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Penetration Testing as a Service vs. PenTesting

By: Brittany Holmes, Corporate Communications Manager 

Penetration testing is a vital part of cybersecurity strategies for organizations, helping them identify vulnerabilities in their systems, networks, and applications. Organizations have relied on traditional penetration testing methods, where a team of experts conducts the tests on-site. However, with the rise of technology and cloud-based services, a new approach has emerged – Penetration Testing as a Service or PTaaS.   

This blog discusses the differences between conventional penetration testing and penetration testing as a service, comparing each method. By understanding the differences, organizations can make informed decisions when choosing the right approach for their security needs. 

What is Penetration Testing as a Service (PTaaS)? And how is it different? 

Penetration testing as a service is a revolutionary cybersecurity approach that is gaining popularity. Unlike traditional penetration testing methods, penetration testing as a service takes advantage of the cloud and offers on-demand accessibility, making the entire process more efficient and seamless.  

With penetration testing as a service, organizations can securely access the testing platform through the cloud, eliminating the need for manual setup and configuration of testing environments. This significantly speeds up the testing process and allows for greater scalability since the necessary resources can be easily allocated as needed. 

Additionally, penetration testing as a service employs automation and machine learning technologies to enhance the testing process. These technologies can assist with scanning for vulnerabilities, analyzing results, and even suggesting remediation steps. As a result, it can offer more accurate and comprehensive testing, saving time and effort for organizations. 

To further investigate what solution is best for your organization, let’s explore the differences:  

Who conducts the penetration test? 

Penetration Testing:  

Penetration tests are typically conducted by specialized cybersecurity professionals known as ethical hackers or penetration testers. These individuals have extensive knowledge and experience in identifying and exploiting security vulnerabilities. They follow a systematic approach to test the effectiveness of an organization’s security controls and identify areas where improvements are needed.  

Penetration Testing as a Service: 

Many organizations choose to engage in external penetration testing services provided by third-part services, such as Managed Detection and Response (MDR) providers. These providers have specialized expertise and access to advanced tools and techniques that can comprehensively assess an organization’s security posture. 

How long does a penetration test take? 

Penetration Testing:  

The duration of a penetration test can vary depending on the availability of resources and information, the test’s scope, or the target system’s complexity. On average, a penetration test can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks to complete.   

Penetration Testing as a Service:

With penetration testing as a service, the testing is run based on your convenience or when your team wants to schedule them. Moving penetration tests to ‘as a service’ eliminates needing someone to manually set up pen tests. Instead, they can be scheduled to run on a regular basis or when you want, allowing for consistent assessments and updates. This means the duration can be longer than a one-time conventional test, but it provides more comprehensive and up-to-date security coverage. 

Will there be communication between an organization and the penetration testers? 

Penetration Testing:

During a penetration test, the communication between the penetration testers and the internal team can vary based on the policies and procedures of the organization. In some cases, there may be little to no interaction between the two groups, with the penetration testers working independently and providing updates only to a designated point of contact, such as a project manager. 

Penetration Testing as a Service: 

Two options are offered: the organization runs the tests independently, or an MDR provider manages the tests through a Progressive Penetration Testing Program  

Utilizing an MDR provider allows for seamless and direct communication between internal teams and penetration testers throughout the project, resulting in a more streamlined process. By eliminating unnecessary mediators, the exchange of information becomes more efficient and effective. 

The close collaboration enables any friction or misunderstanding to be promptly addressed, clarified, and resolved during the penetration test. This not only ensures a smoother workflow but also allows for quicker resolution of any issues. 

Additionally, it provides a valuable opportunity for the organization’s employees to enhance their skills by working alongside penetration testers. By actively participating in the penetration testing process, they can gain valuable insights and knowledge, ultimately improving their capabilities in cybersecurity. 

When can I see the results? 

Penetration Testing:  

One of the significant limitations of traditional penetration tests is the delayed communication of results. Typically, the findings are only conveyed at the end of the tests. Consequently, potentially crucial vulnerabilities may remain unaddressed for extended periods, ranging from days to even weeks. 

Penetration Testing as a Service:   

When a penetration tester detects a vulnerability, the platform immediately notifies the organization. This real-time alert allows internal teams to address the issue promptly, even before the penetration test is complete. Organizations can deploy patches and test them against cybercriminals without the need for another round of testing.  

