It’s only as of relatively recently that businesses have in general begun acknowledging the power and importance of pen testing as a means by which to bolster business security. It’s hardly a secret that network systems and IT in general are both incredibly important for doing business in the 21st century. There’s barely a business anywhere that doesn’t depend on IT and nor can most businesses run without collecting and storing an extraordinary amount of information on their customers, peers, suppliers, accounts and so on and so forth.
The trouble is, it’s often not until some kind of data breach occurs that it really hits home just how devastating corruption, loss or theft of data can be for a business. Penetration testing is 100% unique as a security evaluation method as unlike the majority of security systems and measures, it reverses roles and puts you in the position of the crook. Not literally of course, but when it comes to understanding where the threats to your business exist, there’s no better way of finding out than to step into the shoes of a hacker and see how easy it would be to do you harm.
This is where penetration testing’s true value shines through.
Unique Benefits and Value
Of course, quality penetration testing doesn’t come free of charge and depending on the scale of the operation can be relatively expensive. However, when it comes to the various expenses a business will face in the fight to protect itself and its interests long-term, it’s undoubtedly one of the most valuable and beneficial investment imaginable.
Why? Well, as mentioned above it’s all about the way in which pen testing brings the business a series of benefits that are 100% unique to this process and this process alone. Regardless of how much money you throw at security systems and network upgrades in general, penetration testing is one of the only ways of accurately allowing a business to:
- Discover precisely how secure all current security systems and measures are as the reality often doesn’t match the theory…not even close. Regardless of how robust you think your security systems may be, it’s not until you actively put them to the test that you can have any real idea how well they’d stand up should the need arise.
- Find out not only how easy or otherwise it might be for a hacker to find their way into your systems, but also learn how likely you are to face an attack. Professional penetration testers are able to accurately identify which businesses are considered high-risk and which are generally less likely to be targeted by hackers.
- Identify the most effective and affordable solutions for ‘plugging’ any and all gaps that may at present be leaving the business wide open to attack. While it’s generally assumed that this will mean additional expenses and the investment in new technology, it could in fact involve nothing more than a change in current security processes and no further investment at all.
- Learn about any potential threats from an in-house perspective, which are of course often overlooked or ignored altogether. A huge proportion of damaging hacks and cyber-criminal activity in general comes from in-house sources – as in those with limited access to IT systems who may find it even easier to breach security barriers.
- Understand the importance of having strong contingency measures and plans in place should the worst happen. There will never be a network or data security system in the world that’s 100% impenetrable, which is why it’s crucial to have a plan in place to be brought into effect should the worst happen.
- Find out how to not only do all that’s possible to protect the data of customers and contacts, but also accurately document and record all such preventative measures taken in order to back the business’ efforts in case of legal action being taken following data theft/loss.
- Build a long-term plan which not only ensures that current security risks are reduced to absolute minimums, but also that a proactive stance is taken against on-going threats and any new threats that may emerge going forwards.
Suffice to say therefore, penetration testing takes things a million miles further than simple anti-virus software and basic network firewalls ever could. As already mentioned, it can be quite the undertaking and isn’t going to be offered free of charge, but is at the same time one of the most important and valuable investments the modern business could ever make.