For the past few years, data breaches have dominated media headlines and have put numerous, otherwise healthy businesses at great risk. Due to the progressive increase in the complexity of security issues, cyber criminals are coming up with more sophisticated methods of attack every day. It is important to understand that just because your business has anti-virus and firewalls in place does not mean that your business is protected from an attack. With advancements in technology, the approach that cyber criminals choose to employ is also evolving. As a result, organizations of all sizes need to hire a comprehensive penetration testing company to develop effective defense mechanisms and security strategies from the ground up.
In order to test if a hacker can gain unauthorized access to a business, professional penetration testing services are an absolute must. Summarized below, are a few reasons why businesses need penetration testing:
Identify System Vulnerabilities Before They Are Exploited
An experienced police officer knows how to think like a criminal. Their unique skill set allows them to stop and, ideally, prevent crime before it happens by the careful identification of patterns in their environment through years of vetted experience. Similarly, penetration testers (ethical hackers), know how hackers think and operate. The ideal method to conduct a security check, on your own software app, iOS device or infrastructure is to analyze how it can be hacked or exploited. With the aid of penetration testing expertise, an organization can test a system’s resistance to external attacks. Penetration testing itself replicates the actions of a real hacker by attempting to exploit any issues in the system caused by functional weaknesses, code errors, or software bugs.
The main difference between a penetration test and a real-world hacking experience is the former is conducted in a safe and controlled effort. While it effectively simulates a real attack scenario and exposes all vulnerabilities, it is free of any potential harm that a malicious attack may inflict. To get the most out of a pentest, an organization must pre-define its scope, the timing of the pentest and provides feed back to the testers as to how it prefers to be informed of all vulnerabilities discovered. Ideally, organizations would be very wise to carry out penetration testing before or after the deployment of any new infrastructure. This process can help a business in identifying and validating potential security issues found in the IT systems before they’re exposed to the internet.
Development of Efficient Security Procedures
The results disclosed from a penetration test are invaluable when assessing the current security posture of any IT system. They help in providing IT leadership with integral information about the system’s functioning and performance. Penetration testers will provide a list of recommendations, ordered by risk level/priority level, regarding the remediation efforts necessary to close out identified vulnerabilities. From here, organizations may develop a remediation plan, prioritizing the future cybersecurity investments in sync with testing results. This allows a business to get the most security that their time, effort and finances allow. In this sense, penetration testing becomes a very cost-effective solution in the long term.
Ensure Compliance with Security Standards within Your Organization
By now, there should be little question regarding how important penetration testing is with respect to protecting a business and its most valuable assets from potential intruders. The benefits of a performing a pen test impact all of the infrastructure and data security concerns for any organization, regardless of size. For example, the PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security) standard requires all organizations handling large volumes of transactions to conduct regular penetration testing on at least an annual basis. Additionally, the comprehensive reports provided from pen testing will help organizations to enhance their security controls and ensure their most sensitive information is protected.
We can conclude that penetration testing is a must for all organizations of all sizes. Whether it is a medium-sized business or a large-scale enterprise, the value of a penetration test cannot be questioned.
For more information regarding penetration testing, or to learn more about how we can help, contact us.