NormShield Blog

Pentest vs. Security Rating Services

The Security Rating services allow you to measure your organization’s (or the organizations’ that you work with) data-based cybersecurity performance. For instance, Normshield provides a cyber risk score that shows you what you look like in cyber space from outside, simply by accessing your assets in the digital world, allowing you to access vulnerabilities and risks on your assets. For all your assets that have fallen into the digital world, IP, subdomain, DNS records, etc. will reveal your cyber risk for every asset you have.

The Pentest (short for penetration testing), on the other hand, is a security test to detect errors and weaknesses in IT systems and to prevent the use of errors and vulnerabilities in favor of abusive people. In terms of the scanning area, we can divide the pentest into 3 categories.

  • Internal Pentest: It is done to determine which data of the related institution’s internal systems or other systems are accessible.
  • External Pentest: The content of this test is done to determine which data of the open system or other systems are accessible.
  • Web Pentest: The difference is that web applications’ focus point is to look for the same question with the External Network Penetration Tests is being sought.

Pentest Methodologies

  • Blackbox: In this method, no information is given about the system to the team that will perform the test at first, the team searches for logic error and weakness in the system without having information about the system. There is a high risk of damage to the system. Since the team who test the system knows nothing about the system, the information collection phase is a long-lasting approach.
  • Greybox: Information such as IP address, version of the server system is given to the team to perform the test. It is shorter than the BlackBox approach and is less likely to harm the system.
  • Whitebox: The team is informed about the system and retrofitted hardware materials. It is more advantageous both in terms of analyzing the problems in the test result and in terms of damaging the system.

Pentest vs. Security Rating Services

Security rating services do not carry out any attacks on your company’s assets while revealing your cyber risk. The risk points that you are given are made from the external vulnerabilities by means of understanding the data obtained from the digital world.

From the perspective of Normshield when the variety of Pentest are examined, it is seen that the pentest is mentioned in the Normshield and Pentest comparison by the external network and the web application penetration test. Because Normshield does not scan the internal network in any way, it is only interested in the security level of open systems or other systems. The presence of Customer assets on the internal network does not within the Normshield’s scan area. For this reason, internal network pentest will be kept out of scope during this comparison. In addition, Normshield does not need any information for its work. The public domain name of the company is sufficient. In this sense, it is not right to compare Normshield with gray box and white box pen-testing. So the comparison will be made with Black box pentest.

Pentest contains the following steps:

  • Data Collection
  • Analysis and Classification
  • Getting Access
  • Managing Access
  • Reporting

In general, security rating services do the first two steps and the last step of the pen-testing. That means they do data collection, analysis, and classification. 

For Normshield, rating results and the pentest result are common points, but it does not mean that pen-testing contains Normshield or vice versa.

Also, if the goal is to measure the cyber risk of vendors, partners, or any other 3rd parties, it is not possible to make them with pentesting. Third parties can provide Pentest contracts and request results, but this does not create a digital third-party ecosystem that suits you. With security rating services, an organization can get information about the cybersecurity status of the vendor systems of the organization without performing any intrusive tests. Moreover, Normshield offers a holistic perspective by looking at areas overlooked by PenTests, such as Cyber Threats, Hacker forums, Social media shares, etc.

On the other hand, Pentest is a long-term and costly process. Therefore, the frequency of doing pentest is low. With security rating services, it is possible to make measurements more often at more affordable prices. In addition, the actual analysis cannot be provided when there is a preparation before pen-testing, on the other hand, security rating services can be performed without any preparation and schedule so more real results can be obtained.

In a nutshell,

With the Pentest, the vulnerability of internal and external web on your system can be exploited and reported. Security rating services create a risk rating of how you or your vendor appear in the cyber world. Also, cyber rating systems can measure the financial impact of risk but it is not possible to calculate this impact with pentest.