If you’re an avid cybersecurity enthusiast, or even just someone who has an interest in the field, then it is imperative that you get acquainted with what’s going to be trending in 2022. In this article, we’ll do just that with our main focus being on penetration testing trends. In the paragraphs that follow, we’ll go over the seven penetration testing trends that are predicted for 2022. We’ll also go into detail on what exactly penetration testing entails and how it can help your business stay secure. So if you want to know more about these trends, keep reading.
What exactly is penetration testing all about?
Penetration testing is a way for companies to test the security of their network with an outside perspective. Companies will hire penetration testers, sometimes called pen testers, who are skilled in compromising systems and accessing information that isn’t supposed to be accessible. Of course, this is only carried out under your supervision and with your full legal consent. It gives you a very eye-opening insight into how well your security measures actually stand up against cyber-attacks. These tests can help businesses discover where they have security flaws so that they don’t become major issues down the road.
Some methods and approaches used by pen testers
The 3 types of penetration testing:
Black-box testing: This type of penetration test is done without the knowledge or consent of the target company that’s being tested, so pentesters have to figure out what information they can get access to by themselves.
White-box testing: Unlike black-box testing, white-box tests are performed with all the details and documentation available about a network system because it was provided by the company itself. Pentesters have more information to work with, but they’re still trying to find vulnerabilities in the system.
Grey-box testing: This type of penetration test is a mix of black and white box testing methods where pentesters have limited knowledge about the target company’s systems but more information than what would be available in a black box test.
Targeted attacks: Pentesters may also perform what’s called a targeted attack, which is an attempt to compromise a specific system or user within a company.
When it comes to how they choose to do this, again we look at 3 viable approaches:
Automated tools: Automated penetration testing tools are tools that pentesters can use to automate their process and speed up the testing process.
Manual techniques: Pentesters may also choose to manually exploit systems by finding and using known vulnerabilities or taking advantage of social engineering techniques.
Exploitation frameworks: Finally, pentesters can also use exploitation frameworks like Metasploit to help them in their exploits.
Now, which method or approach is chosen is totally up to the tester to decide based on their better judgement of what will work best in uncovering flaws in your system.
What does the future of cybersecurity look like?
Before we talk about the trends a penetration tester should be aware of, let’s talk about the bigger picture. The future of cybersecurity will be eventful as always. While this has always been difficult to predict, there are some things we can certainly expect to see in the coming months.
Here’s what we can expect to see in terms of cyberattacks:
- Targeted attacks are showing no signs of declining as hackers become more sophisticated and better at infiltrating networks. As a result, there will also be a greater need to educate both the people working in cybersecurity as well as those who are just trying to keep their data safe from falling into the wrong hands.
- In addition, we can expect more attacks against mobile devices as more and more people switch from their traditional computers to using smartphones and tablets. Cybersecurity will have to keep up with the ever-changing times and develop new strategies for safeguarding our technology against breaches.
- We can also expect to see more ransomware and malware attacks in the near future as these forms of attack become more popular and lucrative for cybercriminals. As a result, businesses and individuals will need to be increasingly vigilant in protecting their data and networks from these threats.
Coming to the side of cybersecurity workers here’s what the future looks like:
- We can expect to see more automation in the field of penetration testing. As pentesters, we can use tools like Metasploit to help us automate our process and speed up the testing process. This is important because it allows us to focus on more complex tasks and find vulnerabilities that may be harder to find otherwise.
- We can also anticipate that there will be an increase in the use of grey-box testing in the future. This is because it is a mix of black and white box testing methods, and performing one without the other is not always advisable. And so, setting out with the intent of grey-box testing from the start will indeed speed up the process and help testers find vulnerabilities faster when they’re given limited information about their target company.
- Finally, we can expect to see higher demand for qualified cybersecurity professionals as the number of cyber attacks and vulnerabilities arise in the coming years.
Cybercriminals and cybersecurity continue to advance. This means that if you want to stay ahead of the curve as a pen tester, it is important for you to continue learning and developing your skills on an ongoing basis.
Top 7 penetration testing trends for 2022
Cybersecurity is an ever-changing field, and it’s important to be aware of industry changes in order to stay ahead of the curve. So let’s take a look at some of the top trends that pentesters can expect to see in 2022:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) – The first trend we’ll be discussing is the increasing use of AI in penetration testing. Businesses are increasingly employing AI technology in their security strategies as it matures. And unsurprisingly, penetration testers are beginning to adopt this technology as well. In 2022, we can expect to see even more AI being used in pentesting, especially for tasks such as reconnaissance and vulnerability scanning.
- Cloud Security – With so many businesses and individuals using cloud storage for their data, it’s not surprising to see the rise of cloud pen testing. As we continue into 2022, pentesters will be tasked with finding vulnerabilities in these platforms as well. This is especially important since most companies use third-party vendors to manage and host their data on the cloud platform.
- IoT – As the number of internet-connected devices (aka IoT devices) continues to grow, so does the need for cybersecurity. In 2022, we can expect to see more attacks against these devices as cybercriminals attempt to exploit their vulnerabilities. As a penetration tester, it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with these new threats and learn ways to protect your organisation’s networks from them.
- Social Engineering – The use of social engineering tactics is on the rise, and this trend isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, it’s likely to become even more popular in 2022 as cybercriminals find new ways to exploit human vulnerabilities. As a pentester, it’s important to be aware of these tactics and know how to protect your organisation from them.
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) – Finally, we’ll be discussing the increasing trend of Advanced Persistent Threats in penetration testing. As the name suggests, APTs are threats that are specifically designed to evade detection and persist on a network for an extended period of time. They are often carried out by well-funded groups of attackers and can be very difficult to detect and mitigate.
- Work from Home – The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a massive amount of businesses globally, forcing them to incorporate work from home strategies. This brought about a significant change in how companies functioned. Dependability on digital devices and the internet was inevitable, and this will continue to rise as we head into 2022. While not all companies embrace it, more and more are beginning to see its benefits and allowing their employees the option of working remotely.
- Stringent Regulatory Compliance – With both technology and cyber attacks evolving, it only makes sense that regulatory compliances would as well. As we move further into 2022, pentesters can expect to see more stringent regulations being put into place. This means that it will be increasingly important for pentesters to stay up-to-date on the latest compliance requirements when it comes to information and data security.
These were just a few of the top trends that pentesters can expect to see in 2022. As we move further into the future, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest industry changes and make sure you’re prepared for what’s to come. Cybersecurity is an ever-changing field, and those who embrace change will adapt and thrive.