Self-service platforms, IoT applications, and other technological advancements have made life easier for small businesses. On the flip side, these advancements have also opened up endpoints for cyber adversaries to target as they seek ways to access critical business information. Cybercrime can be incredibly costly and damaging to organizations, with one report stating it’s expected to cost businesses $10.5 trillion by 2025.
The good news is there’s a way to identify vulnerabilities in your systems or software before a bad actor can exploit them. Intriguingly, it involves testing your business defenses from the perspective of a hacker. If you’ve spent some time shoring up your company’s defenses, make sure to validate their effectiveness through penetration testing.
What is penetration testing?
Otherwise known as ethical hacking or white-hat hacking, penetration testing is performed by a group of cybersecurity experts. These trained professionals conduct attacks on a company’s network and systems to find loopholes in their security. They use the same tools and techniques that real hackers use to identify vulnerabilities that IT professionals may have overlooked during deployment. Once you know the weaknesses in your system, you can address them before an incident occurs.
4 Reasons to Invest in Penetration Testing
Security breaches are prevalent in every industry, and trends indicate that these threats won’t go away soon. As such, organizations should invest in penetration testing to keep prying eyes away from their sensitive data and other confidential information. Today, businesses of all sizes can benefit from penetration tests, especially considering the financial impact of data breaches.
Here are the top four benefits penetration testing can provide to your company:
1. Build Effective Security Defenses
The results of a penetration test can give your organization’s top management a bird’s eye view of exploitable security weaknesses, their root cause, and their potential impact on your system’s performance and functioning. Plus, an experienced pen testing team will also share a list of recommendations for their timely mitigation and assist you in developing an effective cybersecurity posture.
Pen testing teams use some of the world’s most renowned methodologies while carrying out tests, including OWASP, NIST SP800-115, and PTES. Although the actual test may be conducted using automated tools, the core of the process relies on the professional knowledge and manual decision-making of penetration testers. As such, penetration testers can prove effective for bolstering your company’s security defenses.
2. Reduce Network Downtime
Penetration testing is a proactive way to detect the biggest vulnerabilities in your company network and protect your business from serious reputational and financial losses. Penetration testing methods such as white box pen testing can help you gain insights regarding your system or network, like schema, OS details, IP address, and source code. You can use these to spot typographical errors, check for errors in app design, and verify the logical decisions with true/false values so that you can ensure business continuity by attaining improved security for your network.
3. Comply with Security Regulations
If you store credit card information, medical information, personally identifiable information, or are a service partner of any organization that does, there are compliance requirements you must meet. Conducting penetration tests to harden your systems is one of the key requirements. If you’re looking to obtain PCI compliance, for instance, you’ll want to consider doing an application and a network penetration test. Likewise, penetration testing is a mandatory step for operating to a standard like ISO/EUC 27001.
Additionally, cyber liability insurance providers might have a prerequisite that you conduct a penetration test before applying a policy, or they might give a reduced premium if you regularly conduct pen tests.
4. Mature Your Security Environment
When an organization matures its security environment, they gain a substantial competitive advantage compared to other enterprises within the same sector. Ordering a penetration test shows that you take the integrity of your systems seriously and want to ensure your customers and clients are safe using your offerings.
Consistent penetration testing shows that you are relentlessly working toward deploying the best protection possible, making customers feel good about doing business with you.
Pen Test Today to Avoid Repercussions Tomorrow
Penetration testing gives us peace of mind, but that doesn’t always mean it’s simple to carry out. Fortunately, organizations without relevant expertise can tap into a managed IT services provider to conduct pet tests on their systems. An MSP (managed service provider) has partnerships with information security vendors who give them access to the latest resources and support that an in-house team won’t have. If you want to hire an MSP to identify any weak spots in your security implementations, get in touch with us today.