Penetration Testing (called Pentest for short) has become one of the most efficient methods for assessing security vulnerabilities for more than a decade. However, in the past few years, this security testing method has begun to reveal many limitations. Application development is accelerating, and data breaches increase in frequency and severity, making traditional pen testing simply insufficient to reduce risk.

Disadvantages of Traditional Pentest

There are many reasons for the “failure” of the traditional pentest. The most common challenges include:

  • A typical pentest program is performed by 1 or 2 people, using a standardized method system. Therefore, this test can hardly find serious vulnerabilities in applications while the number of attackers is very large.
  • Regular pentest programs are only temporary. In today’s agile DevOps (Development and Operations) environment, applications are constantly changing and improving. Therefore testing once or twice a year will not test new pieces of code in the application for months.
  • Pentest results do not provide enough information about actual risks and are difficult to put into practice. A typical pentest output is a long report of potential vulnerabilities, requiring developers to sift through thousands of results without any clues or suggestions for a fix.

Next-generation Pentest

To overcome these shortcomings, many new application security testing methods have emerged to keep up with the attacks. Crowdsourced security is helping to support traditional pentest, thereby introducing a more effective method of reducing risk to the application layer. Programs like Bug Bounty and vulnerability finder leverage human intelligence to quickly detect high-risk vulnerabilities in attack vectors like web front-ends and APIs.

So why should a business choose a Bug Bounty program? Because these programs cooperate with the world’s leading security researchers to assess the overall risk. They also encourage white hat hackers to hunt for more difficult vulnerabilities so the company can fix them, providing a higher rate of return than regular pen tests. The bug bounty also provides an ongoing layer of protection, essential for today’s software development lifecycle (SDLC). In terms of time, they are also suitable for the deployment of the target applications. Besides, they are also integrated with internal systems such as JIRA or vulnerability management software. With efficient APIs and integrations, bug bounties can ensure security even in the DevOps environment.