The Business Case for Penetration Testing
A penetration test, or a pen test, is a popular way to check the effectiveness of your organisation’s cybersecurity. Pen testing is typically done once or twice a year, or after any significant infrastructure or application changes.
As one of the better-known cybersecurity services in the marketplace, pen-testing plays a crucial part in most security-conscious companies’ armouries.
Here, we list five reasons to consider one for your business.
No. 1. A Trusted Way to Check Your Cyber Defences
An accountant completes your tax returns, and a solicitor does the conveyancing for your house sale. Yet when it comes to cybersecurity, some companies leave this critical burden to their IT pros. Sure, you have a capable IT team, and they understand your infrastructure inside out, but the reality is they’re not cybersecurity specialists.
Penetration testers eat cybersecurity for breakfast. They spend years honing their craft and apply tried and tested tools and methodologies to check your systems. You can learn more about pen testers here: Think Your Organisation Needs a Penetration Test? Read This First.
Good testers, and we’re proud to say ours are known as the Best Penetration Specialists in England, will share their knowledge with your IT team and help upskill them.
And here’s another thing. You may have seen an air freshener advert with the slogan ‘Have you gone nose blind?’ Similar psychology applies to those of us who work for the same company for years; we stop noticing stuff and accept the abnormal as usual. In other words, sometimes we fail to see what’s sitting in plain sight.
A penetration tester will assess your security with utter impartiality; without bias or blind spots – just new, unblinking eyes. And above all, they’re on your side, against the cybercriminals; it’s not about catching you or your IT team out.
A great time to arrange a test is after any large-scale changes to your infrastructure or apps, or so that you can confidently take a new application to market.
No. 2. Penetration Testing Supports Your Compliance Requirements
There’s no overarching cybersecurity law in the UK; if only things were that simple! The GDPR (rightly) raises the bar on data privacy, but other relevant security-related legislation depends on your business sector.
If you’re inadvertently falling foul of the security standards for your industry, a penetration test will bring them to the surface. Our tests regularly identify the insecure storage of sensitive information, including PII (personally identifiable information); a big no-no from a GDPR perspective. A quality pen test report gives you more than an understanding of your security vulnerabilities; it lets you see them in context with the likely consequences.
We recommend taking an iterative approach to your cybersecurity. Start with a solid foundation, such as the NCSC’s 10 steps to cyber security or a Managed Assurance Service and use penetration testing to reassess your security posture and plug the gaps.
And it doesn’t have to be a pain without gain; far from it. By shoring up your defences, you’ll make it easier to achieve great things for your business, from Cyber Essentials to ISO 27001. Having these credentials will help you win more business and enhance your standing in the eyes of your stakeholders and customers. Oh, and your marketing team will appreciate you for it (marketing people love badges).
If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by your options, worry not, we can set you on the right path. Click below for a free cybersecurity assessment.
No. 3. Mitigates Your Financial Risk
We’ve all read the horror stories; Oyster card accounts hacked, the breach of Tesco Bank, and course the appalling WannaCry cyberattack. And even if we set aside the greedy ransoms, theft and eye-popping fines which often accompany these sorry tales, the money mounts up in other ways.
Think network downtime, soaring remediation costs and lost custom. And then there’s the human price; we help breached businesses and meet people who are upset and reeling in shock.
It doesn’t take a mathematician to work out that prevention is cheaper than the cure. Better a penetration tester reveals your security vulnerabilities before a hacker runs havoc.
No. 4. Safeguards Your Reputation
When it comes to a data breach, the saying ‘all publicity is good publicity’ is debatable. Nor is this likely to be of any comfort to your shareholders.
Great brands and customer loyalty take years to build. While there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest that the British public has (some) sympathy for hacked organisations, this will evaporate if they learn you’ve been playing fast and loose with their information.
You don’t, of course, but it will help if you can demonstrate that you’re taking every reasonable precaution, including a programme of penetration testing.
No. 5. Builds a More Resilient Business
We’re not going to kid you here; there is no panacea for cybercrime. Penetration testing will reduce your risks of a hack, but it won’t eliminate them. Statistics show that your company will experience a breach at some point.
But the point is that if (actually more likely when) it happens, you’ll be in a stronger position to contain the damage and recover more quickly. By taking a proactive approach to your cybersecurity – including penetration testing – your business will be better able to repel attacks and withstand the effects of a successful breach.
Thanks for reading, we hope you found this useful. Explore our penetration testing services here. Unsure where best to begin?