Penetration Testing For Third Party Compliance

Table of Contents

Compliance testing for third-party providers is more important than ever, especially with the advent of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, many organizations struggle to understand this type of testing and how to proceed.

This blog post will provide an overview of pentesting for third-party compliance, including the types of tests that should be performed and the benefits.

Third-party penetration test

Penetration testing methodologies

Procedures like exploit development or custom code execution attacks against a target application are under scrutiny from an outside attacker who wants to gain access for malicious purposes.

The pen-testing methodologies can be categorized into Gray-Box, White-Box, and Black-Box tests.

These three techniques are the most common methods used by security professionals. They each have their benefits and downsides, but they’re all pretty straightforward in how they work to evaluate your system’s vulnerabilities before moving on to more invasive testing procedures.

Internal vs. external pentest

Internal pentests can be used by members within your organization or to meet your needs and requirements; by gaining access to pen-testing tools, they can perform internal tests to discover web application security weaknesses.

External pentests are the best way to find vulnerabilities within your security system. These professionals will remotely explore different points of entry, maintaining access and looking for cracks or malfunctions that might have been missed during an internal audit. They do it faster than your internal team.

Types of penetration testing compliance

Penetration testing is essential to ensure your organization’s compliance with SOC, PCI DSS, or ISO 27001. A thorough examination conducted on information systems will identify any vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can manipulate and give you peace of mind knowing they won’t be able to get past them.

Different types of compliances include:

SOC 2 Compliance 

The AICPA, an American Institute of CPAs, has created new standards to help protect your company’s customer data in contracts with large clients like SaaS providers selling their solutions across multiple industries and organizations.

They store information on financial practices or consulting services that may need more stringent standards than basic internal controls because they deal directly with customers’ sensitive details such as income levels etc.

So this means that these types of businesses will be conducting penetration testing alongside other evaluations throughout every year’s audit process, ensuring everything remains up-to-date against possible risks before continuing onward.

PCI Compliance 

Merchants should be aware that if they don’t comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), their credit cards might not work. This is where penetration testing comes in – it allows merchants access to whether or not there are any vulnerabilities on your system so you can fix them before someone else does!

This will ultimately protect customer information from being compromised. Online transactions are secure by ensuring they can be accessed only when needed without risk of external intrusion.

Once again, any business wishing to process, store or transmit data related to directly carrying out this task must first go through penetration Testing to become PCI-DSS compliant.

The Security Standards Council is an organization that provides guidance and standards for penetration testing. They differentiate between tests to determine if your system has vulnerabilities versus those focused on assessing risk within a network or application layer.

The council also describes which components should be targeted during each type of test (internal networks vs. external ones).

ISO 27001 Compliance

ISO 27001 is the most widely adopted standard for organizations to formalize their information security practices.

The certification process includes 114 controls, making it a complete framework that businesses can follow when adopting this version of ISO 20251 (the old business continuity plan) to secure assets from risks like privacy violations and data theft.

The ISO 27001 certification process helps organizations stay ahead of the game by ensuring they have current security controls in place. Every three years, your company will be subject to a penetration test that measures how adequate these precautions are against outside threats, so you must maintain compliance with this standard.

GDPR Compliance 

The European Union (EU) has introduced a collection of lawful policies to protect citizens’ sensitive data from unauthorized usage.

The new framework, called GDPR, gives people complete control over their privacy rights and secures the processing system with appropriate measures while ensuring compliance by conducting penetration testing on time per standard procedures before launching services and products.

This will help them achieve expected results without facing any hurdles later down the road because all steps were taken beforehand, so there won’t be anything left behind except success.

Third-party penetration testing advantages

The importance of ensuring security cannot be understated. As such, various methods exist for optimizing and enforcing the existing protections from cyber threats. Some come at little cost, while others may require your company’s funds or expertise to implement successfully.

One way you can optimize these measures would involve contracting a third-party firm to conduct penetration tests or vulnerability assessments on an ongoing basis. Hence, they’re always up-to-date with potential vulnerabilities within their system(s).

The advantages and benefits of contracting a third-party firm are:

Discover unidentified vulnerabilities in a computer system

Third-party penetration testing provides a more accurate assessment of your organization’s security than internal pentests because third-party researchers do not know anything about the system they need to penetrate.

Third-Party Pen-testing offers an unbiased view into potential vulnerabilities and risks, which can help you identify problems before it becomes too late for you and other stakeholders involved in business processes within these systems.

