When you ask the question as to why my organization needs penetration testing, you may get a slew of reasons within a few seconds. In our earlier blog on ‘Coverage-Based Penetration Testing vs Depth-Based’, we touched upon the need for penetration testing and which type of pen testing will be suitable for the circumstance and organization. We also listed the different situations and scenarios in which you should perform a penetration test in another blog titled How often should a penetration test be done.
If you are an e-commerce company or an organization in highly regulated industries such as healthcare, banking, and service industries, then asking the question of why you need pentest is a non-starter. If you think that since you have never been hacked, your organization or its solution is not on the radar of bad threat actors, then it is just a matter of time that an organization’s data gets breached and by that point, it will be too late.
Pen testing is often referred to as ethical hacking or white-hat hacking, and may be approached with suspicion, however, conducting a penetration test can be leveraged to achieve an important security goal.
Here are five reasons why your organization needs penetration testing:
- Manage risk by defending against vulnerabilities and warding off threats, which have the potential to become actual events. This step needs to be addressed before cybercriminals have the time to get familiar with your application and exploit its weaknesses. In addition, if you are using third-party applications, outsourced services, or cloud-based services, then it is imperative to have pen testing done rather than to see it just as a need.
- Save on costs associated with recovery and remediation after a breach, which are almost always a fraction of what a thorough pen testing will cost. This cost may include the acquisition of tools/technologies like vulnerability scanners or dynamic application security scanners, and more often a third-party service provider. Yes, there is preparation, testing, and follow-ups after the testing has been completed, but a well-designed pen test, conducted by a professional penetration tester firm will be smooth, inexpensive, and hassle-free.
- Reduce chances of network and application downtime, leading to loss of productivity and availability. Nowadays, time equals money, so any loss of time due to such inactivity can cost companies and those affected millions of dollars. All this could quickly escalate to become an extremely expensive situation. According to Gartner, the average cost of IT downtime is about $5,600 per minute.
- Adhere to regulatory compliance and laws around security. Regulatory standards laid down in HIPPA, PCI-DSS, GDPR, SOC2, ISO 27001, and others require organizations to often do mandatory testing and audits of their security systems. By failing to do so, the company could be charged with hefty punitive fines.Fines will vary depending on where your company is based, but if you fall under GDPR regulations then you could be fined approximately $30 million or 4% of your company’s worldwide annual revenue of the previous financial year. Canada’s Bill C-11 may set the bar even higher with fines upwards of $25M or 5% Global Revenue; whichever is greater.
- Safeguard your organization’s reputation and holding onto your customer base, because all it takes is one security incident to impact your customer’s trust. Another factor is the loss of morale among the employees due to the breach or incident, which in most cases must be publicly reported and addressed. A tarnished organization loses customer trust very quickly, but one that has a solid security system and application, as well as a systems strategy in place, can go on to bid for projects or business and also seek cybersecurity accreditations as routine penetration testing is often a requirement for these accreditations and certifications.
One of the most important reasons however to get pen testing done could be to gain peace of mind, knowing that the applications, systems, and infrastructure have been tested for vulnerabilities. Performing these tasks and working with a pen test team that is thorough and diligent can help to protect your business and customers’ data, as well as contribute to business continuity.
Though pen testing is not as simple as shooting in the dark, it has a system, way, and process to it that works to uncovers weaknesses in your system, application, or infrastructure.
Threats are becoming more sophisticated and gaining more experience bypassing security controls with greater success and demanding higher ransoms day by day. If you’re interested in discussing why your specific organization may need a pentest, please contact us to schedule a meeting. Working together with your team, Packetlabs can shed light on the importance of conducting a pen test and apply our insights and experience that can guide you on having an advanced security strategy and build up your defences to tackle current, as well as future cyber risks.