Compliance

The Cobalt + anecdotes Partnership: The Interconnection between Pentesting and Compliance

Michal Norman
January 15, 2023

Data breach. It’s the two words every CEO dreads and the theme of endless Board discussions about worst-case scenarios. No one wants to wake up to hear their company name in the headlines:

December 2022: Uber Data Stolen in Attack on Third-Party Vendor...

November 2022: Hacker Publishes Data on 5.4 Million Twitter Users. ...

November 2022: Ransomware Hacker Steals Medibank Data on 9.7m Customers...

October 2022: 2.4 Terabytes of Data Exposed on Microsoft Server…

Yet, despite the many cybersecurity tools available on the market, it seems like hackers are still managing to stay one step ahead. According to the latest statistics by AV-Test Institute, more than 17 million new types of malware are detected each month.  And it only takes one itty-bitty piece of malware code to slip through your organization’s perimeter for you to be the next breach victim making headlines. That’s why every industry involving sensitive data must have Security Compliance guidelines in place to ensure they meet stringent security regulations, including the need for Penetration Testing. 

What is Pentesting for Compliance?

Many security frameworks require companies to undergo a pentesting protocol – also known as ethical hacking – to achieve certain local and global security Compliance. Pentesting is an offensive security measure that varies in scope and frequency, aimed at enabling the good guys to find the security gaps before the bad guys do. Any vulnerabilities they find must be documented and remediated before the gaps can be exploited. Frameworks that require organizations to be compliant with pentesting standards include:

  • HIPAA for healthcare institutions
  • PCI-DSS for companies that process payment
  • GDPR for organizations operating in the European Union
  • SOC 2 for service organizations
  • ISO 27001 for any organization willing to formalize business around information security

How can Automation Simplify Penetration Testing Compliance?

Companies that need to show pentest Compliance often hire an IT security consulting company to conduct penetration tests. The company lets a group of well-trained security professionals have a go at hacking through the corporate infrastructure to see if they can uncover any security weaknesses that could possibly be exploited. However, this legacy pentest management is expensive and time-consuming. It involves a lot of back-and-forth between the organization and the consulting company, as well as a lengthy process of reviewing breaches and monitoring their remediation. Using technology to automate parts of the pentesting process has been proven to both speed up the process and reduce costs. Technology can be used for round-the-clock scanning, probing, and analysis, providing organizations with security reports – prioritized by issue severity – quickly and at a low price. 

For example, Cobalt offers a Pentest as a Service (PtaaS) platform, where manual pentesting conducted by an exclusive community of testers is augmented by an automated platform that delivers real-time insights necessary to remediate risk quickly. Using Cobalt’s scalable, data-driven approach to pentesting, organizations can accelerate their find-to-fix cycles through technology integrations and real-time collaboration with pentesters. Instead of sifting through static PDF files sent through email, InfoSec teams benefit from real-time integrations, actionable results, and more dynamic reporting that help security leaders find ways to optimize their security programs. Continuous pentesting is especially desirable when it comes to regulations and Compliance as the automated processes are fully repeatable, and the variation between results is often negligible. By taking a scalable, data-driven approach to pentesting, organizations can more quickly and efficiently meet Compliance requirements and mature their security programs. 

The benefits of using a SaaS like Cobalt to deliver the continuous penetration testing necessary to comply with a wide range of InfoSec frameworks has borne a new partnership between Cobalt and anecdotes. anecdotes, the all-in-one workspace designed to help Compliance leaders leverage data to automate, manage, and mature their Compliance programs, has partnered with Cobalt to make pentesting compliance even easier for customers. By integrating the two platforms, companies can automate and simplify their pentesting process and map those pentest findings directly to the relevant controls and frameworks. Not only will this partnership streamline the audit process, it will also give organizations a clear view into their security posture and uncover any gaps that require remediation along the way – enabling true Continuous Compliance…. and keeping the organization far from tomorrow’s headlines.

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