This continuous reporting system, coupled with the ability to collaborate with penetration testers, enables the organization’s IT team to gain valuable insights into the remediation of vulnerabilities. 

Penetration Testing as a Service vs. PenTesting 

Penetration testing as a service offers organizations an affordable and convenient solution for assessing their cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Organizations can quickly identify and mitigate potential threats with on-demand access to human-led penetration testing combined with automation. It also provides continuous monitoring and real-time reports for faster resolution. This approach ensures higher accuracy and data analytics and makes penetration testing more accessible and cost-effective compared to traditional methods. By illuminating potential risks, penetration testing as a service enables organizations to adopt effective defenses and enhance their security posture. 

Ultimately, the choice between penetration testing and penetration testing as a service depends on an organization’s unique needs and financial resources. Traditional penetration testing may be ideal for certain tasks, but it is crucial to assess the areas where assistance is needed and select the most appropriate option to meet the organization’s security requirements. 

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Finding the Best MDR Provider to Fit Your Needs

By: Brittany Holmes, Corporate Communications Manager 

The managed services sector has had a significant influence and has been a prominent trend in the mid-market cybersecurity industry for the past few years. The MDR market is projected to increase from $1.56 billion in 2023 to $6.29 billion by 2030. Managed services, such as Managed Detection and Response (MDR), Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP), and similar solutions, have emerged in response to the demand. The accelerated growth of the MDR market mainly comes from increasing cybersecurity threats, the adoption of cloud computing, the shortage of cybersecurity talent, and the increase of the Internet of Things (IoT).  

Last year, the global cost of a data breach was USD 4.45 million, which was a 15% increase over 3 years, according to IBM’s latest report. Due to this increase, organizations are investing in MDR services to help reduce their risk of attacks and irreputable damage. As a result, organizations seek a cybersecurity partner to provide all-inclusive cybersecurity services.  

With all the solutions out there, it can be challenging to decide on the right solution for your organization. In this blog, we go back to the basics and break down the different flavors of MDR solutions and what to look for in a provider.  

What is Managed Detection and Response (MDR)? 

It is important to understand MDR and the key aspects that differentiate MDR from traditional security services and its proactive approach to detecting, analyzing, and responding to potential cybersecurity threats. It differs from traditional security services and goes beyond solely relying on automated tools and includes human expertise to continuously monitor and investigate potential security incidents.  

Unlike traditional monitoring services, MDR does not only rely on alerts for incident response. It involves a team of skilled cybersecurity professionals who actively investigate and triage potential threats, providing an extra layer of expertise and context. These professionals work closely with organizations, leveraging their knowledge to understand the unique threat landscape and tailor response strategies accordingly.  

What sets MDR apart is the detection and response of threats. MDR provides a proactive approach that enables organizations to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, significantly reducing the risk of successful breaches. 

Breaking Down the Flavors of MDR 

When it comes to MDR providers, it’s important to recognize that not all MDRs are the same. While they all aim to provide businesses with the necessary tools and services to detect and respond to security threats, the capabilities and offerings can vary significantly.  

From the sources they pull security data from to the level of response services they provide, MDR providers differ in their approaches and focus areas. Understanding these differences is crucial for organizations looking to choose the right MDR provider that aligns with their specific needs and requirements. 

There are two broad classes of MDR providers: Pure-play MDR and managed endpoint or SIEM. 

#1 Pure-Play MDR 

This category of MDR service providers relies on a proprietary mix of third-party security tools and solutions, such as endpoint, SIEM, cloud access, or others, to collect logs and alerts. These providers use a customized technology stack, which their 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC) monitors. Most pure-play MDR providers cannot decouple their technology stack from their SOC service offerings. While effective at detecting and responding to threats, this closed-loop approach often limits their ability to offer co-management, work effectively with partners and customer providers, and leaves customers reliant on their SOC to provide reports.  

#2 Managed Endpoint (EDR) or SIEM  

Given the expertise and dedicated resources required to properly manage endpoint and SIEM solutions, many customers outsource management to an MDR or managed IT service provider. Over the last few years, leading providers now offer a managed service based on their core technology offering. This managed service provides updating and operations, detection investigation, and specific response services based on the capabilities of their core technology offering. 

