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Why manual pentesting and automation go hand in hand

August 16, 2017

Security testing has historically been driven by annual compliance audits, but the rapid changes in web security require a new approach. In this article, we explain why manual pentesting and automation are a great fit and how you can combine them to improve your web application’s security.

It’s time for a new approach to web security

Although manual penetration testing and automated security testing are very different, they are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, combining their strengths results in a broad and effective approach to security.

Performed by skilled security experts who try to compromise a web application, in-depth manual pentests help discover vulnerabilities and identify complex attack vectors. However, the amount of code pushed live every day poses a challenge as it is increasingly difficult for security teams to keep track of the latest threats.

This is where automated security testing comes in. Running against a web application on a regular basis, automated testing tools are continuously updated with new security tests. With the help of automation, vulnerabilities can be discovered before new code is pushed to production.

Combining Manual Penetration Testing and Automation 

The benefits of combining manual penetration testing and automated security testing

Increase the frequency of tests and extend their coverage
With the help of automation, developers can identify and remediate security issues quickly and effectively. Emerging threats are constantly addressed throughout the development cycle, keeping the web application safe in between manual penetration tests with scheduled scans.

Improve security knowledge inside the organisation
Knowledge is spread across the development team instead of being limited to a security team or external security experts. This way, security becomes a core value and a natural part of the development process that is considered from the very first line of code.

Maximise the value of manual penetration testing
Security issues are fixed by the development team before new code is deployed to production, allowing pentesters to focus on more complex attack vectors.

How Detectify complements penetration testing

Easy to use
Detectify’s simple to use interface, integrations with popular developer tools, team functionality, and informative reports make it easier for you and your team to work with security.

Made for tech teams by ethical hackers
Whether you work with vendor management, dev ops, development, or security, Detectify helps you integrate security into your workflow.

  • Detectify’s extensive knowledge base with code examples helps your team learn about security and write safer code.
  • Set up your staging environment using Detectify and ngrok.
  • Fix security issues before deploying new code to production.
  • Detectify integrates with tools like JIRA, HipChat, Slack, PagerDuty and Zapier, making it easier to track your website’s security status
  • New tests are added to the scanner on a continuous basis.

Always up-to-date 
To deliver the most up to date and relevant security tests to clients, we have extended our team with external ethical hackers through Detectify Crowdsource, our crowdsourcing platform. This enables us to challenge the hacker community to identify new vulnerabilities which we build into our service, covering a wide range of technologies.

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