As businesses shift their operations online, it has become more imperative than ever for companies to ensure their networks are safe. They should proactively seek out vulnerabilities and then take measures to resolve them. This will minimize the chances of attacks, which can result in downtime, data loss, and a damaged reputation.
Security breaches do not occur just in large businesses. Even small and medium-sized businesses are vulnerable. In fact, they are more vulnerable as they do not have the right resources to prevent breaches. That is why small and medium-sized businesses should invest in security testing techniques that will safeguard them.
One of the best techniques to find vulnerabilities and address is penetration testing (pen testing).
What is Pen Testing?
This testing refers to using ethical hacking to check the security of the infrastructure and discover vulnerabilities. Usually, pen testing is part of a complete security strategy. It helps to uncover weaknesses and loopholes in operating systems, networks, services, and applications – just about anything that can compromise your data.
While trying to uncover vulnerabilities, pen testing demonstrates the efficacy of your existing protection and defense mechanism and whether users are utilizing the right security protocols. Typically, the pen tester will find a loophole and continue testing to ascertain if more weaknesses exist in the IT infrastructure.
Importance of Pen Testing
Your business cannot afford data breaches. It undermines the business and reflects poorly on you and the company. Vulnerability assessment helps you identify possible issues that could lead to breaches and then take corrective steps to address the issues. This is vital for keeping your IT infrastructure safe.
Regardless of the size of your business, you should be proactive in protecting your business.
Here are some benefits of pen testing that you should know:
●Be Compliant: Some industries require companies to constantly monitor and assess possible vulnerabilities, and the regulations demand that these companies have ongoing pen testing and assessment to resolve loopholes and weaknesses in the infrastructure.
●Be Prepared for Attacks: Assessing vulnerability allows you to gain an understanding of how long it may take hackers to get access to your data and the time your IT security team will require to address the hacking.
●Verify Your Security: By getting a pen assessment done, you will be able to see the efficacy of your security measures and systems.
●Train Your Staff: The testing enables you to train your IT staff to monitor weaknesses and address them in a controlled environment.
●Test Technology Before Implementing It: The testing enables you to test technologies that you want to implement before going ahead with it. It will save you time and effort when you do it in the outset.
Pen testing should be done regularly to ensure your IT security systems are failsafe. Most experts recommend that you do the testing at least once a year by a third-party and every month internally, using the in-house resources. That said, how often you should be testing will depend on your industry and type of business.
Usually, you should conduct the testing when you add a new network application, after updating security patches, implementing major infrastructure upgrades and changes, or moving your network to a new location. You should also look to get a pen test done if you are making changes to the end-user policy.
In Conclusion So, there you have it – the importance of pen testing in a digitally connected world. Remember, data is the new gold and oil. The person who controls the data controls everything else. Hence, you cannot afford to disregard security testing, and pen testing is one of the best ways to learn about the effectiveness of your existing security systems and be prepared for new vulnerabilities.