What is Threat-informed Penetration Testing


Threat-Informed Penetration Testing (TIP) is an intelligence-informed approach to penetration testing. It emulates the tactics and techniques used by specific emerging threat actors targeting your industry. By doing so, TIP provides insights into how your security controls would handle these precise threats.

Compare the difference between Traditional PenTesting with TIP.

1. Proactive Defense and Threat-Specific Customization:

  • Traditional Penetration Testing:

    • Organizations routinely conduct penetration tests to identify vulnerabilities across their systems, networks, and applications. These tests follow generic security best practices and aim to improve overall security posture.

    • However, relying solely on generic assessments may not adequately prepare organizations for targeted attacks.

  • Threat-Informed Penetration Testing (TIP):

    • TIP takes a more strategic approach. It customizes penetration tests to emulate the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by specific threat actors. These threat groups may have a vested interest in particular industries or organizations.

    • By aligning tests with threat-specific behaviors, TIP provides actionable insights. For example:

      • If a financial institution learns about a threat group targeting similar organizations, TIP can simulate their attack methods.

      • TIP identifies weaknesses specific to the threat actor’s modus operandi, such as exploiting a known vulnerability in the CI platform or manipulating container images.

    • Recommendations resulting from TIP are tailored to address these precise threats, ensuring that defenses are robust against real-world adversaries.

2. Resilience Enhancement and Collective Defense:

  • Resilience Through Threat-Informed Measures:

    • TIP enhances an organization’s resilience. By addressing threat-specific findings, the organization fortifies its systems to withstand targeted attacks.

    • For instance, hardening CI server configurations, monitoring third-party dependencies, and implementing stricter access controls for container repositories directly mitigate threat-informed vulnerabilities.

  • Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange:

    • TIP extends beyond individual organizations. It contributes to a global community of cyber defenders.

    • By sharing TIP insights, organizations collectively strengthen their security posture. Lessons learned from one institution’s threat-informed tests benefit others facing similar risks.

    • This collaborative approach fosters knowledge exchange, accelerates threat detection, and promotes a more resilient cybersecurity ecosystem.

In summary, threat-informed pen testing aligns defenses with specific threats, making organizations more proactive, resilient, and better equipped to face targeted cyberattacks.

Last updated