What is Penetration Testing?
A Penetration Test, popularly known as pen testing, is a stress test of a business’ network and system conducted to unearth hidden vulnerabilities, security gaps and to check if the incident response mechanisms are performing optimally. With this kind of testing, it is possible to detect most potential exploitable vulnerabilities and even assess the level of threat (breach) each can pose. These tests are normally carried out by white hat or ethical hackers that specialize in breaking into systems and breaching organizational security. Pentesting could cover a wide range of attacks including physical attacks, social engineering, remote network attacks, and more hacking techniques. Companies often reach out to professional third-party service providers, such as IT Support Joplin, for their expertise in industrial security standards and their fresh, unbiased perspective on the company’s security. Penetration Testing is a critical tool in any company’s defense arsenal and is often a necessity to meet compliance requirements and security standards.
The goal of penetration testing is to reduce risk by identifying exploitable weaknesses before hackers
Hackers are always on the lookout for any loophole they can find in your organization’s security framework. Many hackers have taken to actively scanning for unpatched security gaps every time major security patches are released by large-scale software companies and exploit them. The goal of a penetration test is to reduce risk by identifying all potential weaknesses in an organization’s network that can be exploited. Once companies are aware of the vulnerabilities, they can start to patch them on an order of priority.
Regular penetration testing helps companies to:
● Identify any vulnerabilities before these can be exploited by hackers or other malicious parties
● Make necessary changes before an attack occurs to prevent and mitigate the impacts of an attack and minimize downtime
● Helps improve the security posture of business networks significantly through vulnerability management, risk analysis and implementation of network security best practices
Top 7 Reasons Why Every Business Needs Penetration Testing
You need to see your vulnerabilities
Beyond identifying the weaknesses in your network and applications, penetration testing can also help you see the loopholes, weaknesses, and risks in your security policies, procedures, and configurations. The exercise of penetration testing seeks to find out all possible ways a potential attacker can use to get access to the system or data from outside or inside an organization/company/business etc. Something as innocuous as connecting to the Internet on a device with outdated software or a weak password could potentially be an invite to viruses and malware of all kinds. Identifying systemic vulnerabilities helps companies take the necessary remedial measures before an actual security incident takes place.
Compliance is a major reason why the need for penetration testing is skyrocketing. Data privacy laws and security standards are now being strengthened the world over to counter the rising threat of massive cyberattacks including ransomware attacks and to ensure responsible data management to protect consumer data. This has resulted in more complex and evolving compliance requirements for companies to follow. Many of the common compliance standards require penetration testing by default including:
While ever-evolving compliance requirements may seem like a chore, it could potentially save your business from legal consequences and a loss of goodwill from customers down the path in case of a breach.
Reducing Remediation Cost
Depending on the nature of the vulnerability you have, the cost of remediation can be high. If you’re dealing with an unknown vulnerability or one that hasn’t been patched in years, it can take time to identify and fix it. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to fix a vulnerability, the costlier it becomes. This can cause problems for organizations that don’t have enough resources to keep up with the pace at which vulnerabilities are discovered and patched.
If you don’t know where to start when remediating vulnerabilities or, how much time each task will take, then you could end up spending too much time on non-essential tasks. This is a very common occurrence when teams don’t have enough experience working with specific products/software versions/operating systems etc.
Reducing Network downtime
Penetration testing is a proactive approach to finding vulnerabilities in your network. If you can find vulnerabilities before they are exploited, you can reduce downtime. You can also extensively cut down on the time required for incident response, which in turn reduces the cost of recovery. Information security Joplin would help you to reduce network downtime.
New Business Acquisitions
When a company acquires another business, it is important for them to conduct a penetration test on the newly acquired business. The reason for this is because the security standards of the two companies may be different. This may result in the presence of security risks that new management doesn’t know about in their newly acquired company. This could potentially result in sensitive information being leaked to hackers or other malicious entities. A penetration test can help nip the problem in the bud by identifying any vulnerabilities within your new business.
Better Security Awareness
By conducting a penetration test, an organization can perform a risk assessment by identifying and documenting all assets, the nature of information assets, and their value. This helps to determine what needs to be tested in order for you to identify vulnerabilities in your systems.
The results of a penetration test provide valuable information about weaknesses that might exist in your security structure. This may also reveal potential areas that are most likely susceptible to attack from hackers or malicious individuals who wish harm upon your organization’s data systems. With this knowledge at hand, it’s easier for organizations to create plans on how best to address these weaknesses so as not to lose vital information or sensitive records through theft or unauthorized access.
Long Term Security Road Map
Penetration testing is also used to help businesses develop a long-term security roadmap. While there are no magic bullets when it comes to IT security, many businesses lack the resources to continually update their defenses as new vulnerabilities and exploits are discovered all the time. New technologies and business initiatives can introduce new risks as well. Penetration testing helps identify these issues so that they can be prioritized for mitigation strategies before the threat becomes actualized. For more details, please refer to IT Consulting Joplin.