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What is a Penetration Test and Why Do I Need It?

What is a Penetration Test and Why Do I Need It?

Hacking through a company’s security protections used to require a lot of time and skill. However, today’s technological advances make it easier than ever for bad actors to find an organisation’s most vulnerable points. The purpose of penetration testing is to help businesses find out where they are most likely to face an attack and proactively shore up those weaknesses before exploitation by hackers.

Get the security and technical expertise needed to conduct successful penetration testing by partnering with Siege Cyber. Our security professionals have years of experience helping organisations protect their information through ethical hacking. To set up a free consultation with one of our cyber security experts, contact us today at [email protected].

What Is Penetration Testing?

Organisations can define penetration testing by what it is meant to assess. That includes all networks, applications, devices, and physical security components. It mimics the actions of malicious actors. Experienced cybersecurity experts leverage penetration testing to improve a company’s security posture and remove any vulnerabilities that leave it open to attack.

When appropriately done, penetration testing goes beyond merely stopping criminals from unauthorised access to a company’s systems. It creates real-world scenarios that show businesses how well their current defences would fare when confronted with a full-scale cyber-attack.

Why Do I Need a Penetration Test?

Penetration testing is an everyday part of the job description for us here at Siege Cyber. In fact, it’s our specialty. Something else we deal with almost daily, though, is answering the question: “What is a penetration test and why do I need it?
Penetration tests let companies evaluate the overall security of their IT infrastructure. A company may have robust security protocols in one area but be lacking in another. The high cost of a successful cyber attack means no company should wait for a real-world scenario to play out before going on offense. Using penetration testing tools to expose holes in a business’s security layer allows security experts and Pen Testers to address any shortcomings before they become critical liabilities.
  • Test Security Controls — Gain insights into the overall health of your application, network, and physical security layers.
  • Find Real-World Vulnerabilities — Expose endpoints in your computer systems most susceptible to attacks from adversaries.
  • Ensure Compliance — Companies can maintain information security compliance with industry standards for penetration testing.
  • Reinforce Security Posture — Penetration testing assists businesses in prioritizing and addressing their vulnerability with a security program.

What Are the Benefits of Penetration Testing?

When it comes to who typically performs a penetration test, it is entities charged with protecting private citizens’ information. Even the best IT department may not have the objectivity needed to find security flaws that could leave an organisation exposed to hackers. When it comes to who typically performs these functions, it’s best to have a penetration tester conduct black-box, white box testing, and other security assessments from the outside.

Having someone separate from the business conduct intrusion tests can provide value in the following ways:

  • Determine the feasibility of security holding up under different kinds of cyberattacks.
  • Show how the exploitation of low-risk vulnerabilities could lead to a lot of damage at higher levels.
  • Detect harder-to-find risks through automated network and application scanning.
  • Assess and quantify the potential impacts on operational and business functions.
  • Judge how successfully network defences perform when faced with an attack.
  • Quantify the need for more significant investment in security technology and personnel.
  • Help thwart future attacks by implementing and validating updated security controls.

Pen testing shouldn’t be limited to a one-time effort. It should be part of a system of ongoing vigilance to keep organisations safe through various types of security testing. Updates to security patches or new components used in a company website could expose new risks that open the door to hackers. That’s why companies should schedule regular penetration testing to help uncover any new security weaknesses and prevent any opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities. Equipping your organization with smart, actionable security measures after our penetration testing services is critical.

How Often Should You Do Penetration Testing?

Companies should plan on conducting regular penetration testing. Regularly scheduled penetration testing allows businesses to locate and mitigate security risks. Businesses should also call-in experts like Siege Cyber for penetration testing whenever the following changes occur:

  • Adding network infrastructure
  • Applying security patches
  • Performing upgrades to applications or other infrastructure
  • Modifications to end-user policies
  • Establishment of new office locations

What Should You Do After a Penetration Testing?

Use the opportunity presented by penetration testing to go over plans about how to strengthen your overall security posture. They offer organisations a chance to go over the results with all stakeholders and assess what must happen to improve company security.

Businesses should turn the outcomes presented to them by penetration testers into actionable insights. Decision-makers within the company can use that information to spur any needed changes to current security protocols. They can also go forward with any needed technology changes that address the risks uncovered during intrusion testing.

Siege Cyber – Australian Leader in Penetration Testing

Take charge of your company’s security posture by addressing vulnerability issues before they become the source of a significant data breach or other cyber-attacks. Siege Cyber helps companies identify and solve security problems within their networks, systems, and other assets. Contact us today at [email protected] or contact us for a free consultation with one of our penetration testers today.