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Types of Penetration Tests, Costs, and More

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Types of Penetration Tests, Costs, and More


How to Budget for Penetration Testing: Types of Penetration Tests, Costs, and More

One of the best ways to ensure that your systems are safe from attack is to invest in penetration testing.

In this article, we will discuss how to budget for penetration testing and the different factors that will affect the overall cost. The cost of penetration testing can seem daunting, but it’s important to remember that the price of not doing it could be much higher. The article will also mention the factors that influence its pricing of it.

How To Budget For Penetration Testing

Hiring an external consultant to perform a comprehensive test can easily run into thousands of dollars, not to mention smaller internal tests which can cost several hundred dollars.

For example, if you are testing the security of a web-based shopping cart system, you will want to consider the cost of losing customer data or having the system hacked. You will also want to take into account the complexity of your system and the level of testing you require. A simple test for a small system may only cost a few hundred dollars, while a more complex test for a large system can go beyond thousands quickly. 

Ultimately, the key is to balance pen testing cost against the potential cost of not performing the test. By taking these facets of budgeting into account, you can ensure that you create an appropriate budget for penetration testing and maintaining a robust security program.

Types of Penetration Testing And The Costs Associated With Them

There are several different kinds of penetration tests that are commonly used to check the security of websites and other types of computer systems. One of the most popular methods is known as a black-box test, in which testers attempt to gain access to the target system without having any prior knowledge about its architecture or configuration. 

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A white box test, by contrast, involves testers who already have this information, and use their understanding of how the system works to find flaws in its security. Both of these penetration testing techniques can be costly, depending on factors such as the size and complexity of the target application. 

However, companies that are serious about cyber security often find that these tests are well worth the investment. Not only do they help to ensure a higher level of protection for sensitive data, but they also allow organizations to receive valuable feedback and insights from experts in the field. As such, all website owners should consider incorporating penetration testing as part of their regular maintenance workflow.

Simply put, Blackbox testing costs around $500 – $1000 and  Whitebox around $2000 – $5000.

How To Reduce Cost Of Penetration Testing Without Compromising Quality Or Security

If you are worried about the cost of penetration testing, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the price without compromising on quality or security. 

  • One way to do this is to focus on specific areas of your website or application that are most vulnerable to attack. By focusing on these areas, you can drastically narrow down the scope of the test and save money. 

  • Another way to reduce costs is to perform penetration testing regularly. By making it part of your routine security workflow, you can avoid the need for costly one-time tests. 

  • Finally, you can also save money by using open source tools for penetration testing, which are often just as effective as their commercial counterparts.

Factors That Can Affect The Overall Price of a Penetration Test

A multitude of factors can influence the overall costs of penetration tests, some of them are-

  • The primary influencing factor is the size and along with it, the complexity of your security system. A more complex system will take longer to test and, as such, will be more expensive. 

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  • The second factor is the level of detail that you require. A basic test will be less expensive than a comprehensive one, but it may not give you the same level of insight. 

  • Another factor to be kept in mind is the number of testers you need. If you have a large team of testers, you can expect to pay more for the service. 

  • Finally, the geographical location of your penetration testing provider can also play a vital Role.

Conclusion

Penetration testing is a vital part of any cyber security program. By understanding the different types of tests and their associated costs, you can ensure that you budget appropriately for this important service. In addition, by taking steps to reduce the cost of penetration testing, you can maintain a high level of security without breaking the bank



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TECHNOLOGY

Einstein, Empathy and AI

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Einstein, Empathy and AI


Albert Einstein once said: “The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty and Truth.”

Kindness, beauty and truth. You don’t often hear these words in the digital world. How do we integrate these life essentials in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, edge computing, internet of things (IoT) and data at scale? Technology, after all, makes things less personal, right?

One company is working hard to disprove this assumption. Not only that, they have a direct tie to Einstein himself.

A hundred years after Einstein shared his views about human existence, NVIDIA is on a path to connecting kindness, beauty and truth with AI as it explores the human qualities of inference, context and nuance in supportive technologies. As for the famous scientist with the wild white hair, NVIDIA has proven he was right about his prediction of gravitational waves, which can now be seen by astronomers for the first time at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

This makes sense. After all, NVIDIA has powered 352 out of 500 of the world’s supercomputers.

