The importance of penetration testing and vulnerability scanning are frequently confused for the same service. Business owners often purchase one when they really need the other, but each are important on their respective levels. Our team of security experts are diving into the differences and how they should fit into your organization's security practices.
Vulnerability scanning is a risk assessment used to identify the adequacy of security measures, identify security deficiencies, and confirm the mitigations are in place intending to reduce a target's attack surface. Essentially, flaw identification. Organizations can use the results of vulnerability analyses to support penetration testing activities.
Penetration testing is a specialized type of assessment intended to perform attacks against an information system, network, or application designed to identify and measure risks associated with the exploitation of a target's attack surface. Essentially, attack path validation.
Penetration testing attempts to mimic the actions of advanced persistent threat (APT) actors in carrying out hostile cyber-attacks against organizations and provides a more in-depth analysis of security-related weaknesses and deficiencies. These activities are crucial to testing administrative, physical, and technical control types.
Both vulnerability scanning and penetration testing have the main goal in terms of risk to reduce the attack surface APTs can leverage against your organization. A Red Team engagement is the process of using Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) to emulate a real-world threat with the goals of training or measuring the effectiveness of the people, processes, and technology used to defend an environment.