Why Your Small Business Needs to do Penetration Testing?
Cybersecurity must be on every business owners mind as it has now become one of the most critical risks to the Business. Keeping your IT and data protected and secure from Cyberthreats means you must implement a range of penetration testing capabilities. Regardless of size or scale, every Business can be a potential target from hackers, so ensuring you have a cohesive cybersecurity strategy should be a priority.
If there is an internet-facing service, there is a risk of compromise, and it is this which hacker will be looking for. If they find a vulnerability, they will focus on trying to hack through it and then begin their broader nefarious activities. Being a step ahead means that you must be prepared and be proactive in testing your externally facing services from vulnerabilities or exploits. One of the key ways to do this is by having a continuous or regular penetration testing initiative.
What is Penetration Testing?
Penetration testing often referred to as “pen test”, is the process of trying to obtain unauthorised access into systems. The process aims to find and exploit any vulnerabilities against your servers, networks, routers, firewalls or applications. Once a weakness is found; it will then be exploited by various means until the hacker is able to obtain access or information that would otherwise be unavailable.
Why must My Business perform Penetration Testing?
Vulnerabilities and exploits exist in various forms. IT services are generally made up of hardware and software, and this is where the vulnerabilities are hosted. As systems are upgraded, they surface new risks and vulnerabilities, and sometimes they lay formant for hackers to exploit. Getting visibility of these vulnerabilities can be challenging, and so penetration testing can offer that peace of mind to test for any risks present.
What are the Benefits of Penetration Testing?
Your cybersecurity strategy must have a number of proactive detection initiatives and one of them will be Penetration Testing. Companies perform these are various levels and frequency and that is largely driven by cost and criticality. Below are five benefits that we feel pen tests bring
1. Identify risks: During the penetration testing, the white-hat pen tester will look for exploits or vulnerabilities that are known against your systems. They will perform several manual and automated tasks which will simulate hacking behaviour to try and access information or services eventually. The result of this will be a list of known vulnerabilities, which you would then need to address.
2. Test your Cyber-defences: Your defences against cyber-attacks are only as good as what they stop. Bit of a common-sense sentence, right? But many businesses do not put in place activities to check just how strong their defences are. A continuous penetration testing cycle will attempt to find vulnerabilities against your systems and will allow you to refine your security.
3. Optimise Business Continuity: A cyber-attack can be devastating for your Business and is often the cause of closures. Being able to reduce this risk means stopping any outages or unexpected downtime. Whilst regular outages due to hardware failure are inevitable; the same cannot be said for Hackers. Your network availability and overall SLA’s are critical for your Business’s operational effectiveness and penetration testing can aid in this.
4. Independent Audit: Using a penetration testing company usually means employing a partner with several certifications and compliance standards. This inherently brings benefit in terms of having an impartial view of your cybersecurity and defences.
5. Trust and Authority: Having regular penetration testing and reporting demonstrates that your systems are compliant and secure. This will validate your cybersecurity and technology to new and existing customers should you need to adhere to any specific controls.
What are the types of Penetration Testing?
With any cybersecurity topic, penetration testing also has numerous facets. The type of pen testing you need to do depends on what you are trying to achieve. Below are six penetration testing types that the ethical hacking engagement may include.
Infrastructure Penetration Testing: This can be internal or external and focuses on hardware elements such as servers, routers, switches, firewalls, virtual hosts, operating systems etc. It is generally a IP based test that essentially sweeps networks for hosts and then scans against them for vulnerabilities and exploits.
Web Application Testing: Websites are naturally internet-facing and with that, bring risk. If something is available on the internet, it can mean that it’s a target for hackers. Web application testing can perform authenticate and unauthenticated testing against your website or application to highlight any vulnerabilities.
Mobile Application Testing: Apps are common across businesses and run across IOS or Android. Certifying their security is key, so putting them through a regular test cycle should be standard.
Wireless Penetration Testing: Wireless networks are standard across the Business but also pose a significant attack surface. Having a process to check access, wireless access points, rogue access points, encryption strength and known WPA vulnerabilities must be a staple.
Build and Configuration Review: As part of new deployments, its often-good practice to check the configuration and build process to ensure that they are completed at the right level in terms of versions and security. Operating systems and application installs are good examples for this, as are firewall rules.
How much does Penetration Testing cost?
Costing for penetration testing ranges depending on the size and scale of the testing. With the arrival of cloud services, many vendors have created automated penetration testing software to reduce the cost. Using manual testing does cost more as it can involve a crest certified ethical hacker to oversee and perform the work.
We hope this blog has provided some insight into why your Business needs penetration testing services.
If you like the sound of the ‘hands-off’ experience and having your IT and Cybersecurity taken care of by highly trained professionals, we would love to hear from you. Call our friendly team of experts on 0345 314 2001 for a relaxed chat about how we can make all this happen for you. Our team is ready and waiting to help in any way they can.
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