What Is Penetration Testing and How Can It Improve Business Security?

November 16, 2020
2 min Read

More than 62% of companies have experienced a cyber attack this year; over 60% of the companies that have been victims of cyber-attacks have had their business shut down within 6 months. These two statistics exhibit that a successful cyber-attack will likely lead to the closure of a business. Many businesses take cyber security for granted until they fall victim to an attack. One of the best proactive measures a business can take to secure their cyber security is to get penetration testing.

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing, also known as a pen test, is when cyber attacks are simulated on a business to exhibit vulnerabilities. With pen tests, real-life scenarios in which hackers try to gain access to your business can be replicated.

The pen tester acts as a hacker and uses all the tools at their disposal to get into your business’ systems. The pen tester can show you what kind of information a hacker can get access to once they penetrate through your security systems. This can include sensitive information like login credentials, passwords, access to contacts on your emails, and more. Some of the penetration testing methods include external testing, internal testing, double-blind testing, and more.

How can penetration testing improve security?

   1. Highlights vulnerabilities

When a pen test is done, all of the areas where you are vulnerable to cyber attacks are highlighted. Although it’s not pleasant to see how vulnerable your business really is, this is the first step into securing your business’ safety.

The pen tester will go over all the weak points in your security they came across and explain what impacts a successful cyber attack can have on them. In addition, the pen tester can also aid in formulating a strategy to fix all the vulnerabilities you have in your business.

   2. Tightens security controls

Once you see the vulnerabilities, it’s time to tighten security controls. This is where you’ll see the tangible benefits of a pen test. The pen tester will go over the vulnerabilities and explain exactly what you need to do to tighten each security area. Once this is done, your business will have very tight security controls and this will protect you from cyber threats. Some of the new security measures may include having a firewall, setting up filters for your networks, and more.

   3. Adherence to compliance

Many business sectors have strict compliance requirements when it comes to data and security. Having pen tests done illustrates to regulators that your business takes security seriously and it serves as proof of compliance. This is increasingly important if your business operates in sensitive areas like healthcare, law, or similar sectors. These sectors often require employees to do some sort of annual cyber security training, so having pen tests is a great additional layer of security. To learn more about how penetration testing can secure your business, talk to an expert here.

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