The Focus of Penetration Testing Should Be Prevention over Exploitation

by | Nov 16, 2023 | AI in Automated Pen Test, RidgeBot

Penetration testing is a critical component of a robust cybersecurity strategy. However, there can be a misalignment in the expectations of security teams when it comes to the results of penetration tests. 

The common notion in testing is the goal of discovering a successful exploit within a Proof of Concept (PoC) on a production network. This focal point is rather like looking for a cancer diagnosis within the data from a medical test. In reality, it is a focus on prevention that helps promote a healthy posture rather than focusing on a possible health risk. The expectation should be a clean bill of health, not a positive finding. 

This blog will examine why trying to fulfill the expectation of finding potential exploits is misdirected and how RidgeBot can help shift the focus toward a more prevention-oriented, comprehensive, and effective cybersecurity posture.

Misguided Expectations

Many security teams believe that a successful exploit during a penetration test is the litmus test of their effectiveness. While assessing a tool’s effectiveness is crucial, an over-emphasis on successful exploits can be counterproductive, especially when dealing with a production network. What is more beneficial is to adopt a preventative mindset with processes that are ongoing and continuous in nature that not only discover exploits, but also preemptively thwart risk. 

Advocating for a Healthier Cybersecurity Posture

Rather than fixating on the presence of successful exploits, security teams should advocate for a healthier cybersecurity posture. After all, the absence of critical risks is the true indicator of a robust security posture. In this context, RidgeBot can play a pivotal role in helping security professionals adopt a more comprehensive approach to penetration testing.

Key Points for Automated Pentesting Using RidgeBot

  • Controlled Environment Testing – RidgeBot can test against vulnerable targets within a controlled environment rather than directly on a production network. This approach ensures that the test does not inadvertently disrupt operations or compromise sensitive data.
  • Evaluation Criteria – When assessing the effectiveness of RidgeBot, the focus should be on factors like ease of use and comprehensiveness in covering known vulnerabilities. This approach shifts the emphasis away from the presence of successful exploits. It encourages a more consistent and holistic assessment of the security environment and continuous usage of RidgeBot’s easy-to-use but powerful capabilities.

The Core Purpose of RidgeBot

It’s important to remember that the primary purpose of RidgeBot is not solely to exploit vulnerabilities during a PoC. It also empowers users to proactively avoid threats such as those presented by vulnerabilities like Log4j, MOVEit, and many others. The ultimate aim of RidgeBot is to prevent data breaches by identifying and addressing vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.

Security teams should reconsider their expectations regarding penetration test results. Shifting the focus away from the desire for successful exploits and towards a healthier cybersecurity posture is essential. RidgeBot, the continuous validation using comprehensive evaluation criteria, is a valuable tool for achieving this shift in perspective.

By prioritizing prevention over exploitation, security teams can better protect their organizations from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. 

Click here to learn how RidgeBot can help meet your expectations for achieving a healthier overall cybersecurity posture.