What to Look for in an MDR Provider 

The capabilities and functions of MDR providers can seem overwhelming, so how do you choose one that makes sense for your organization and cybersecurity strategy? First, to ensure the protection of your organization, it is crucial to verify the efficiency of an MDR solution before investing in it. This means making sure that the capabilities fit your needs and understanding that not all solutions are created equally. Here is a list of considerations when evaluating: 

  • Coverage: What methods are used to provide the greatest visibility beyond the endpoint?  
  • Detection: What methods are used to identify threats? Are they applying machine learning or artificial intelligence to detect advanced threats?  
  • Investigation: Will they alert you when things seem malicious? Or do they investigate and confirm for you? Investigations are dependent on the available telemetry, and it is essential to clarify if the provider will investigate alerts or simply notify you. 
  • Response: What does the host containment look like? Do they isolate systems, preventing the spread? Or block network traffic? 
  • Remediation: What type of guidance and/or recommendations will you receive and in what method?  

There are several other factors to consider when choosing an MDR. For example, understanding the service level agreements and communication methods for incident response is crucial. For instance, can you access the same portal as the provider to stay updated on the incident? Can you directly interact with the security analyst to discuss the incident? Also, it is important to evaluate the provider’s reporting capabilities and determine if it is easy to extract the required information when needed. 

Finding the Right Solution  

Cybersecurity professionals have one of the toughest jobs protecting organizations from threats that are changing daily. To help, EDR vs. XDR vs. MDR: The Cybersecurity ABCs Explained breaks down the three primary threat detection and response solutions while giving you visuals to help find the right solution that fits your organization’s criteria.  

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4 Myths About MDR Security

By: Brittany Holmes, Corporate Communications Manager 

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) constantly search for ways to enhance their data protection and resilience against persistent cybercriminals. However, their security service providers frequently struggle to tackle advanced threats effectively and often don’t know where to start. This has led to a growing interest in Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solutions, which offer around-the-clock proactive defense for organizations with limited resources. As the threat landscape and MDR market continue to evolve, both Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) and customers are facing confusion and uncertainty.

In this blog, we debunk common myths surrounding MDR. Our team frequently hears these misconceptions and wants to provide you with the real insights and realities behind them. By dispelling these myths, we will help you understand MDR better and find the ideal solution for your needs.

Myth #1: MDR is too expensive

Fact: Many MDR providers scale to fit your needs in terms of tools and resources, which can be expensive and difficult to replicate internally.

There is a common misconception that MDR services are too expensive for most organizations to afford. However, it is important to consider the value and monetary savings that MDR can provide in the long run. While there is a cost associated with implementing MDR, it is essential to compare it with the alternative options of handling detection and response in-house or not addressing it at all.

When considering the economic situation and the need for budgetary constraints, it is crucial to note that cybercrime is projected to cost the global economy $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. This staggering amount represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history.  Specifically, ransomware is expected to be a major threat this year as access to powerful tools becomes increasingly easier and more affordable.

While building an in-house detection and response capability may be an option, it is important to recognize the advantages of partnering with an MDR service provider. These providers scale to fit your needs in terms of tools and resources, which can be expensive and difficult to replicate internally. In addition, it takes a considerable amount of time to establish an effective in-house detection and response capability, whereas MDR service providers can offer a turnkey solution that can be up and running in just 90 minutes.

It is important to note that while cost-effectiveness is a key factor, it is equally important to not simply go for the cheapest solution available. Choosing an MDR provider solely based on price may result in minimal level of service, limited capabilities, and insufficient telemetry.

Finding an MDR provider that strikes a balance between cost and capability ensures that your organization receives the highest level of protection and response.

Myth #2: Our existing solutions will protect us

Fact: New threats emerge daily that may go undetected or be missed by your existing cybersecurity measures, so it is important to have a 24×7 team in place, so nothing slips through the cracks.

Another common misconception is that having other cybersecurity measures in place makes MDR unnecessary. While these measures can offer some level of protection, they are insufficient to ensure complete security for your organization. This is because the landscape of cyber threats is constantly changing and evolving. New threats can emerge that may go undetected or be missed by your existing cybersecurity measures.

