Conduct Penetration Test for IT Security

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20 reasons why you need to conduct a penetration test
While the number of organisations that have suffered a cyber attack goes up, the clock for when it’s your turn is ticking down. In fact, it’s likely that your clock has already run out, you just haven’t noticed it yet.
As each day passes, hacking is becoming a more automated process, allowing unskilled computer users to become successful cyber criminals. The effort required to download hacking software and get it up and running is worryingly low.

An effective form of defence against these automated cyber attacks is regular penetration testing. An organisation that conducts regular penetration tests stands a much larger chance of blocking cyber attacks due to their knowledge of vulnerabilities.

Why you need to conduct a penetration test

The following list is taken from IT Governance’s guide ‘20 compelling reasons why frequent penetration tests and vulnerability assessments are crucial’. This guide will help you better understand the need for regular penetration tests, as well as provide you with the knowledge needed to create a strong board-level business case for penetration testing.

1- Hacking has now become an automated process

Hacking tools have grown in popularity and a catalogue of exploitable vulnerabilities is readily available online. Such tools permit even novice hackers to gain access to complex exploits for opportunistic attacks.

2- A pen test helps you find vulnerabilities and fix them before an attacker does

A penetration test can be compared to an annual medical exam. Even if you believe you are healthy, your medical doctor will run a series of tests to detect dangers that have not yet developed symptoms.

3- Penetration testing will help reveal problems you didn’t know existed

Protection is ideal, but detection is a must. After popular retail chain TJ Maxx was hacked, they realised that they had been losing customer data for over a year before they discovered the breach.

Penetration testing uncovers critical security risks

  • Vulnerabilities and types of attack are constantly evolving: finding and eliminating new vulnerabilities is an ongoing challenge.
  • Pen tests offer an independent view of the effectiveness of security processes.
  • Frequent and comprehensive testing means that emerging security risks can be discovered and prevented before they cause any damage.

Penetration testing provides a basis for information security strategy and resource allocation

  • Penetration testing offers an educated evaluation of vulnerabilities and categorises the level of risk.
  • This enables an organisation to proactively identify which vulnerabilities are most critical.
  • Remediation activities can be prioritised and security resources allocated accordingly.
  • By analysing the effectiveness of existing security solutions, penetration tests can offer a solution to justify future investments.

Penetration testing is part of a cost-effective and targeted risk mitigation approach

  • Penetration testing evaluates an organisation’s ability to protect its networks, applications and users from attackers attempting to circumvent existing security controls and gain unauthorised access to protected assets.
  • A comprehensive technical testing report about identified security vulnerabilities helps information security teams make strategic conclusions and prioritise remediation efforts.

Frequent testing enables compliance with industry standards and regulations

  • Penetration testing complies with the auditing and compliance aspects of frameworks and regulations such as ISO 27001, the PCI DSS, NIST, FISMA, HIPAA and Sarbanes-Oxley.
  • Tests can enable an organisation to avoid penalties for non-compliance by demonstrating a commitment to security due diligence and compliance.

Penetration testing provides management teams with an overview of the level of risk to which an organisation is exposed

  • Penetration testing helps you avoid data breaches that may impact your organisation’s reputation and brand.
  • An executive summary of the test results explains the vulnerabilities and presents the risks and issues in clear, non-technical terms.
  • An on-site, business-focused presentation of test findings can give the executive team a clear view of the organisation’s risk status.

IT Governance combines expert technical skills with deep information security management expertise

  • Vast technical knowledge and deep information security experience, combined with CREST-accredited tests, mean that testing meets rigorous industry standards.
  • Testers employ multiple tools and techniques closely aligned with the Open Source Security Testing Methodology (OSSTM) and the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP).
  • A combination of automated vulnerability scans and advanced manual tests are applied.
  • All tests begin with a detailed consultation session to identify the depth and breadth of the tests required.
  • A combination of fixed-price and bespoke penetration testing solutions means flexible, transparent prices and services.
  • Consultants have extensive expertise in management systems and achieving certification to ISO 27001 and the PCI DSS (PCI QSA).
  • Vendor-neutral technical advice means that available resources are used wherever possible.
  • Immediate notification of any critical vulnerabilities enables the organisation to take action quickly.
  • Repeat penetration testing packages are available at a discount.