In recent years, technology experts have found that organized cyber crime syndicates work with the same level of procedures and organization as a company. No wonder a cyber-attack occurs, on average, every 39 seconds. Although there are tons of cybersecurity platforms and options designed to keep your valuable information safe, there’s no solution that can effectively stop 100% of cyber-attacks at all times. Furthermore, in most instances, successful cyber-attacks are initiated by social engineering and convincing an employee to click a malicious link.
As cybercrime constantly evolves with technology, cybersecurity can only be rendered effective by using regular penetration testing to assess weaknesses and blind spots. A penetration test is an authorized simulated attack on a computer system, performed to evaluate the security of the system.
This testing can help determine if a system is vulnerable to attack, if the defenses are sufficient, and which defenses the test defeated. This article will evaluate the benefits and desired outcomes of using a penetration test.
Penetration testing explores existing weaknesses in your system, application configurations, and network infrastructure. Even actions and habits of your staff that could lead to data breaches and malicious infiltration are being researched during penetration tests. A report informs you of security vulnerabilities, so you know what software and hardware improvements you must consider and what recommendations and policies would improve your overall security.
Identify real risks
Penetration testers try to exploit identified vulnerabilities. That means you see what an attacker could do in a real-world environment. An attacker might access sensitive data and execute operating system commands. However, they might also tell you that a vulnerability that is theoretically high risk, isn’t that risky at all because of the difficulty of exploitation.
Test your cyber-defense capabilities
You should be able to detect attacks and respond adequately and on time. Once you detect an intrusion, you should start investigations, discover the intruders, and block them, whether they are malicious, or industry experts testing the effectiveness of your protection strategy. If your current defenses and actions fail to push intruders out, that is a sign it’s time to change hardware, software, and strategies.
Ensure business continuity
To make sure your business operations are up-and-running all the time, you need network availability, 24/7 communications, and access to resources. Disruptions associated with cyberattacks will have a negative impact on your business operations. Penetration tests reveal potential threats and help to ensure that your operations don’t suffer from unexpected downtime or a loss of accessibility. In this respect, a penetration test is quite similar to a business continuity audit.
Follow regulations and certifications
Your industry and legal compliance requirements may dictate a certain level of penetration testing. Think about the ISO 27001 standard or PCI regulations, which require all managers and system owners to conduct regular penetration tests and security reviews with skilled testers. You’ll want to avoid the double bind of both being a victim of a cyber-attack and being liable for negligence due to not meeting requirements of compliance.
Penetration testing should become routine testing used to secure your network. Your business has too much valuable information to take the risk of being unprepared for a cyber-attack. If you have more questions about how to strengthen your workforce by using penetration testing, reach out to The Computer Guys.
Centrally located in Farmington Hills, Michigan, The Computer Guys are proud to offer a full MSP solution for all your business IT needs. For over 20 years, we’ve helped the Detroit Metro area leverage their IT investment in many industries. Contact us to see how we can help you today.