This is where MDR plays a crucial role. By continuously monitoring for dangers and providing real-time response, it offers an additional layer of protection that complements your existing security measures. It ensures that your organization is always defended against the full range of cyber threats. In addition, top-notch MDR services also include threat intelligence and human-led threat hunting, which enhances the effectiveness of threat detection. With MDR, you can be confident that your organization is receiving proactive protection against cyber threats.

Myth #3: “Our organization is too small for MDR”

Fact: SMBs are targeted by cybercriminals because they tend to have fewer resources and less robust cybersecurity measures in place.

Many believe that MDR is only essential for larger businesses and organizations that handle vast amounts of sensitive data. While it is true that larger businesses may face greater risks and potential reputational damage from cyberattacks, this does not mean that smaller businesses are immune to such threats. In fact, smaller businesses are frequently targeted precisely because they tend to have fewer resources and less robust cybersecurity measures in place.

For cybercriminals, smaller businesses become attractive targets due to their perceived vulnerabilities as cybercriminals search for easier, less-protected organizations. As a result, successful ransomware attacks can have devastating consequences for smaller organizations. The impact can be so catastrophic that it jeopardizes the very existence of these businesses, disrupting critical systems and processes.

However, MDR services can level the playing field and provide the same protection to small and medium-sized businesses as to their larger counterparts. By implementing MDR services, these organizations can ensure they are fully protected. MDR helps strengthen their cybersecurity defenses and safeguards their sensitive data, reducing the likelihood and severity of cyberattacks. 

Myth #4: MDR takes too long and is too difficult to set up

Fact: Adlumin’s Security Operations Platform takes 90 minutes to implement. 

While MDR may involve advanced technology, implementing it is not complicated. MDR providers, like Adlumin, offer support throughout the implementation process to ensure your organization achieves success. Implementing the Security Operations Platform and MDR is fast and effortless without requiring excessive IT resources or abandoning existing investments.

Adlumin’s platform is cloud-native and serverless, which means onboarding is simple, regardless of your architecture or technology. Our turnkey deployment allows organizations to establish powerful threat detection and response capabilities quickly and smoothly within a matter of minutes rather than months or years. Try a free two-week trial to see the value yourself.  

Advance Your Security with MDR

MDR services are a vital solution in today’s evolving threat landscape, offering around-the-clock proactive defense for organizations of all sizes. MDR is cost-effective in the long run compared to building an in-house capability and provides superior threat detection and mitigation. It complements existing cybersecurity measures, ensuring complete protection against evolving cyber threats. In addition, MDR is essential for SMBs that are frequently targeted by cybercriminals.

Despite the advanced technology involved, MDR implementation is quick and straightforward with the right provider. By partnering with a trusted MDR service provider like Adlumin, organizations can strengthen their security defenses, safeguard sensitive data, and know they are protected 24/7. 

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N-able Empower Conference

Join Adlumin during the N-able Empower Conference for three days of tailored experiences designed to inspire transformation and foster innovation.

  • Executive Leadership: Navigate unique challenges faced by leaders seeking to enhance enterprise value for their organizations. Topics cover defining and measuring success, differentiating strategies employed by the best, identifying emerging market opportunities, optimizing go-to-market models, leveraging growth levers, and effective team building.
  • Service Managers & Operations: Delve into issues pertinent to those shaping service packages and ensuring top-notch delivery. Topics include exploring market opportunities, learning from industry leaders, and addressing staffing considerations during scaling.
  • Technicians: Deepen your understanding and utilization of key technologies and products to achieve best-in-class performance. Topics cover in-depth exploration of key use cases, staying abreast of emerging technologies such as RPA and AI, and strategies for adding value to your organization.
  • Sales & Business Development Professionals: Challenge conventional wisdom to boost revenue and foster growth. Topics include innovative approaches employed by top MSPs to drive growth, effective measurement of success, and insights into building a successful sales team.

