What is penetration testing and does my business need it?

Posted on 28/10/2019

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As cyber threats continue to grow in number and sophistication, businesses face an increasing risk of attack. A traditional security strategy is no longer enough, and organisations must test the strength of their resistance to effectively defend their networks.

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing – or “pentesting” – is a comprehensive method of testing a corporate network’s cyber security. Conducted by ethical hackers, a simulated cyber attack is carried out on the network to uncover vulnerabilities and potential areas of exploitation.


Does my business need a penetration test?

The cyber security landscape is complex and rapidly evolving. With the increasing powers of technology comes maliciously-motivated cyber criminals, who actively develop new means of accessing business networks and data for their gain.

Almost a third of UK businesses were hit with a cyber attack or security breach in 2018* and its high time organisations take action to defend themselves.

Pentesting is a proactive and efficient means to help protect your business from these threats, enabling you to build an effective defence strategy that’s based on the real flaws and strengths in your security.

There are several types of types of pentesting, each designed to meet the unique objectives and requirements of your business.

Still not sure? Read on to find out the benefits pentesting could have for your business.


Expose weaknesses in your security – before it’s too late

Ensuring your business has a solid security strategy in place has never been more important. But, from the inside, it’s not always possible to spot the holes in your own defence system.

Pentests simulate the behaviour of real criminals, from a safe and controlled environment. The results will uncover critical flaws in your security and how these could be exploited in a real-life scenario. From this, you’ll know what your business needs to do to up its security game and stay one step ahead of cyber criminals


Compliance is key

More and more organisations are now looking to best practice standards and regulations to improve their services, products and processes, and provide that all-important assurance to their customers. There are several standards that require auditing and analysis of an IT system’s security.

Performing a pentest is essential for any business looking to become compliant with such standards – including ISO 27001 and PCI DSS.


Prioritise and remediate risks in order of severity

Pentesting professionals will be able to analyse your results and best advise you on the appropriate actions for your business. You’ll be able to focus on the high-priority issues first, ensuring your business’ defence strategy is strengthened and any major risks remediated as quickly as possible.


It’ll save you £££ in the long run

A security breach can cost a business thousands or, in some cases, even millions of pounds – not to mention the additional long-term damage to reputation.

Pentesting is a cost-effective solution to identify the biggest weaknesses in your security, so you can minimise risk of your business suffering serious financial and reputation loss further down the line.


Speak to a pentesting professional

Regardless of an organisation’s size, pentesting is a valuable tool that can help all types of business understand their vulnerabilities and build a more secure environment.
Find out more about penetration testing and other means of vulnerability assessment, or speak to an expert at Air Sec today.


* Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2019, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

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