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Understand the Benefits and Limitations of Automated Tools in Penetration Testing

A new article by CCH member and cyber security expert eMazzanti Technologies looks at the advantages and disadvantages that automated tools bring to penetration testing. The informative article first explores benefits of automated tools, including speed, accuracy, and cost effectiveness.
However, the author warns that these tools also bring significant downsides. For example, automated tools lack important contextual awareness and have a limited scope. For this reason, she outlines a best practices approach that combines the efficiency of automated tools with the depth of manual testing by skilled experts.
“Today’s complex digital landscape makes manual testing alone unfeasible, but automated tools come with drawbacks. A thorough penetration test will strategically combine automated and manual testing,” explained Jennifer Mazzanti, CEO, eMazzanti Technologies.
Below are a few excerpts from the article, “Understand the Benefits and Limitations of Automated Tools in Penetration Testing.
Advantages of Automated Penetration Testing
“Automated tools can methodically test all possible paths where weaknesses might occur, identifying a large range of known vulnerabilities. This helps provide a comprehensive picture of the system’s security posture and a clear roadmap for remediation.”
Downside of Automation
“Automated tools follow pre-programmed logic and cannot adapt easily to unexpected scenarios that come up during testing. Hence, they might miss highlighting vulnerabilities that can only be identified with contextual awareness. For instance, certain vulnerabilities depend on unique configurations or interactions between components.”
“Automated tools have a limited scope. They do not do well at assessing the potential for social engineering or insider threats. And automated reporting often lacks the detailed analysis and exploitation walkthroughs that a human tester can provide.”
Best Practices Balance Benefits and Limitations of Automated Tools in Penetration Testing
“To harness the strengths of both testing methods, begin with automated testing to quickly identify known vulnerabilities across applications and networks. Following automated testing, manual testers should analyze the results to prioritize issues according to risk and context. They can then delve deeper into areas that showed potential weaknesses.”
Improve Your Security Posture with Proven Penetration Testing Methods
Penetration testing forms an indispensable part of a robust security strategy. To realize the full value of penetration testing, organizations should partner with security experts that combine extensive human expertise with proven automated tools. eCare Penetration Testing from eMazzanti Technologies simulates real-world cyberattacks to guide future security strategies.
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About eMazzanti Technologies
eMazzanti’s team of trained, certified IT experts rapidly deliver increased revenue growth, data security and productivity for clients ranging from law firms to high-end global retailers, expertly providing advanced business cyber security, retail and payment technology, digital marketing services, AI, cloud and mobile solutions, multi-site implementations, 24×7 outsourced network management, remote monitoring, and support.
eMazzanti’s consistent growth landed them on the Inc. 5000 list 9X. Recognized as a 4X Microsoft Partner of the Year, the #1 ranked NYC area MSP, NJ Business of the Year, and 5X WatchGuard Partner of the Year, the company excels as a trusted outsourced IT partner! Contact: 1-866-362-9926, or Twitter: @emazzanti Facebook:

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