Why Should You Engage in a Penetration Test?

June 14, 2022
Erelehte Zymberi
3 min read

Digitalization has brought many benefits to companies worldwide. Having access to information in a matter of seconds has made many businesses expand their operations and services around the world. Governments are increasingly shifting data to online computing. With many benefits it also has a lot of risks. Having such data means being vulnerable to attacks from hackers whose main objective is to have access to the IT infrastructure, through the internal network.

Ponemon Institute, in 2015, conducted a study on the costs of data breaches that surveyed 350 organizations from 11 countries that had been breached. About half of said breaches (47%) were a result of malicious attacks, and the rest resulted from system problems and human error.

Since you can’t always be sure that a system is safe forever, creating procedures on detecting, responding and recovering from such incidents is necessary.

Penetration testing, also known as ethical hacking or pentesting, is a security measure to test a computer system, infrastructure, software or network, to find possible vulnerabilities that an attacker can exploit.

In this article we will be talking on the most important reasons why businesses should consider pentesting for their infrastructure.

When to Preform Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is not something that should only happen once. Since technology is very dynamic, changes happen all the time. Therefore, it is necessary to know how often to perform such tests. Experts believe this should happen at least annually, but this depends on several factors, like:

·       The size of the company – The bigger the company the greater the need to perform pen tests more often.

·       Finances – Since pen tests can be expensive, companies based on their budged organize when to perform such tests.

·       Law – It may be mandatory to perform pen tests because of new laws and regulations.

Laws and Regulations

Countries around the world are implementing data privacy laws to protect data of their citizens. Such regulations have become mandatory by businesses to follow and implement. Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is an example of how European union set a legal framework for guidelines on collection and processing personal information from EU residents. It is now being applied by most of the countries in Europe. Within the US, there is no single legislation, rather a high number of laws implemented on each state separately.

For a company or business, it is important to comply to such laws and regulations. Non-compliance means paying fines or ever risking to lose the operating license. It is this much how important data protection has become.

Penetration testing helps reducing the risk of a potential data breach. Although pentesting does not directly deal with data privacy, it helps a company perform measures to reduce the risk. Taking measures in advance is always a good choice, depending on how sensitive your company data is.

Risk Evaluation

Risk evaluation is an important measure you take when you want to know at what level of risk you are exposed and how much of an impact it can make. For such an assessment, you can hire an expert who will provide you with a list of steps you must take to secure your business, and depending on the likelihood that a problem will arise, pentesting may be your first priority.

Brand Image

Clients cannot trust you with their data if they don't trust you. It's that simple. Your company begins to fail the moment your client loses confidence in you. As a result, you will lose profit and investors. Nowadays, data privacy has become a top priority for people, and a possible breach will result in significant losses for your business.

That is why your company should be trustworthy, particularly when handling sensitive information. By preventing data breaches, you create the impression that you are a reliable company, making clients want to work with you.

Conclusion

In the past, hacking a company's security protections was a time-consuming and skillful process. Today's technological advances, on the other hand, make it easier than ever for bad actors to find the most vulnerable points of an organization. Pentesting has as its aim to help businesses identify where they're most likely to face an attack and proactively strengthen those weaknesses before they can be exploited by hackers

It is quite stressful to run an organization that uses online hardware and infrastructure. There is always a threat of a cyberattack lurking on the internet, forcing businesses to strengthen their networks. Penetration testing, however, can help your organization avoid dealing with an actual attack in the future.

Penetration tests are vital to an organization's security because they teach personnel how to handle any break-in that comes from a malicious entity. The goal of pen tests is to determine whether an organization's security policies are effective.

There are plenty of benefits to pentesting, so before you start the process, make sure to investigate the most critical areas of your system. Make sure that you cover all the things needed to build a great pentesting program by using the checklist above. Be sure to let the testing team know about the protocols that must be followed so that they can plan accordingly.

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