Pen testing: Standing out from the crowd

The average cost of a data breach increased by 2.6% in 2022 to $4.4m. What’s more, with the rapid transition to the cloud, the rise in remote and hybrid work over the past two years, as well as the ever-growing popularity of IoT, the likelihood of a breach occurring is also continuing to increase.

Due to this, organisations need to continuously understand who and what is connecting to their network, who has access to what, and what vulnerabilities they could be at risk of as a result.

There are a number of different solutions available to help organisations with vulnerability management, network visibility, but one method that continues to grow in momentum is penetration testing.

Why pen testing?

According to MarketsandMarkets, the global penetration testing market size is expected to almost double from an estimate value of 1.4 billion USD in 2022 to 2.7 billion USD by 2027. But what’s driving the growth?

Meticulous Research suggests that this forecast is based on an increase in the need to identify cybersecurity threats and risks across enterprise networks, a growing demand for web application firewalls, as well as an adherence to regulations which call for the use of pen testing services, such as GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018, as well as PCI DSS.

How important is it?

When worried about their cybersecurity posture, often organisations tend to add solution upon solution within their security stack hoping that doing so will help them remain compliant with the various regulations mentioned above and ensure they are not breached by adversaries. However, with so many high-profile data breaches hitting the news headlines – recent examples including password manager LastPass and HR firm Sequoia – are the solutions organisations deploy doing enough?

While security solutions such as vulnerability scans and assessments have their place, according to cybersecurity firm, Secureworks, they’re nowhere near as successful without their counterpart – pen testing – which “attempts to identify insecure business processes, lax security settings, or other weaknesses that a threat actor could exploit” and, importantly, involves human third-party experts to carry out the tests.

Raising awareness for pen testing organisations

With all this buzz around pen testing as a key part of an organisation’s security arsenal, it’s possible we’ll see more vendors offering those solutions, putting a focus, and perhaps even budget, on marketing themselves as the pen testing partner of choice.

So, as a pen testing company, how can you maintain your brand awareness, build trust amongst your existing and potential customers, and make sure you stand out from the competition?

Below are a few tips that may help:

Stay consistent and on message.

When attention is cast on a certain solution in the market, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the marketing hype and try to be the loudest voice in a crowd of offerings. However, being the loudest doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be the most liked. When engaging in conversations online or through your content, it’s so important to stick to your own USP(s) and core values – the right customer will align with those.

Offer educational resources.

Again, although it’s tempting to jump into every loosely relevant conversation just because your competitor is there, before you share content or thoughts, take a step back and consider whether you’re adding anything meaningful to the conversation, whether those customers you’re looking to reach will find what you’re sharing helpful.

Use research and data to position yourselves as experts.

While reactive commentary on what is going on in the news or what others are saying has its place, when trying to build a positive reputation and position yourselves as a trustworthy source and potential partner, providing relevant, unique data stemming from your own research and expertise can be invaluable in leading the conversation and standing out as a company that lives and breathes its own offering.

Invest in a specialist B2B technology PR agency.

If you see your competition leading conversations around pen testing in the media, the likelihood is they have a dedicated PR agency on hand to connect them with the right contacts, advise on what thought leadership and research to put out into the market, and drive an overall brand awareness strategy. While the above considerations might get you some of the way, having a PR partner who knows the industry inside and out can give you the support and expertise you’re missing.

Protecting reputation following a breach

Whilst there are a number of brilliant security solutions available on the market, data breaches are occurring incredibly regularly, and the cost they can entail for an organisation is only continuing to grow.

Cybersecurity firms that offer incident response are vital when an organisation has been breached as they offer information on the extent of the incident, help to manage its immediate impact, and also work to increase security across the network. What’s more, pen testing firms are often brought in on a regular basis in an attempt to ensure the same doesn’t happen again.

However, despite every effort to contain the breach and recover from its losses, a loss in customer trust and loyalty, and overall brand reputation, can take even longer to recover. While some companies may have communications teams to provide guidance on how to communicate to customers, how to respond to media inquiries, or how to get back to business as usual – not every organisation has that luxury.

This is where having a reputation management team on hand is invaluable. Having a group of experts to bring in an objective, third-party view, provide support with messaging to customers and other external or internal stakeholders, as well as advise on how to respond to journalists or communicate on social media, can be the difference between a well-handled response or a full-blown PR crisis.

If you’re a cybersecurity vendor looking to grow your media presence or an organisation who needs guidance on how to manage your brand following a data breach, reach out to our team today.

Get in touch with the team