NVIDIA has long been known for gaming technologies – it invented the graphics processing unit (GPU) in 1999, triggering the steep growth of the gaming market (much to the chagrin of many parents everywhere) with superior computer graphics and intuitive AI.

Chances are you’ve touched NVIDIA’s tech some time along your day today. Since its launch in 1993, it has been the “AI engine” for thousands of companies, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Alibaba, Tencent, Pinterest, PayPal, Snap and Spotify. The full-stack computer company fuels data center-scale computing solutions with the help of some 20,000 employees in more than 50 countries.

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GPU-powered AI solutions impact critical insights needed for businesses to make better decisions, improve customer service and reduce fraud. The technology is particularly impactful in financial services where around 80% of firms are using artificial intelligence to improve services. NVIDIA’s State of AI in Financial Services 2022 Trends Report reveals that 8 of 10 financial firms are using AI to reduce the estimated $5 trillion in global fraud each year and that conversational AI is being used to mimic customer service representatives in self-service chatbots and call center virtual agents by many banks. AI-led recommendation systems are delivering hyper-personalized experiences to bank customers by giving personalized recommendations.

Conversational AI, however, is where GPU technology can make a significant difference. To date, it has often been seen as deeply flawed by many people, myself included.

Tell me if this sounds familiar. You call a company hoping to resolve an issue. Its AI-driven customer service agent answers in a monotone voice. Soon thereafter, the exchange goes off the rails. You’re asking if they have a product in stock and the agent is asking if you want to make a return. Finally, you request a live agent. I’ve gotten lost in the digital loop of big companies when connecting with a real human being is akin to hitting the jackpot.

What’s missing? From moment one, it’s empathy.

Just to be on the same page, Merriam Webster defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

Feeling understood by another is the point of NVIDIA’s article “May AI Help You? Square Takes Edge Off Conversational AI With GPUs”, which explores AI’s unique potential for going beyond the facts, entering the realm of “sympathetic listening.”

As more companies adopt conversational AI, empathy plays a larger role in the customer experience – and, ultimately, growth factors like profitability, customer retention and brand equity. According to Zendesk, 81% of consumers say a positive customer service increases the chances of them making another purchase. AI is more than taking care of business. Customers want to feel good about the exchange and not like a “number.” They want a kinder, more memorable touch point that resolves their real problem and makes them feel “seen.”

Can digital assistants and digital agents get us there?

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With the help of NVIDIA, the popular payment platform Square is making progress. You could say NVIDIA invented one of AI’s greatest solutions – the GPU. The company’s article points out that Square’s tech team “started training AI models at Eloquent on single NVIDIA GPUs running CUDA (a programming interface) in desktop PCs.” Eloquent is an NLP startup acquired by Square in 2019. In addition to the GPU enabled desktop stations, large model training jobs were run on NVIDIA GPUs in the AWS cloud service.  The results were impressive on both training and inference fronts. In particular, Square found “inference jobs on average-size models run twice as fast on GPUs than CPUs. Inference on large models such as RoBERTa run 10x faster on the AWS GPU service than on CPUs.”

Progress? Listen to this: Merritt writes that “Square Assistant can understand and provide help for 75 percent of customer’s questions, and it’s reducing appointment no-shows by 10 percent.”

Trust takes so much time to build. One poor experience breaks it immediately. In an ideal world, our conversations with others are fluid as long as the level of service meets our satisfaction. When an experience falls short, the ramifications interrupt our perception of a brand or worse.

Like New Year’s Eve 2021 when I made a large payment to my house remodeler via check. I sent the check a week ahead to ensure it can be processed before the end of the year. My bank texted me to confirm my identity. I verified that the payment was legit. More than an hour later and seven – SEVEN – transfers from one digital assistant to another and then to a live agent later, the issue was finally resolved. By that time, however, it was already the new year.  As a small business owner, that one day delay had implications on taxes and a supplier’s revenue. 

Many consider Einstein as a great scientist, but I think of him as a great thinker. He understood the power of the human touch. In one essay, he wrote: “When we survey our lives and endeavors we soon observe that almost the whole of our actions and desires are bound up with the existence of other human beings.”

When AI understands the nuances of language, we will have taken the next big leap. Intuitive, empathetic AI is upon us. The question is: will it inspire greater kindness, beauty and truth for those who use it?

Explore NVIDIA’s AI solutions and enterprise-level AI platforms driving the future of financial services. 



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