Penetration testing (or pentest) refers to a test intrusion into an information system so we can assess its security. This method simulates an attack by a threat actor who aims to exploit security gaps. Its purpose is to highlight system vulnerabilities. The involved team uses a set of special tools to breach the security systems of an organization, which is highly important since malicious attackers use similar tools for their purposes. Some organizations perform the testing themselves. Others ask for the services of a third, more experienced party, so they will give them a more objective opinion.
Pentest is a very useful procedure for a company, because it decides if the company´s cyber security is good enough to face possible threats. If it isn´t using a security system, the odds are that it is not good enough. In this article we will talk about the benefits of penetration testing and why an organization should consider applying it.
Revelation of Vulnerabilities
First and foremost, pentest is a method developed explicitly to reveal potential vulnerabilities and weak points of a company. So being informed of these characteristics is the main reason for a company to perform a test. From there, the company can use this information to their advantage and make any decisions it thinks are suitable in its case. Many of the benefits of penetration testing originate from this particular information.
Estimation of Risks
Usually, a company would like to test its security to make sure it is as strong as it thinks or it starts the procedure with an open mind and a passive approach. There are some companies, though, that try to be as careful as they possibly can. To achieve this they try to learn about how high every risk is. Although it isn´t very common, sometimes a pentest will show that an attack that a company is afraid of, is more difficult to happen that it might expect. That happens because a vulnerability might be hard to be exploited. This analysis is something only a specialist can perform.
Estimation of Cyber-Defense
Weak points are not the only things that a penetration testing assesses. It can also reveal how capable of facing and eliminating a threat the defense team is. How quick is the defense team to detect the attack? Is it quick enough or even capable to block the intrusion? A pentest will answer these questions and will inform you of what you can do to improve the team.
Insurance that Business will not be Interrupted
Companies cannot afford to lose business. If a company is left unprotected, it is very possible to be hacked and its activity will be interrupted. This is something that could do a lot of damage to the organization´s revenue and put its duties on ice, so it is vital for it to be prepared for this possibility.
Business continuity leads directly to our next point, which is customer´s trust and loyalty. Why would a customer stay loyal to a company that can´t guarantee the safety of their data? Why would they invest in a partnership that may end up being unproductive, because the other party didn´t ensure that business will not be interrupted? The same goes for other people or companies of interest, such as suppliers and partners. They all need to know that the organization they choose to do business with can be trusted.
Third Party Expert Opinion
Last but not least, asking the opinion of an expert is always a good idea in any case, especially when we are talking about such an important topic. Cyber security is both vital for a company and quite difficult to work on if you don´t have the necessary skills. In this case, it would be really useful if a third party tested the company´s security systems. Enter penetration testing. After the process is completed, the expert team will inform the company of their security capabilities and if necessary, they will suggest ways of strengthening it.
In conclusion, penetration testing can be very useful for an organization and has many benefits. It is very important for a company to know its strengths and weaknesses and the best way to get this information is by working with an expert team to simulate an attack.
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