminates false positives from bulky scanner reports. 

By simplifying the customer onboarding, SoW processes and reporting efforts, we make sure the service offers a cost-effective solution.

How Does PTaaS Work?

PTaaS is packaged in a more agile format than traditional methods. This is exemplified in the slick onboarding procedure, on-demand testing and vulnerability management from a single pane. Here’s how it works at Blacklock:

  1. Subscribe and register. Simply choose a service that matches your needs, register and pay. Or get in touch if you’re not sure which plan suits you the best.
  2. Provide target details. List the targets that need to be tested, such as your website, application or infrastructure.
  3. Sign an authority letter. This allows us to perform the test legally and can be signed digitally.
  4. Initiate testing. Go to your Blacklock dashboard and initiate a test at any time from anywhere.
  5. We do the heavy lifting. With consultant grade testing, we eliminate false positives and use a checklist-based approach that complies with industry security standards, such as OWASP, CWE and SANS.
  6. Track and manage vulnerabilities. Log into your dashboard to view, download and manage your vulnerabilities. You can update the status of each one or request a retest if required.
  7. Receive regular notifications. You’ll get these at every phase of the testing cycle.

As you can see, PTaaS transfers the remote control to customers so you can initiate security testing when you need it. It also provides a single view dashboard for managing every asset, so you can prioritise issues and gain an overall security posture.

What Are the Benefits of PTaaS

  • Faster onboarding and turnaround 一 Anyone can register for a PTaaS service online and get results within 24 hours (depending on the service), thanks to automation. All the complexities around consulting, test schedules and report writing are removed.
  • Fewer costs/overhead 一 PTaaS services run on either a subscription or flat-fee pricing model (like Blacklock), which allows them to be easily budgeted. PTaaS is also much cheaper than traditional testing because it cuts costs on management overhead and report writing, while delivering a better quality of service.  
  • Scalable 一 Whether you’re an individual or a large business, PTaaS can scale accordingly to your needs.
  • Flexible reporting 一 A security test report is available anytime, anywhere, including those previous security test reports that got lost in emails.
  • Expert advice on demand 一 A hybrid PTaaS provider like Blacklock will assign you to a penetration tester, who you can contact at any time during the assessment period.

What to Look For in a PTaaS Provider?

  • Deep insights 一 Once your test is completed, your PTaaS provider should provide you with actionable and detailed insights on mitigation strategies, attack vectors, business impacts and vulnerabilities.
  • Tester accessibility 一 Make sure you can contact your penetration tester at any time of your test and not just through a portal account.
  • Individually tailored 一 Every organisation has different security issues, so a good PTaaS provider should only focus on what’s relevant to you.
  • Expert personnel 一 The members of a PTaaS company should be established experts in cybersecurity and penetration testing. Make sure you check their backgrounds, qualifications, and reputation in the industry.
  • Transparency 一 As a customer, you need to know what’s covered, the turnaround times and if you can prioritise the testing of critical systems.

Summary

PTaaS provides an excellent alternative to traditional penetration testing methods because it’s efficient, affordable and convenient. You can request one at any time and manage all of your security vulnerabilities under one plane. It means you won’t have to put up with the complexities and time-consuming processes of traditional testing.

If you think your organisation can benefit from PTaaS, then get in touch with Blacklock now! Our mix of automated and manual penetration testing puts you in control, so you can mitigate vulnerabilities as soon as they arise.