What is penetration testing?
The NCSC defines penetration testing, or pen testing, as “an authorised test of a computer network or system designed to look for security weaknesses”. A well-scoped penetration test can give confidence that the products and security controls tested have been configured in accordance with good practice and that there are no common or publicly known vulnerabilities in the tested components.
Why Is Penetration Testing Important?
If your company’s website uses online payment methods such as credit or debit cards for transactions, you’re required to comply with PCI-DSS regulations. According to these rules, you must conduct an annual pen-testing exercise on the site to mitigate threats and shield your site’s data from hackers.
2. Crisis training:
Penetration testing can help train your security teams to immediately react to and effectively overcome a security breach. Your network can be vulnerable to several different types of cyberattacks, making it essential for your team to learn how to deal with each kind of attack. This will help you assess your team’s preparedness for cyberattacks and allow them to fine-tune their response to such events.
3. Building goodwill:
Running a penetrative test will help you gauge the time it would take for a potential hacker to breach the security, as well as prepare security teams to respond to the attack in time.
4. Testing new technology:
They can help you make the technology’s security more robust, allowing for a safer experience for users. Testing your new technology for vulnerabilities can give you insight into whether your technology is secure enough for mass deployment and production. This preventive measure can save you time and money since it is easier to fix vulnerabilities at the earliest stages of development.
5. Verify security protocols:
You can identify any major oversights in security and ensure the protocols are improved to be as efficient as possible. Ethical hackers are independent third parties who are authorized to conduct an attack on the system to see if they can bypass the security. Performing regular penetrative testing exercises can mitigate any risks you might have been exposed to.
6. Testing Policies
A penetration test can also highlight weaknesses in an organization’s security policies. For example, while a security policy may focus on preventing and detecting an attack on an enterprise’s systems, it may not include a process for expelling a hacker.
Securitymagazine.com. 2022. | Security Magazine. [online] Available at: <https://www.securitymagazine.com/articles/94305-the-importance-of-pentesting-and-practical-steps-to-build-a-program> [Accessed 23 August 2022].