Penetration Tests and Their Benefits

Penetration tests and their benefits on the brain? If performed regularly, penetration tests are key to your overall security posture.

It’s an important practice that gives organizations visibility into real-world threats to your security. As part of a routine security check, penetration tests allow you to find the gaps in your security before a hacker does by exploiting vulnerabilities and providing steps for remediation.

The pros of having regular penetration tests performed far outweigh the cons. Here are 5 major benefits of performing regular penetration tests:

Identify and Prioritize Risks

Performing regular penetration tests allows your organization to evaluate web applications and internal and external network security. It also helps you to understand what security controls are necessary to have the level of security your organization needs to protect its people and assets. Prioritizing these risks gives organizations an advantage to anticipate risks and prevent potential malicious attacks from happening.

Prevent Hackers From Infiltrating Systems

Penetration tests are much like practicing for a real-life hack by a real-life hacker. Performing regular penetration tests allows you to be proactive in your real-world approach to evaluating your IT infrastructure security. The process uncovers holes in your security, giving you a chance to properly remediate any shortcomings before an actual attack occurs.

Mature Your Environment

Continuing to mature the security posture within your organization’s environment is a great way to maintain a competitive advantage against other organizations in your industry. It not only demonstrates to your clients that information security and compliance are paramount for your organization, but also that you’re continuously dedicated to striving toward optimum security.

Avoid Costly Data Breaches and Loss of Business Operability

Recovering from the aftermath of a data breach is no doubt expensive. Legal fees, IT remediation, customer protection programs, loss in sales, and discouraged customers can cost organizations upwards of millions of dollars. According to the Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data breach in 2016 in the US is $158 per record containing sensitive information. Regularly scheduled penetration tests is a proactive way to stay on top of your security and can help prevent the financial loss of a breach while protecting your brand and reputation.

Comply With Industry Standards and Regulations

Penetration tests help address the compliance and security obligations that are mandated by industry standards and regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, FISMA, and ISO 27001. Having these tests performed regularly helps to demonstrate due diligence and your dedication to information security, all the while helping you to avoid the heavy fines that can be associated with non-compliance.

If you’re not already undergoing regular penetration tests, why not?

The first step is easy. Find a certified penetration testing professional and, together, decide which type of penetration test is right for your organization. Certified Penetration Testers can help walk you through the process, answer any questions you may have, and provide a detailed remediation plan following testing.

For more information on the importance of regular penetration tests and their benefits and how to get started on this, contact me today at s.morris@kirkpatrickprice.com.

 

Sarah Morris is the Managing Editor at KirkpatrickPrice, a valued partner of AIS Network. She is certified in General Information Security Fundamentals (GIAC GISF) and specializes in keeping organizations up to date on information security and regulatory compliance by being a thought leader and developing valuable content that revolves around industry trends and best practices. The original blog post may be found here.