Penetration testing is an attempt to break through the security of a network infrastructure
The importance of conducting a penetration test on your IT infrastructure cannot be understated. Also, please keep in mind that there is a difference between Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning. (Please read our article on the difference here.) It is not uncommon for a penetration testing provider to actually be conducting a vulnerability scan, but passing it off as a penetration test. In short, a penetration test address the effectiveness of your existing security measures and how those would stack up to real-world hackers. A legitimate, full fledged penetration test works to not only expose various weaknesses in and around your IT infrastructure, but it also exploits those vulnerabilities by attacking them in the same way that hackers would. To make sure you are as protected as possible against cyber attacks, you need to be attacking your own network. Discovering your weaknesses and how to exploit them before the bad guys do is imperative. Doing this and documenting the results will help you create a highly effective cyber security plan.
WHY SHOULD YOU PERFORM PENETRATION TESTING?
The #1 reason for performing penetration testing is because data breaches are extremely costly. Not only do data breaches result in significant financial exposure due to the costs of recovering from a breach, the potential damage to a company’s reputation can also be very costly. The average cost of an organizational data breach in 2014 was $5.9 million. In 2015, over 169 million records were exposed from the 781 publicized breaches from across the healthcare, retail, financial, government, business, and education sectors.
There’s no doubt you’ve seen the stories of massive data breaches at companies like Target and Home Depot. Target reached a $39 million settlement in relation to its huge 2013 data breach that affected roughly 40 million customers. Home Depot agreed to pay up to $19.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit filed by the more than 50 million consumers affected by their massive 2014 data breach. Both companies also suffered immediate, though reparable, harm to their reputations as a result of their respective data breaches.
Performing regular penetration tests can help reduce your risk of exposing sensitive information to hackers. The statistics above are alarming indeed. Unfortunately, they aren’t getting better. In 2015, there were 38% more security incidents detected than in 2014. Every organization can reduce its potential financial and reputational exposure to cyber attacks by exposing their own weaknesses and then implementing a plan to fortify their defenses and protect themselves from potential breaches. Cyber5 has the solutions to help organizations across all sectors better protect themselves from being breached.
WHO SHOULD PERFORM PENETRATION TESTING?
Whether you’re a small, medium, or large enterprise, there is a tremendous amount of value in penetration testing for your company. If you collect any kind of information, whether it be from clients or vendors or another source, that information must be protected. Penetration testing and data security isn’t just for large organizations, its necessary for everyone from lawyers to doctors to eCommerce retailers to insurance agencies and beyond. To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a data breach and all of the associated costs, contact Cyber5 to discuss the different tools we have to help you protect your company from cyber attacks.