Penetration test is a test done to ensure that all your security systems are in place and working well. It also reveals the loopholes where security breaches can be made. Overall, a penetration test is well worth it. However, for skeptics, here are a few reasons why your business needs a penetration test.
- Compliance: Some companies that revolve around payments or financial transactions must meet specific security standards such as PCI, HIPAA risk, and ISO 27001. Non-compliance will attract heavy fines. For example, organizations that handle large volumes of transactions must have regular and annual penetration tests done. Also, a requirement is that the penetration testing should involve the latest methodologies such as ISECOM, OSSTMM3, NIST sp800-115, PTES, and OWA SP. The specialists should be fully proficient and have knowledge and experience in this highly specialized field.
- Uncover loopholes: No security system can be completely foolproof. There will be some loopholes. This can be easily found out from the hackers' point of view. A penetration test done by these legally hired hackers will uncover all those loopholes in the security system. If they are easily hacked into, that means your security system needs an urgent update.
- Valid Suggestions: Since a penetration test is done from the angle of an intruder, the report will show all the issues arising out of code mistakes, software bugs, insecure settings, and configuration errors. It will also explore and point out service configuration errors and operational weaknesses.
- Impartial & transparent perspective: Since a penetration test emulates a real hacking experience, the business owner can immediately see the potential harm. From an outsider's perspective, all hidden dangers and vulnerabilities are uncovered.
- Convenience: A penetration test offers the convenience of deciding the time etc., for the hacking attempt. Usually, such tests are timed when new infrastructure is deployed or when changes or upgrades to the existing security system are made. As the timing for the test can be set, any loopholes in the firewall, gaps in systems can be patched before any cybercriminal attacks.
- Pro-active Solution: A penetration test helps the business to be proactive. By identifying the weaknesses and loopholes in the security system in advance, many problems can be avoided. A penetration test is a preventive measure. For example, an actual cyber attack can cost a lot of money and loss of precious business time. Usually, after a cyber or phishing attack, a business will need considerable time to start business deals again. So as aforethought, a penetration test will identify the weak areas of your IT systems and helps to run the business smoothly.
- Expert Advice: Since professional and legal hackers conduct the test, all loopholes are thoroughly checked. These security lapses are examined thoroughly, and remedial measures are suggested. Not only that, to keep your business safe from phishing or cyberattacks, these security analysts will also give valid suggestions.
- Comprehensive reports: The results of the penetration tests are made available to the client in comprehensive reports. These help to assess the internal systems, take remedial steps and also schedule future cybersecurity investments.
- Goodwill: A penetration test will reaffirm the customer's faith in the company. In today's times, a lot of scams and phishing attacks are taking place. When such a thing happens, there is a leak of customers' personal information. This, in turn, will have a severe setback. Many lose their trusted customers and may cause a severe dent in their reputation. So having a regular penetration test will strengthen the customer's trust and show that their personal information is safe with you.
Different Penetration Tests
Since the reasons why a business needs to have a penetration test done are listed above, it makes sense also to discuss the different tests available and how to choose them. The tests range from
- Network Penetration Testing
- Wireless penetration testing
- Web & Mobile Application testing
- Build and Configuration review
Terms such as Blackbox and white box testing are used. White box testing refers to testing wherein selected information is shared with the ethical hackers beforehand. Information such as source code, infrastructure details, network diagrams, etc., will be given. On the other hand, for black-box testing, the legal hackers will not have any prior information. So ideally, a black box penetration test is the best. It mimics the actual hacking. Before deciding on the type of penetration test required for your business, take a moment to think about the various factors such as the Budget, compliance requirements, etc.
Listed above are just some of the reasons why a business needs a penetration test. It is always good to have one done immediately. A penetration test will reveal how successful or futile a malicious attack can be. It helps to prepare and avoid such unfortunate events in the future. Not only that, penetration tests help to minimize the risks, uncover loopholes, and also helps the business to develop efficient defensive mechanisms. So, in the long run, if the business has to be protected from online intruders, it is best to get a penetration test done.