Penetration testing is the only time you’d want someone to hack into your system. The practice involves having specialists hack and challenge your system’s security measures and controls. These specialists search for exploitable vulnerabilities, whether these are in your network’s operating system (OS), its misconfigurations, or even the behavior of its end users.
The goals of penetration testing are to determine how robust your system’s defenses are and to identify weaknesses that malicious parties are likely to take advantage of during a cyberattack. Testing is required of companies in regulated sectors, such as finance and healthcare, but is optional in others.
There are two types of penetration testing:
- External – This examines your company’s external-facing assets, such as your website and emails, for any vulnerability that can be used to enter your network.
- Internal – An internal test determines how far an attacker can go once they have penetrated your system. During the test, the specialist will try to move from within and through your network to obtain domain access.
Penetration testing offers your business a number of benefits, enabling you to:
#1. Comply with industry requirements
Regulated industries like healthcare and finance impose stringent data security regulations to ensure that protected health and financial information is safeguarded from theft, loss, and compromise. If your business belongs to these and similarly regulated sectors, you need to comply with current regulations or risk suffering fines and penalties.
Penetration testing validates the security measures and tools you currently have in place. It also allows you to identify possible infractions and rectify them before auditors can detect and flag them.
#2. Detect and prepare for potential threats
Cyberthreats are continuously evolving and the best you can do is to be prepared for them. Penetration testing reveals weaknesses in your network security, which, once corrected, will improve your resistance to cyberattacks.
Penetration testing can reveal how much impact a cyberattack can have on your system. It will give you a good idea of which components are more vulnerable than others and what you can do to prevent or mitigate these effects.
#3. Prevent expensive security breaches
Security breaches are expensive in many ways. Ransomware, for instance, will block your access to your system until you pay the required ransom, which is in no way cheap. Other types of malware and cyberattack can paralyze your system, stopping you from generating revenue.
If you belong to a regulated sector, security breaches make you liable to penalties, including hefty fines. Regular penetration testing helps you save money by preventing or minimizing the risk of these issues occurring.
#4. Reduce the occurrence and impact of downtime
A cyberattack cuts your productivity and disrupts your business operations. Every second of downtime is a squandered opportunity to earn and grow. If your system is not properly backed up, downtime could entail the loss of recent, crucial files.
But these aren’t the only reasons downtime is damaging. It can disrupt your customers and suppliers and may result in loss of trust and valuable partnerships. Remediation efforts such as customer protection and retention programs don’t come cheap, but these will be necessary if you want to regain your customer base’s confidence.
By identifying threats and modes of cyberattack your system is vulnerable to, penetration testing reduces the possibility of your business suffering significant downtime, if at all.
#5. Encourage customer loyalty
Even a single data breach can mar your business’s reputation and reduce your customers’ trust in your business. Regular penetration testing not only ensures that your company is equipped with adequate defensive tools and measures, but it also shows just how committed you are to protecting your customers’ data.
Penetration testing is a crucial step in improving and maintaining your company’s protection from malware and hackers. At PC LAN, our experts can assess your system and its compliance with industry regulations, as well as its protection from different cyberthreats. Call us now to learn more!