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Application Security

How Human Testers Improve Application Security

HackerOne Blog - Human security testers

More software is being developed and deployed than ever before. Agile and continuous delivery have become nearly ubiquitous practices, enabling teams to push updates and improvements in real-time - 41% of teams are now deploying daily or multiple times per day, as reported in GitLab’s 2022 Global DevSecOps Survey

A suite of DevSecOps tools is available to automate reviews, audits, tests, and scans throughout the development pipeline, which have become standard in application security testing. GitLab’s survey also found 68% of ops teams have completely or mostly automated their software development lifecycle processes.

Deployment demands have put pressure on organizations to integrate security analysis and testing throughout their SDLC without slowing down. Automation tools fit these needs well, especially static scanning tools that easily provide exhaustive results faster than any human could. But there are fundamental limitations to the types of vulnerabilities and weaknesses that can be found solely with scanning software or automated tests.

Human testers - recon specialists, ethical hackers, pentesters, and code reviewers - can be a boon to your SDLC. While automated testing tools are excellent at scaling to find known patterns, humans spot unknown vulnerabilities and process flaws.

What Automation Misses

All automated testing tools are limited to finding what they are programmed to find. Automated scanning covers a massive number of known vulnerabilities and bad coding practices. But the real risk your organization needs to prepare for is the unknown vulnerabilities that simply can’t be found with such tools.

Organizations following all the standard practices for security testing are surprised by how quickly HackerOne’s human security experts uncover vulnerabilities missed by traditional tools and testing. Nearly 85% of bug bounty programs uncover at least one high or critical vulnerability.


For more on how HackerOne helps reduce cybersecurity risk across the SDLC, read our How Human Testers Improve Application Security infographic.

HackerOne Infographic - How Human Testers Improve Application Security
HackerOne’s platform delivers the ingenuity of human testers, who outperform and surpass the limitations of automation, directly to your developers through integrations with common SDLC tools for vulnerability reporting and remediation.