How Penetration Testing Can Boost Your Cybersecurity

Cybercriminals don’t distinguish between business, whether big or small. In their eyes, both are lucrative targets of ransomware, cyber espionage, identity theft, and other sorts of attacks aimed at getting as much money as possible, at the expense of business owners. The year 2019 is no different from the previous years, and cybercriminals are stepping up their game, which is why you need to be ahead of these attackers with the help of penetration testing. However, what does penetration testing do exactly?

It identifies vulnerabilities in your system before the hackers find them. 

In the art of cyberwar and defence, it pays to know oneself first, which is why penetration testing involves studying all kinds of ways a hacker may try to compromise your system. A penetration test is more in-depth and detailed compared to regular vulnerability assessments.

By testing the weak points that vulnerability assessments have already discovered, more vulnerabilities and loopholes can be found and addressed even before a hacker discovers them. Aside from identifying active attack techniques that a hacker could use, a penetration test also involves identifying habits and practices among the company’s insiders that could lead to data breaches.

It bolsters your cybersecurity efforts.

Once you complete a penetration test, you should have discovered all possible weaknesses of your system. You can use the results to determine the methods and techniques to reduce or eliminate these vulnerabilities, or at the very least, to make any potential hacker spend too much time in their attempts. While some vulnerabilities can’t be eliminated, what is essential is to find those vulnerabilities and apply tools, techniques, and strategies that would discourage the hacker from trying.

It saves on costs and ensures smooth operations. 

As with human illnesses, prevention is better and cheaper than cure. Data recovery, not to mention damage control, can take time and money, depending on the nature of the cyber-attack. Disruption because of a cyber-attack would also mean lost time and money. Penetration testing allows you to discover vulnerabilities before these are exploited by would-be cyber-attackers and establish measures to make your system cope with these vulnerabilities. By being a step ahead of potential attackers, you are saving your business time and money.

It complies with laws, regulations, and industry standards.

Business owners in Canada are required to comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), especially when it comes to acquiring, storing, and sharing of their customers’ credit card data. The PCI DSS requires that every business involved in credit card handling has to conduct penetration tests on their system to plug security loopholes that may cause loss or misuse of credit card data. In addition to the PCI DSS, you also have to comply with the data protection provisions of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) which applies in the whole of Canada. Avoid hefty fines, business closure, and jail time by having your business’ systems undergo penetration testing.

It maintains your reputation and your customers’ loyalty.

It’s not only your cyber-infrastructure that would crumble if your business experiences a data breach but your brand’s reputation as well. Your customers entrust you with their data every time they buy or avail your services. Value their trust by enacting measures such as penetration testing that would help you protect their data from breaches and misuse.

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