Managing Cyber Risk with Penetration Testing

Managing Cyber Risk with Penetration Testing

How confident are you in your current cyber security measures? Is your digital defense up to date with the most modern technology? Are you in-house IT professionals keeping up with today’s threats, risks, and solutions?

The easiest way to answer these questions is to audit your cyber security. And this starts with putting your system through a penetration test! It’s the best way to mitigate the risk of a cyber-attack and build cyber resilience. Here’s what you need to know…

Introducing Penetration Testing

Penetration testing (or pen testing) is a type of authorized attack on your computer to gauge the strength of its defense system. Professional penetration testers have the same tools, data, and expertise as hackers to gauge the weaknesses of your system. If they can breach the defensive walls of your system, so can the hackers. With the help of penetration tests, you can check the strength of your cyber defense mechanisms and make them more prepared for unauthorized attacks.

Conducting regular pen testing is an ideal proactive approach against suspected and potential cyber-attacks; one can never be too careful. With this proactive approach, you can consistently make changes and improve your cyber security on an ongoing basis, according to the reports you receive. Compared to non-proactive approaches like building defenses after a data breach, penetration testing has gained momentum due to its proactive and preventative benefits.

This method of cyber security is gaining in popularity, and for good reason:

“The global Penetration Testing market size is expected to grow from $1.4 billion in 2022 to $2.7 billion by 2027. Some of the factors that are driving the market growth include regular penetration testing practices required due to strict regulations and compliances, the sophistication of cyberattacks is rising, causing organizations to suffer financial and reputational losses, and more people are using smartphones and the internet, leading to an increase in mobile-based business-critical applications.” – Markets and Markets

Types of Penetration Tests

External Testing: External testing is done to enter the system and collect valuable data. It’s done by penetrating your business’ applications, emails, and website.

Internal Testing: Internal testing is extensive, and it tests access through the application’s firewall. It is more malicious and can be extremely costly for any business. Internal threats are often disgruntled employees or employees who haven’t properly secured their endpoints.

Blind Testing: Blind testing is when the tester gets nothing but the name of the company it needs to penetrate. Blind testing enables you to see the attack in real-time and understand where your cyber security lacks.

Targeted Testing: if you need a full account of how a hacker works, you should order targeted testing. It will help you see the attack in real-time, and the penetration testers will walk you through every step. It will help you understand how hackers work and gain immense knowledge about your company’s cyber security.

Managing Cyber Risk with Penetration Testing

How is Penetration Testing Performed?

Wondering how penetration testing actually works? The cyber experts at CN are here with five steps to understand how you can use this technique to secure your digital data. Let’s dive deeper into the penetration testing process!

1. Reconnaissance

The first step is data collection; hackers start by collecting as much information as possible. So, authorized personnel do the same; the data can easily be used to attack the target if you know what you are doing and if you have the necessary tools.

2. Scanning

Next up is scanning; it uses expert tools to gauge what kind of security measures and protective shields your business implements to keep its information and data secure. Scanning analyses are broken up into two main categories: static and dynamic. Static analysis tests the viability of an application’s code. Dynamic analysis tests the application while it’s in action.

3. Gaining Access

It’s time to penetrate the system. Penetration experts use attack strategies like backdoors, SQL injections, cross-site scripting, etc., to penetrate your system. Once they gain access, they exploit the system to cause as much damage as possible. Fast penetration implies a weaker system.

4. Maintaining Access

It’s only the entry that matters, but also maintaining access weakens the system even more. That’s how hackers gain immense power over your system.

5. Covering Tracks

Once they have wreaked havoc, the next step is leaving without a trace. Covering tracks means that the hacker’s activities will remain undetected, and the system will return to its original state.

If a penetration test successfully enters your system, maintains access, and leaves without leaving any traces – then it’s time to rethink your security strategy!

Who Performs Penetration Tests?

Penetration testers are professionals trained in technical skills; they ethically attack your system to gauge security measures. Penetration testers aren’t individuals; they have a team of professionals trained with different skill sets. Penetration testers work full-time; you will have difficulty finding an all-rounder penetration tester working as a freelancer.

Penetration hackers or testers have full knowledge of networking and network protocols. They also comprehend DNS, TCP/IP, and DHCP, just like unethical hackers, to gain unauthorized access. If this sounds a bit confusing or like a headache to maintain, you may want to partner with a Managed Service Provider like CN. When you work with a Managed IT and Cyber Security provider like Computers Nationwide, we’ll handle everything from conducting cyber audits to installing new tools to testing and everything in between!

Managing Cyber Risk with Penetration Testing

Why Your Business Needs Penetration Testing

Penetration testing is an absolute MUST in today’s digital landscape. Cyber threats, phishing scams, and ransomware attacks are evolving at such a rapid pace, businesses of all sizes need to do everything they can to stay vigilant. You will not be able to properly gauge the real-time effectiveness of your current security system against hackers without a penetration test.

These tests are not only designed to run a vulnerability exam or a compliance audit, but they also point out any weaknesses that can be exploited. This will guide your company in knowing what needs to be fixed moving forward! Read on to learn more reasons why your workplace will benefit from penetration testing:

Locating and Removing Vulnerabilities

Isn’t it better to enhance your defenses before the attacker can get in? This is what you stand to gain with penetration testing. You can build up your defenses, locate vulnerabilities and remove them. With penetration testing, you can design better cyber resilience against cyber threats.

Testing the Existing Defenses

Penetration tests aren’t only done to understand your system’s weakness but also to test the defenses you have in place. Did you know the average time to detect a data breach is 197 days? That’s how many days a hacker has in your system to collect data, wreak havoc, and damage your company internally.

As the detection time increases, the risk of losing your business’s credibility also increases. With penetration testing, you will be able to know how well your intruder detection programs work and whether they need an upgrade.

Gauge Potential Damage

It can cause a minimum or more than $200,000 for a business if a hacker gets into their system, and this is just for a small business; imagine losing your defenses as a multinational company. Penetration testers can also successfully measure how much you stand to lose if an attacker gets in. It will help you understand how much is at stake.

Professional Penetration Testing from Computers Nationwide

Simply put: A penetration test is an approved cyber-attack against a firm orchestrated in secure, controlled conditions. The goal is to get a clear picture for your current cybersecurity measures and find areas for improvement. Regular penetration tests can help you save your company’s reputation, protect valuable customer data, and secure your finances. The best approach to modern cyber security efforts is a proactive one!

Cyber security is not a “one and done”, one-size-fit-all solution. Today’s cyber security requires ongoing monitoring, maintenance, upgrades and more. Leave all your IT and Cyber Security woes to us – it’s what we do best! Trust CN with your business tech so you can focus on running your organization smoothly. We can help you find any vulnerabilities before the criminals do.

Investing in the latest cyber tools will protect your company assets and ensure business continuity. Ask us about running regular penetration testing on your network and devices to ensure your SMB remains secure from all angles! We can detect any gaps in your security and implement innovative cyber security solutions for long-term success. Our world-class services and security professionals are here to help you meet any security challenge!

“Jones Dairy Farm has been a customer of CN (and KC before that) for over 20 years. The team has always been helpful and responsive. We have a team assigned to us, so there’s always someone who’s up to speed. We’ve been a satisfied customer for a long time.” – Client Testimonial
Is your SMB prepared to defend against internal and external cyber threats?
Do you have a solid plan in place for mitigating risk?
Choose CN as your trusted cyber security advisor and leave the rest to us!
Contact us today to get started: (847) 419-9900

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