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Security Expertise + Passion for Quality Deliver Peace of Mind, Protect Revenue for Elsevier/SSRN


Social Science Research Network (SSRN), a division of Elsevier, asked ITX to help secure compliance with PCI requirements. Our team of testers incorporated a comprehensive assessment of the SSRN security environment. Through good old-fashioned ‘white hat’ hacking, we detected potential vulnerabilities, including instance tied to client revenue.

ITX’s Testing team, comprised of QA specialists, engineers/developers, and security analysts, performed a manual penetration test. No special technology applied, just thorough inquiry using well-established tools and techniques to pinpoint vulnerabilities and access points. The team then prepared a report summarizing our methodology and collaborated with the client on assessment, prioritization, and mitigation.

By prioritizing each threat to accelerate mitigation, we not only improved SSRN’s application security but also protected their revenue in the process.

Meet the Client.

Elsevier ($2.5B annual revenue) is the parent company of SSRN, formerly known as Social Science Research Network. SSRN is devoted to the rapid worldwide dissemination of research. Through continuous innovation, they focus on creating tools that enhance researcher workflow and productivity, building bridges to close the divide between the previously separate worlds and workflows of working papers and published papers.

Technical compliance projects are challenging….The final testing phase was particularly tough, but ITX did a brilliant job managing all the complexity. I was extremely impressed by how the team handled a critical infrastructure build that involved so many moving parts – and we’re delighted to have achieved PCI compliance with ITX’s expert help.

Michael Parsons,
Director of Product Management, SSRN


Provide compliance with a new PCI requirement by conducting penetration tests of SSRN’s application security environment. Capitalize on the opportunity to detect, report, and mitigate potential vulnerabilities. Reduce client risk and boost client confidence by identifying and prioritizing each threat to facilitate remediation or mitigation.


  • Confirm SSRN’s compliance with new Payment Card Industry (PCI) requirement.
  • Take advantage of the opportunity presented by the “pen test” to identify security vulnerabilities in SSRN’s application and system environment.
  • Establish and share with SSRN a formalized process for prioritizing unmitigated threats into their backlog.


  • ITX mobilized a team of highly experienced testers, drawn from four internal disciplines, to provide a 360-degree risk assessment of the client’s environment.
  • Our team of “white hat” hackers conducted a manual penetration test to detect vulnerabilities that automated scanners could not find.
  • We then populated the client’s backlog with a list of potential and active threats; our risk-based approach helped to prioritize remediation.


  • ITX’s team of ‘white hat’ hackers detected numerous potential threats, including one high-risk vulnerability. By prioritizing their mitigation, we not only improved SSRN’s security environment; we also helped them protect significant client revenue.
  • ITX went the extra mile by incorporating a comprehensive threat assessment into a PCI-required compliance test – boosting client confidence in their system security and in ITX as a strategic partner.

Let’s Talk.

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