The ever-present threat posed by cyber criminals should never be underrated. Criminals have become more persistent and sophisticated than ever before. They will exploit any weakness they can identify in your information security system to achieve their goals. It is therefore essential to ensure that your enterprise is well prepared to avoid and respond to an attack.
Simulating a real-life attack will help to test your entire system, the people using it, processes, and technology. It will help to identify and minimize potential security risks before hackers strike.
Benefits of Simulating a Real-Life Cyber Attack
The more informed you become of potential threats to your organization, the less vulnerable you are to sophisticated cyber-attacks. Simulating a real-life attack shows you both known and unknown weaknesses. The penetration test puts your system’s defenses under the same amount of duress as a real attack would in the ever-evolving cybercrime environment. Let’s look at some of the key advantages of simulating a penetration test.
It Exposes Existing Vulnerabilities
A simulated real-life attack, also known as a penetration test, identifies existing flaws or vulnerabilities in your network infrastructure or application configurations. It goes further to explore the actions and behavior patterns of your employees that could possibly cause a data breach or aid in a malicious infiltration by hackers. After the simulation has been successfully completed, a report is generated based on the test’s findings to show you which software or hardware issues need to be improved and rectified to improve the security of your system.
It Shows You Where the Real Risk Lies
A simulated real-life attack exploits on identified weaknesses. It shows you what an attacker in real-life would do and what he or she would achieve. For instance, the hacker can gain access to sensitive information or even execute commands that can damage your information infrastructure and mess up with your daily operations. The penetration test will furthermore show you which vulnerabilities can be classified as considerable risk based on the difficulty of exploitation and the consequences of a successful hacking attempt.
It Helps to Develop Effective Incident Response Procedures
Once you have adequately understood how a cyber-attack can happen, you can then take the necessary measures to minimize damage in the event of a real-world attack by developing an incident response procedure. An incident response helps to your act on time by initiating investigations to identify the intruders and stopping them before they cause more damage.
The feedback you get from a simulated real-life attack will tell you what actions you need to take to improve your defense and take remedial measures in case of a real attack.
It Ensures That Your Business Continues to Thrive Safely
The smooth running and continuity of your business operations depend on an uninterrupted network availability, access to the necessary resources, and 24/7 communications. Any disruption will negatively impact on business operations. A simulated real-life attack will help you to identify potential threats to the smooth running of your business and help to prevent unexpected downtimes or loss of data. You can even consider these tests as an audit for business continuity.
It Gives You an Expert Third-Party Opinion About Your Security
In most cases, when a problem is identified by one of your employees, the management may not give the issue the attention it deserves but a report from a third-party security expert is treated more seriously. The management will pay more attention to security vulnerabilities revealed by third-party experts and allocate additional funds to bolster security.
It Helps You to Follow Compliance Regulations and Certifications
Compliance with legal and industry compliance may require a specific level of simulated attack testing. For example, PCI regulations or the ISO 27001 standards require you to conduct penetration tests by qualified professionals regularly to review your security. Compliance with the required standards will help you to avoid hefty fines imposed for non-compliance. Certifications from the governing bodies help to demonstrate your commitment to safeguarding your company’s and its customers’ data.
It Helps to Build and Maintain Trust
A data breach destroys the confidence and trust you’ve taken years to build with your customers, partners, and suppliers. On the other hand, if your company has a reputation for maintaining important levels of security by running penetration tests frequently, your stakeholders will be more at ease and confident when dealing with your company. When you run regular penetration tests, you establish a culture of trust in the company. You demonstrate that you care about the security of all those you work for and with.
It Helps to Avoid High Costs of Security Breaches and Service Interruption
Your business can suffer in many ways after a successful security breach. The consequences of a breach range from financial losses, irreparable damage to your company’s reputation, loss of customer trust and loyalty, negative press, and hefty fines and penalties from the industry’s governing bodies. A simulated real-life attack will help you to avoid malicious invasions. Your company is better off taking a proactive role in maintaining the security of its IT infrastructure than dealing with extreme financial, reputational, and business losses. Avoid damage to your brand equity and financial stability of your organization by enlisting the help of expert security professionals such as Venkon to run regular penetration tests on your company’s security system.
A simulated real-life attack to identify potential vulnerabilities is usually done together with a vulnerability scan to give meaning to the data you collect in the process. The combination of penetration testing and vulnerability scans helps your organization to align its security strategies and to tackle the most serious risks first. It is therefore important to choose an experienced security company with expertise in simulated cyber-attack testing to handle the procedure for you. A company with experienced penetration testing professionals will provide you with realistic results on your organization’s level of information security. They’ll help you identify existing weaknesses and take appropriate action before hackers strike.