Attain and maintain compliance

External penetration testing is the most comprehensive way to ensure that your company is GDPR and SOC 2 compliant. This will give you peace of mind knowing there’s no possible area for non-compliance in their security measures since they’re fully vetted by experts on the outside looking into what could go wrong.

Efficient risk management

Pentest is an excellent way to identify areas where security might be vulnerable. It’s important because even the most insignificant risks stand a better chance of being detected by third-party pentesting and managing them before they get exploited, which could lead to many problems.

Assessment of threat response time

Hacker-style penetests are a type of 3rd party test that can help identify flaws and assess how quickly your company’s security team would respond if something were hacked. This security assessment also allows for improvement on what protection is currently put into place, so you’re never left vulnerable again.

Increased reputation

The best way to increase your company’s reputation and trustworthiness among the existing clientele and potential new clients is by having a third-party pentesting provider conduct thorough security assessments on your organization.

This will help assure that you meet all necessary standards for potential customers, which can be said to increase both reputation in general and relevance when it comes down to explicitly dealing with those types of business deals/arrangements where online safety matters most.

Enhanced protection

3rd Party penetration testing is an essential step in ensuring the security of your business. It helps identify any vulnerabilities and fix them immediately while also strengthening existing measures so they can be used to respond faster during future incidents.

Third-party pen testing periodically enhances and strengthens our company’s robustness through detection and action on threats.

Vendor certification

Taking the time to get a pen-test certification is an investment that will pay off for any SaaS vendor. By passing rigorous standards, you can ensure your services are chosen over those of other companies. In addition to being compliant, this means less work fixing bugs later.

Third-party penetration testing steps

Detailed scoping

When a third-party pentester is hired to test the security of an organization’s assets, they need all relevant information for their tests and findings to be accurate. This includes understanding what can/can’t go into certain areas during testing, so there are no liability issues for either party involved.

Also, deciding how much time each team member will spend doing work according to their agreement (the scope) beforehand. Scoping involves several steps, including preparing questionnaires that determine rules about engagement between testers & targets as well as answering any questions raised by pentesters.

Reconnaissance (identification of assets)

When you want to find out as much information about your target, they’ll never be able to stop you. This step includes gaining passive and active intelligence on them, but when doing the latter, permission is mandatory!

Two significant parts of successful recon are discovering assets (such domains) with their sub-domains. At the same time, content refers specifically to resources involved in one’s targets – both can provide valuable insights for future attacks if discovered early enough before too many precautions have been taken against such activities.


By scanning the network with automated scanners, Astra’s pentest and BurpSuite are used to find vulnerabilities. Once these are found, they will be exploited as much as possible within ROE constraints for us to understand how much damage could be caused by a single exploit(worm).


A detailed report is generated after the exploitation stage of engagements.

This includes all rules decided upon, assets and content discovered during this period, as well as any vulnerabilities found by scanning techniques used to hack into computer systems without permission from users or owners who may be infected themselves with malware explicitly designed for carrying out a simulated attack like these called “exploits.”.

With each exploits listed, there’s an explanation of how severe its damage could’ve been if successful depending on the type of system being targeted.

Factors to consider when choosing a third-party penetration testing team

Type of service required.

Third-party pentests come in all shapes and sizes, depending on your needs. They can be tailored to meet specific requirements like PCI DSS or SOC 2 compliance; for example, they may also cover more general security standards such as ISO 27001/HIPAA with a dash of SWTPCM thrown into the mix if you’re feeling adventurous.

Based on compliance

Third-party penetration testing can be a great way to get the job done. Still, it’s crucial for you as an organization or business owner, not just some random tester with no understanding of what is required by your specific industry. This means checking if they have any compliances before choosing them so there are no surprises down the line.

Experience and reputation

It is essential to look at the company’s experience and reputation when deciding if they are a good candidate for your needs. Newer companies may not have as much industry know-how, but their services might still be just what you need.


Pentesters need to be well-versed in the field of security. They should also have up-to-date qualifications and certifications to carry out pentests specific to one’s requirements, which will make them qualified enough on that front!


If you’re looking for a comprehensive and friendly guide to third-party compliance penetration testing, you’ve come to the right place. Here we believe that information should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their level of expertise.

That’s why we’ve put together this resourceful guide on everything from the basics of penetration testing to more complex topics like social engineering. We hope you find it helpful.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our expert team. We’re always happy to help.

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