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How Synack Delivers on the Promises of PTaaS 

Brandon Torio
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Recently, we’ve observed confusion in the market around categories of security testing. What’s the difference between traditional pentesting, Pentesting as a Service, and bug bounty programs? What are the most important advantages to consider for each? In this blog, we’ll focus on Pentesting as a Service, or PTaaS, and how Synack delivers on the category’s promise.

What is Pentesting as a Service?

Gartner defines PTaaS as:

“Penetration testing as a service (PTaaS) provides technology-led, point-in-time and continuous application and infrastructure testing aligned with penetration testing (pentesting) standards, which have traditionally relied heavily on human pentesters using commercial/proprietary tools. [PTaaS] is delivered via a SaaS platform, leveraging a hybrid approach of automation and human pentesters … to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the results.

Synack is listed as a PTaaS vendor in Gartner’s 2023 Hype Cycle for Application Security. At a high level, Synack enables you to pentest your web applications, hosts, mobile apps and APIs continuously through a SaaS platform. The platform enables real-time delivery of testing results and metrics, insights into trends and improvement over time and triage and control for high quality and secure testing. 

Why Does PTaaS matter?

PTaaS allows you to outperform traditional penetration testing, full stop. Rather than a one-time vulnerability delivery, you get real-time results. Finding a qualified pentesting provider, managing the contracts and scope and the actual deployment of testing could take months, critical time that could have been used for testing. Instead of scheduling a cumbersome phone call with pentesters, you can have practitioners message them back and forth on a message board.

By utilizing a SaaS platform to deliver results and activate testing, pentesting can be faster, more efficient and more easily scalable.

Key Elements of PTaaS that Synack Delivers

It all starts with the Synack Platform. Let’s break it down into six pillars: 

Vulnerability Management: As vulnerabilities are found and triaged, they appear in the platform in real-time. Each vulnerability comes with a rich description of how it was found, a CVSS score and suggestions on remediation. If you have further questions, you can speak to the researcher who found the vulnerability directly through the vulnerability page. These features enable a much more efficient vulnerability management experience compared to traditional pentesting or some bug bounty programs.

One benefit of the PTaaS approach is the real-time delivery of vulnerability findings.

Reporting & Analytics: Multiple views in the platform allow you to understand vulnerability findings, patch efficacy, hours spent on testing and number of researchers testing an assessment, among many other metrics. These metrics can be easily filtered by time or assessment to uncover gaps between tests or showcase improvements in posture over time.

Coverage Analytics is a powerful view within the platform that showcases which locations researchers are looking for vulnerabilities and what types of flaws they are checking for.

Testing Controls: All researchers are required to test through Synack infrastructure, allowing you to pause testing at any time, identify and qualify attack traffic being sent and store (or cleanse) testing history.

Operations and Support: Dedicated teams that triage all vulnerability findings are a vital component to the Synack Platform. Unlike Bug Bounty programs or traditional pentesting, you can rest assured that findings are actually exploitable and able to be replicated. 

API and Integrations: Understandably, security teams and software developers don’t want another tool to log into. If you can get the results of your security testing into tools they already use, it simplifies their workflows. The Synack Platform does just that, integrating with Jira, ServiceNow, Microsoft Azure DevOps and more.
Managed Community Access: Synack’s pentesting is performed by an elite community of researchers called The Synack Red Team (SRT). The SRT are highly vetted and bring a diversity of perspectives to your attack surface. Through the platform, you can communicate with them, have visibility into hours spent testing, types of traffic being sent and even pause their testing on-demand if needed.

Putting the Components of PTaaS Together 

Despite the number of labels, at the core your security team is looking for a solution to check for critical vulnerabilities, and if found, remediate them quickly. The tactical solution is obvious, but the Synack Platform can also help improve your overall security posture with strategic data and reporting. 

Getting the best of both worlds means your organization will benefit as soon as you deploy a test and will continue with your use of the platform and the resulting data. Request a demo today.