The threat of cybercriminals is real and growing, as some projections estimate that cyberattacks will cost the world $6 trillion by 2021. Hackers become more sophisticated every day, using a variety of schemes including spear phishing to gain access to networks or spread malware. With this in mind, companies have to consider how they are keeping their cybersecurity practices up to date.
Penetration testing should be a priority
While there are many approaches your business can take to prevent cybercrime, often testing them isn’t a high priority. Penetration testing, however, is a critical tactic to strengthen your cybersecurity strategy and ensure your cybersecurity protocol doesn’t have gaps.
With regular penetration testing, you’ll know if your business is vulnerable to attack because you can examine the real-world effectiveness of existing security controls against attempted hacks.
Let’s look at the benefits of penetration testing.
Identifying network vulnerabilities
Want to know where your weak spots are? Penetration testing can tell you.
In a report on penetration testing that involved corporate information systems, the process helped identify multiple network exposure issues falling into four main categories:
- Configuration flaws
- Failure to install security updates
- Vulnerabilities in web application code
- Password policy weaknesses
With this kind of information, your company can gain the upper hand against cybercriminals, zeroing in on your network vulnerabilities before they do.
Preventing data breaches
A data breach is one of the worst things that can happen to a company, costing you money and your reputation (take a look at some of the worst data breaches of 2018). Whatever you can do to keep yourself off the list is worth the effort. With penetration testing, you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas where your network may be susceptible to an expensive breach to close the gaps and avoid becoming a statistic.
Avoiding network downtime
No one can afford downtime. Recuperating from a security flaw is extremely expensive and can involve remediation efforts, which leads to downtime. This keeps your business from producing results, meeting obligations and serving customers. Penetration testing enables your organization to minimize these kinds of setbacks, so you don’t lose the ability to keep your business running.
Meeting compliance standards
Depending on your industry and customer base, you may have to meet compliance standards associated with data handling and protection, including HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, GLBA and even GDPR. You may also have to meet certain report testing guidelines recognized by NIST/FISMA and PCI DSS regulations. Penetration testing provides complete reports to ensure that your operation stays compliant and avoids noncompliance penalties.
Protecting your partners, clients, and third parties
Security breaches aren’t just the problem of the company infiltrated. It impacts your partners, clients, and other third parties. Keep your relationships strong, minimize external risk, and continue to build trust by using penetration testing to demonstrate your commitment to preserving your network integrity for your entire business community.
Improving your cyber defense capabilities
One of the most important things that penetration testing facilitates is evaluating your real-world cyber defenses. Your system should be able to immediately identify attacks and respond quickly. Testing feedback will present you with vital information you can use to bolster your defense.
As you can see, there is a bounty of benefits from penetration testing, and you should execute this at least once annually. If you aren’t sure where to start, then talk to the experts at CTSI—we’re a team of dedicated IT professionals with over three decades of experience.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your company improve and optimize IT.