Our last blog outlined what is penetration testing and what it entails. However, performing a penetration test can be a costly and daunting task for your organization, giving someone permission and on some occasions sensitive information, to hack into your networks and systems can be risky. Even if the intention is to improve your security measures and identify vulnerabilities, mistakes can occur during testing. Not all penetration testing companies work with the same standards, increasing the inherent risk in carrying out a test on your organization. This is why making sure the company providing the penetration test is highly accredited is important to your organization.
CREST accreditation is well established as a ‘stamp of approval’ for a high-quality penetration, this article aims to shed light on the CREST accreditation and how it differentiates penetration testers.
Who is CREST?
The Council for Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) is an international not-for-profit accreditation and certification body which represents and supports the technical information security market. CREST provides internationally recognised accreditation for organisations and professional level certification for individuals who provide penetration testing and other services such as cyber incident response, threat intelligence and Security Operations Centre (SOC) service.
What does it take for an organization to get CREST certified?
To achieve CREST accreditation, companies must undergo a rigorous assessment of business processes, data security and security testing methodologies. Each and every company that is a member of CREST is required to submit policies, processes and procedures relating to their chosen cybersecurity service to CREST so that they can carry out an assessment. Once a company gets CREST accredited their journey doesn’t stop there, they are required to maintain accreditation via an ongoing process, with member companies reapplying once every year, with a full reassessment every three years. Also each member company is required to commit to a binding and enforceable code of conduct, which also takes into consideration resolving complaints from clients.
Why choose CREST accredited companies?
By choosing a CREST accredited company for your penetration testing needs, your organization is put into safe hands. The CREST certification ensures that testing will be carried out with the highest legal, ethical and technical standards in mind. Companies that are CREST certified follow best practice when it comes to key areas during a penetration test such as reconnaissance, scanning, gaining access and maintaining access.
Here's how your organization is guaranteed to gain value from the following benefits:
Highly Trained Penetration Testers
CREST registered or certified penetration testers are required to pass a number of complex exams to prove that their skill, knowledge and competence is up to the highest standard and must re-sit them every three years. CREST pen testers also have to complete between 6,000 hours (CREST-registered) and 10,000 hours (CREST-certified) of regular and frequent professional experience.
Increase in customer assurance
Customers often ask organizations to demonstrate how safe and secure their data is in their possession. By getting a CREST accredited penetration tester you are assuring your customers that you are taking security seriously and ensuring that their data is being secured by globally accepted best practices. Your organization may also benefit from the commercial advantage gained by working with CREST accredited penetration testers.
Assists with regulatory compliance
Many information security requirements like ISO 27001, NIST Framework or PCI DSS may specify directly or indirectly that a penetration test is required. CREST accreditation is supported by these regulatory frameworks for information security and can therefore help with your organization’s compliance efforts.
Globally accepted accreditation
The CREST accreditation is globally recognized and accepted, making it a valid certification no matter where your organization is located in the world. This makes it easy to assure your overseas customers that you are certified and credible when it comes to information security. If you were to choose a company that wasn’t CREST certified or a certification locked to a single region like Australia, your overall outcomes and credibility may suffer.
The rate at which the threat landscape is evolving is so rapid that only the very best expertise can adapt to it. By choosing to enlist the services of a CREST accredited penetration tester, you are ensuring that he or she’s knowledge is up to date. As mentioned before CREST accredited testers or organizations are certified periodically, CREST also provides their member companies with constant updates, workshops and events on the environment of technical information assurance.
Looking to identify the vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity setup? StickmanCyber's penetration testing services brings in CREST ANZ registered testers to comb through your systems, identify possible gaps, and prepare a comprehensive list of action items to mitigate risks.
Ready to proactively take charge of your cybersecurity. Book a penetration test today!