Businesses are consistently looking for new ways to strengthen their security. One security measure that is becoming more popular is a network penetration test. Below is a guide to penetration testing and the benefits that it can provide to your company.
What Is Penetration Testing?
Just how strong is your company’s security? By undertaking a penetration test, you can see just how much your current walls of security are able to withstand.
During a penetration test, a trained security professional attempts to simulate a breach of your systems using tactics that an actual criminal might use. This can help to expose potential vulnerabilities that you may not have considered, helping you to then improve your security.
Penetration testing is generally targeted at a certain area of security. For instance, if you want to put your account security to the test, you might simulate password theft. A network penetration test focuses on your network’s vulnerabilities and is likely to involve a range of hacking techniques.
Why Is Network Penetration Testing Important?
A network penetration test can help to identify vulnerabilities within your company network. Hacked networks make up the majority of data breaches—in fact, 52% of all data breaches are the result of hacking, while 28% involve malware and 32–33% involve phishing.
Data breaches can be extremely costly for companies. Sensitive information such as log-in details and even bank details could be extracted and then sold to thieves. This could include personal information, as well as information belonging to employees and customers.
On top of having sensitive information stolen and money extorted from you, you could find yourself being sued by employees and customers, adding to the existing costs. In addition, your reputation could be damaged, which could make it difficult to attract future business.
Also worth noting is that 60% of companies are unable to recover from a cyberattack. For this reason, it’s so important to have strong digital security measures in place. A network penetration test can help you to recognize which areas of your systems are weakest and need to be prioritized for greater security.
What Do Network Penetration Testing Services Include?
A company who offers reliable IT services can carry out a network penetration test for you. Such services are likely to vary between companies. For instance, ‘black box’ and ‘white box’ penetration testing are terms sometimes used to determine different levels of testing.
The results will then be outlined much like a financial audit. Such services will then be able to recommend improvements that you can make to your security. This could include setting up multi-factor authentication, using a VPN, or ensuring that all devices are equally secure.
3 Advantages of Network Penetration Testing
There are a number of advantages to carrying out a network penetration test. Some of the reasons you may want to carry out a network penetration test include to:
Test Security Controls
You may have security measures in place, but how do you know if they’re working unless you put them to the test? A network penetration test can help you to work out if security measures such as firewalls and encryption processes are effective. You can also test out just how robust certain software is.
Identify Security Vulnerabilities
A penetration test could identify vulnerabilities that you hadn’t realized were there. This could allow you to put in place extra security measures to patch up these areas of weakness, helping you to fend off future cyberattacks.
Assess Security Compliance
Cybersecurity isn’t just important for protecting your business from cybercriminals; it’s also a legal requirement in many cases. By undertaking a penetration test, you can ensure that your company is complying with security regulations. This can stop you from getting into legal trouble.
The Bottom Line
There are clear benefits to undertaking a network penetration test—it can help you to prevent a data breach and help you to comply with security regulations.
By outsourcing network pen testing to a trusted IT service, you can ensure that any network penetration test carried out is thorough and realistic. This can help you to receive the best advice on how to improve your cybersecurity if necessary.
Network penetration tests can be carried out regularly—in fact, if you’re serious about keeping your security as strong as possible, you may want to outsource a managed IT service that can carry out a range of tests on a consistent basis.