Change the Way You Use (and Pay For) Penetration Testing

For a couple of years now, we have been offering our managed service and menu-based service clients flat rate options for all kinds of penetration testing, assessments and application security. By far, though, the best received and most popular service is our focal point penetration testing service. Let me share with you a situation I had with a client we’ll call “Joe”.

Joe is a 38 year old IT manager for a financial services company. He has been with the organization for more than 6 years and is a hard worker who is known around the company as a “get things done” kind of guy. Joe, like all IT managers today, is facing a cutback in his security staff and is struggling to keep up with the ever-changing threats, vulnerabilities and regulatory landscape that his company faces. He has been a MicroSolved client for several years and we have great rapport.

Joe’s problem is that his once a year penetration testing is just not working. The huge snapshot of his environment doesn’t maintain relevance for long as his staff struggles to respond to the findings and attack the problems that are identified in an overall manner. That’s when Joe comes to me to discuss his issues.

Joe and I spend a couple of hours talking about the problems he is facing and we quickly find a HUGE solution to his problem. Joe and the MSI team break up his IT environment into 4 functional slices. Instead of doing one big penetration test, once per year, we begin to test 1/4 of his environment every quarter. That allows his team to focus on a specific set of his environment for improvement during a given quarter and makes it very easy for him to create measurable security improvements in those targets. This gives him the ammunition he needs to provide continual improvement metrics to his upper management. From the MSI side, it makes the task smaller and faster for our team, and while the human engineer factor is slightly higher since we have to do setup and manual parts 4x, the difference is not really large. We extend terms to Joe’s company that allows him to pay for this service in low monthly payments over the term of the agreement. This makes the security bill from MSI easy to plan for and manage.

This was a couple of years ago. Joe is now approaching the big 4-0 and has been with his company more than 8 years. When we talked last week, Joe renewed his agreement with MSI for FIVE YEARS! He could not say enough about the work that we do with them, how the subscription approach to penetration testing has helped him and how grateful his board is for us letting them create a menu of services (including subscriptions for assessments and pen-testing) and split the cost INTEREST FREE over the five year term!

Joe is one happy client and at MSI that is exactly what we are all about. I love that our team has worked with clients to “get creative” about security problems. We deliver quality reports, do a lot of the heavy lifting for our clients and are always looking for new ways to help them be more successful with our services. Joe has learned just what that can mean to an organization and how my team can even “think outside the box” when it comes to payment terms and contracts. All around, Joe and MSI both have found a win-win relationship doing business together.

Subscription-based, line of business or segment of IT environment, focused penetration testing. It truly, in my opinion, is the future of security assessments. If you would like to discuss just such a solution, drop me a comment, email or tweet (@lbhuston) or feel free to call 614-351-1237 and talk to one of our account managers. We would love to help you get more from your security budget and find creative ways to make security better and more affordable for your organization too!

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