Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing, these two quasi-similar terms are clubbed into one acronym VAPT. The reason behind that is quite simple, you cannot really draw the wholesome benefits of one without the other. Both vulnerability assessment and penetration testing are important procedures required for security evaluation. Our goal here is to set some benchmarks which you can use while looking for top VAPT companies in India that come with significant advantages over other companies.
Before we jump into our primary discussion, let us quickly brush up on our knowledge of VAPT.
What is VAPT?
VAPT, as you know, stands for vulnerability assessment and penetration testing. Now, these two are different processes that contribute toward the same goal.
Vulnerability assessment is the process of scanning your systems for common vulnerabilities and then creating a report consisting of all the details of the vulnerabilities, their solution, impact, and the test cases.
Penetration testing also known as pentests, is the process of detecting vulnerabilities and manually exploiting them to get an in-depth understanding of their impact. It also comes with a detailed analysis of the vulnerabilities and step-by-step guidelines for remediation.
What are the differences between VA and PT?
- Vulnerability assessment is an essential part of the penetration testing process. The former is usually an automated procedure whereas the latter involves human intervention.
- Vulnerability assessment usually detects a bunch of false positives – flagging vulnerabilities that do not actually exist. Penetration testing involving human testers minimizes the false positives significantly.
- Vulnerability assessment is a fast, non-invasive process. Pentesting may or may not be invasive, but it is definitely not fast.
- The cost of manual penetration testing is usually way higher than vulnerability assessment.
Why is VAPT required?
As we know, VAPT is a process of security evaluation. There are certain areas of cyber security that you can address with VAPT. Let us see what they are.
- Detecting vulnerabilities in your website, devices, and network
- Identifying ways of fixing vulnerabilities and performing the fixes
- Get insights into vulnerabilities – their CVSS score, risk analysis, potential damage
- Find detailed steps to reproduce and fix vulnerabilities
These steps contribute to the overall security evaluation of an organization. It helps you find and fix vulnerabilities before they are exploited by malicious actors. That in turn allows you to repel data breaches and the ensuing loss of money, reputation, and trust.
Meeting compliance regulations is also a major reason why VAPT is important. For instance, a health care institute comes under the regulations of HIPAA. In order to stay compliant with HIPAA, the organization needs to perform periodic vulnerability assessments and make sure that they come clean in a security audit.
What to expect from the best VAPT companies in India
The cyber threat landscape has been worsening over the last decade and VAPT companies in India have stepped up their games to meet the challenges. There is a constant increment in the number of tests being performed, attack vectors covered, and the level of support extended to the users. There are, of course, certain features that are available with only the top VAPT companies in India, and these features make a lot of difference.
- Continuous testing: Thanks to the DevOps-oriented software development culture, applications are developed and modified rapidly. The agility with which tech companies work on their products is unbelievable. However, with agility of this kind comes the risk of security misconfigurations and design-related security errors. Adopting continuous scanning or continuous testing makes sure that your application is scanned for vulnerabilities before any new code goes live.There is a feature in some VAPT tools like Astra’s Pentest that allows the user to integrate the scanner with their CI/CD so that they can automate continuous vulnerability scanning.
- Scanning behind the logged-in page: If you have used an unauthenticated scanner you would know how irritating it can be to re-authorize the scanner every time the session runs out.The scanning behind login pages feature ensures that the automated scanner scans behind the login screens without you having to authenticate it every single time. Astra’s Pentest achieves this with the help of a login recorder extension. It is a testimonial to the amount of innovation taking place in the cybersecurity industry at the moment.
- Integration with tools like Slack and Jira: Turning security into a part of an organization’s culture is the best way to strengthen it. Slack and Jira integration on top of CI/CD integration takes the idea of SecDevOps even further.Just imagine, how simple vulnerability management would be if the automated scanner sent an update of the vulnerabilities it has found to a certain Slack group which made it accessible to the concerned people.
This feature removes the tool or any other dashboard from the middle and makes the security testing procedure as lean as it gets. A feature like this adds tremendous value when you are racing against time to find and fix vulnerabilities.
These features aside, there are points of consideration like the price, the location of the VAPT company, their performance history, and clientele. Whenever you are looking for VAPT companies in India, make sure you are focusing on these aspects.
Cyber security is a complicated endeavor, especially for small businesses. They struggle to allocate the resources for maximum efficiency, and it often compels them to make a compromise in terms of buying the right tool or partnering with the right companies. It is understandable. Nevertheless, the goal should be to conduct thorough risk analyses to ensure that you do not become sitting ducks to mass attacks. You must at least make it difficult for a hacker to intrude.