What is Penetration Testing?
It seems unthinkable: asking an outsider to break your cyber security and demonstrate just how easily they can rifle through your systems.
Yet penetration testing, or pen-testing, as it’s otherwise known, might be the most important IT security assessment you take.
With businesses increasingly targeted by the elaborate schemes of cyber criminals – and the small to medium enterprise footing the bulk of the losses – it’s never too prudent to ask for extra added assurance. With penetration testing, an ethical hacker performs a simulated attack on your servers, networks and applications at your request. In doing so, this:
- Tests your cyber resilience, notably against the most recent and sophisticated hacking techniques.
- Identifies where your business is at its most vulnerable, and the actions needed to mitigate those risks…
- …and demonstrates the impact of this attack on your business; not only its systems, but its users too.
What makes penetration testing so vital is the growing volume and complexity of cyber attacks. As our knowledge of cyber security has grown, so too has the cyber criminal’s ability to exploit it. Hacking resources are peddled openly on the Dark Web, the sale of stolen data is a profitable business, and both are being made more accessible by the day.
It takes someone with equal knowledge of your system’s vulnerabilities – and a better moral compass, perhaps! – to protect you against these threats.
A Pen Test, by design, is more invasive than your average threat assessment, and your tester will adopt any means necessary to get into your company systems. We’re talking targeted invasion of your systems, utilising the vulnerabilities exclusive to your setup and adopting the kind of interpretive thinking only human-controlled hacking can provide.
The results of this hack can be quite the eye-opener. Your Pen Tester can pinpoint every exploitable gap in your systems, and the techniques you’ll need to prevent against. They can confirm your company’s conformity to GDPR legislations, protecting your data, your finances and your company reputation. From here, they can also suggest the next best steps to plug every gap in your security.
If it sounds a little uncomfortable having someone root around in your company’s vulnerable assets, it needn’t. The penetration test is a mutual exercise, with you and your tester clarifying the nature, methods and systems being tested as they try to infiltrate your systems, and with no data being genuinely compromised. A Penetration Test from a reputable provider, such as Mirus IT, will adhere to the strictest in safety and security standards – so you know they’re one of the good guys!
A Penetration Test is the ultimate assurance that you’re protected against the latest cyber threats; and however many issues your test identifies, it’s already the first step to eliminating them once and for all.