At some point in the past several months, you’ve probably heard about at least a couple of high-profile security breaches on the news, and that’s completely normal, given the fact that more and more businesses are establishing an online presence. Due to this, hackers are jumping on to every opportunity they get to take advantage of unprotected businesses, and they’re developing new, and more sophisticated types of attacks. Having a firewall and anti-virus software is no longer enough to protect yourself, and you need a more advanced approach to security in order to test your resistance to cyber threats so that you can put in an effective defense mechanism and remediation strategy. This is where penetration testing comes into play.
A test penetration is a surefire way to evaluate the security level of your business, as it allows your system to be tested for vulnerabilities caused by software bugs, code mistakes, service configurations, insecure settings and operational weaknesses that potential hackers can exploit. Unlike real hacking, penetration tests are performed in a controlled and safe manner. A test penetration stimulates a real hacker attack in order to showcase the potential harm a malicious hacking attempt can cause. Further, you can decide about the scope and timing of the testing. Typically, penetration tests are performed right after deploying new applications or major changes to the infrastructure, such as patches, software upgrades, changes in firewall rules, etc.
As a result of penetration testing, you won’t have to go through the process of recovering from a security breach, which can cost thousands or even millions of dollars in regulatory fines, expenditures on customer protection programs and loss of business operability. That being said, penetration testing is a proactive solution for finding weaknesses in your IT systems so that you can prevent reputational and financial losses. Penetration tests are also essential for helping you asses your current security levels so that you can upgrade whenever necessary.
Besides financial losses, cyber attacks may compromise sensitive data, which can lead to loss of customers and as aforementioned, reputational damage. Penetration testing helps you avoid these costly security breaches that put your customers’ loyalty and your business’ reputation at stake. Penetration tests can be combined with vulnerability scans to provide you with an even better insight into your IT infrastructure’s potential breach points and vulnerabilities. In other words, pen tests are a realistic assessment of your business’s health and its resistance to malicious cyber attacks.