The need for penetration testing services arose a hundred years back when the attacks on the systems became frequent. Lots of companies started losing their sensitive data and it affected their clients in the worst way possible.
The lack of sensitive data is exactly when (and why) the world saw another technical industry rising.
You can easily see one pen testing company giving way to an entire new industry of penetration testing. The company collected the best tech brains and asked them to come up with methods to stop cybercriminals from harming organizations and people.
However, the field of cybercriminals and testers changes faster than every other technical field.
Cyber Criminals keep discovering new types of viruses and cyber-attacks. To save individuals from falling in to these traps, testing organizations needed to evolve enough to plan for these viruses and stay one step prior to the criminals.
Let’s dive into the history of penetration testing to see how it has evolved over time.
Penetration Testing in the Beginning
Businesses always had a reason to opt for penetration testing to remain at a fantastic distance from malware as well as other viruses.
First of most, penetration testing was only designed for systems — making them secure from every angle. Soon it absolutely was discovered that a small business can be targeted through phishing and social presence aswell.
The multi-angled attacks forced penetration testing organizations to come up with solutions for every possible cyber threat.
Most of the time, testing was done manually in which a team of testers would sit together, understand the application, list down all the requirements, and build test cases.
These test cases were then run 1 by 1 and the status of each test case was recorded. In the finish, a report was prepared for the developers to understand the possible loopholes present, methods to recreate them, and suggestions to cover them.
Different techniques were introduced available in the market to suit different requirements of the people.
However, the steps were typically the same because it involved a team of human testers to carry out all of the activities. Then came the era of more advanced technologies; ones powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.
The Machine Learning tech was smart but was unguarded and open for the cybercriminals to attack and obtain hang of it.
Although every pen testing company felt it was smart to use manual testing with this new group of tech, IoT, they failed most of the time. The failure plainly called for new ways to be devised and used for the betterment of the businesses and individuals using AI and ML technology gadgets.
The Era of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Although testers were trying their best to fight new cyber threats with the help of manual testing, they lost the battle often.
In the hands of criminals, Artificial intelligence started becoming more of a threat rather than being fully a blessing.
When AI became a threat to criminals is when the world of pen testing introduced a new submit history.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning were made an integral part of penetration testing. Different AI and ML techniques and tools were developed to greatly help catch malware and viruses present in the device.
Now, you must be wondering if artificial intelligence is so strong in the hands of criminals, should it maybe not offer more benefits when used for pen testing?
Obviously, it will offer more benefits with pen testing — so here is how penetration testing organizations are evolving with AI and ML embedded inside their technologies and techniques:
Better Information Gathering
One of the most essential stages of the whole pen-testing activity is gathering information. It can be known as the reconnaissance stage.
According to experts, if the testers have the ability to gather more data, initially, the chances of their success gets even more than double.
However, you can easily say that and a great deal difficult to accomplish. In a pen testing activity, the team has only a limited amount of time to pay on gathering data. It is hard to ensure that the grade of the gathered data is the better.
With AI as constant support, a great amount of quality data may be gathered in a limited period of time. One could possibly make use of Computer Vision, Natural Language Processing, and Machine Learning to make sure a good profile of data is built with lots of details.
Testing a lot of systems manually requires a lot of time. Also, since humans are bound to produce mistakes, frequently loopholes go unnoticed in the system causing trouble later.
When it involves scanning a huge selection of systems, imaginable the havoc manual testing can bring.
AI-empowered scanning ensures comprehensive coverage and good interpreted results. It can also be used to create a few amendments in the code where needed.
Overall, it saves considerable time and effort. Moreover, AI offers good test management and automatic creation of test cases. Hence, it creates your systems secure and sound in less time.
Maintenance and Access Stage
Once the testers are past scanning, they’re ready to access multiple network devices and extract the targeted data and start testing.
The main intent behind this step is always to ensure you can find no loopholes left for the criminals to exploit later and take advantage of. The testing also contains checking for credentials for each employee and strong articles too.
AI-based solutions are powered to try different password combinations to check how strong the passwords are to break-in. Different algorithms are designed to observe user data, on-going trends, present patterns, and train themselves to accomplish better testing.
The last stage of penetration testing followed closely by every pen testing company (kualitatem dot com) is the reporting stage.
The reporting stage often tests the capability of the attackers to cover their tracks and remove all traces of the presence in the system.
These kinds of evidence can be found in existing access channels, user logs, and unexpected error messages raised because of the infiltration process.
Manual testing has failed to find these dilemmas at a more substantial scale rendering it easy for the attackers to do their tasks without management being aware of their presence.
On the other hand, artificial intelligence tools can simply discover hidden backdoors, traces of the clear presence of cybercriminals in the system, and multiple access points that have been not said to be there.
Once found, these activities and their details are stored and saved in a report. The detailed report also contains a suitable timeline against every attack done.
Overall Benefits of AI-powered Pen Testing
Now that individuals have mentioned the benefits AI has to offer and the changes it is introducing in the penetration testing world, we’re able to count the advantages on our fingertips.
Here may be the whole listing of the ways AI-powered pen testing is more preferable than manual testing.
- Since artificial intelligence is involved with AI-based pen testing, the outcomes are came back faster than manual testing. This decreases the expected investment of time and provides more time to developers to correct issues.
- AI-based penetration testing ensures there are no loopholes left once the testing is done. This makes one’s body and pc software more secure in comparison with manual testing.
- The test results are far more accurate in comparison with manual testing. This leaves less headache for the developers and testers aswell.
- When it involves companies, having AI do repetitive and boring tasks decreases investment. You can invest in an AI tool and ignore hiring and managing a large team of testers.
- Since businesses are growing at an excellent speed, it’s hard to try for them through manual testing. Hence, AI-based testing ensures a lot of systems are tested with good results in less time.
- These tools are often available in the market and stay updated with new threats and viruses entering the market. So you do not have to worry about upskilling your employees and purchasing them.