Dates: March 25-28, 2024
Location: Omni PGA Frisco Resort, Frisco, TX


Adlumin Appoints Jessvin Thomas as Chief Product Officer

Cybersecurity Leader from Barracuda Networks, Blackstone Group and Optiv Steers Product and Service Development for Burgeoning Security Operations Platform and MDR Provider

WASHINGTON – November 15, 2023Adlumin, the security operations platform and managed detection and response (MDR) provider keeping mid-market organizations secure, today announced that it hired Jessvin Thomas as its first chief product officer (CPO). With more than two decades of experience scaling cybersecurity teams, products and managed service offerings at organizations including Barracuda Networks, Optiv and Blackstone Group, Thomas will lead Adlumin’s product and services teams to continue developing innovative offerings that solve critical security needs for its customers and channel partners.

“Adlumin is growing rapidly because we’ve figured out how to bring sophisticated cybersecurity technology and expertise to a massive swath of the market that couldn’t access it before. As we mature and scale, adding another proven leader like Jessvin to our executive team will enable us to accelerate growth even more,” said Robert Johnston, CEO and co-founder of Adlumin. “Jessvin has the perfect combination of expertise to lead our product and services organizations through the next phase of growth. He’s been extremely successful in building security products and teams, delivering security services, and working hand-in-hand with channel partners. We couldn’t ask for a better fit.”

Prior to joining Adlumin, Thomas founded Cyber iSight, a SaaS platform to help virtual chief information security officers (vCISOs) improve security programs and the security  posture of mid-market companies. As part of his new role, he’ll apply these concepts towards advancing Adlumin’s mission of helping mid-market companies protect themselves and improve their security capabilities.

Before founding Cyber iSight, Thomas was senior vice president and chief technology officer at Barracuda SKOUT Managed XDR. Thomas joined Barracuda Networks in 2021 after its acquisition of SKOUT Secure Intelligence, where he was President and CTO and led the company through the successful acquisition and integration with Barracuda. Before SKOUT, Thomas held leadership roles at Optiv including VP and GM of managed security services, and VP and GM of next generation security orchestration analytics. He was also VP at The Blackstone Group where he implemented world class security operations for the company, developed repeatable programs to extend to Blackstone’s portfolio of companies, and helped identify seed and Series A investment opportunities in technology startups.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate throughout my career to work with some of the most respected and forward-looking organizations in business and cybersecurity, and joining Adlumin is another step in that journey,” said Jessvin Thomas, CPO at Adlumin. “It’s an exciting time to be joining an organization that’s having such a profound impact on improving cybersecurity for a massive segment of the market that needs it now more than ever before.”

Thomas joins Adlumin following several major milestones, including the close of a $70 million funding round that will enable the company to accelerate its aggressive growth. The company was also recently ranked among the top 10% of America’s fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine, earned a spot on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500™, and was named to The Information’s 50 Most Promising Startups list for 2023.

For more information on Adlumin’s security operations platform and MDR services, visit

About Adlumin

Adlumin Inc. provides the enterprise-grade security operations platform and managed detection and response services that keep mid-market organizations secure. With one license and one platform, Adlumin’s patented technology and seamless integrations provide everything organizations need for effective threat hunting, incident response, vulnerability management, darknet exposure monitoring, compliance support, and more. Adlumin is feature-rich enough for organizations with in-house expertise to operate independently, yet purpose-built to enhance collaboration with and provide full, real-time visibility from trusted service providers.

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Adlumin Contact:

Mike Reilly
fama PR for Adlumin

FutureCon Boston

FutureCon Boston offers advanced security training, addressing cutting-edge security strategies and risk management in the dynamic landscape of cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is no longer just an IT problem, and FutureCon Boston helps you gain the knowledge you need to secure computing environments from advanced cyber threats.

The event features:

  • Discussions with C-level executives who have successfully mitigated the risks of cyber attacks.
  • Educating C-suite executives and CISOs about the global cybercrime epidemic and building Cyber Resilient organizations.

Attendees can demo the newest technology, interact with security leaders, and stay informed about pressing topics in the information security community.

Date: November 30, 2023
Location: Boston, MA

Integration Partners

Enhance your cybersecurity with Adlumin’s integrated approach, consolidating security telemetry from diverse sources. Gain deeper insights into alerts, optimize IT workflows, maximize the value of your existing security investments, and detect threats by aggregating signals across endpoints, networks, cloud, email, and identity.

Schedule a Platform Demo

Improve your security posture in 90 minutes or less with Adlumin’s Security Operations Platform, achieving comprehensive visibility into endpoints, users, and perimeter. Explore the platform today!