November 06, 2023Top 10 Reasons to Conduct Penetration TestingHacking isn't just an inconvenience. It can seriously damage your reputation or put your company out of business. But you don't have to wait for hackers to exploit your systems. Instead, you can be proactive by performing penetration testing, which looks for vulnerabilities in your hardware, software, physical site and other security protocols.

Pentesting isn't an unnecessary service or only useful for corporations; it's crucial for any business that wants to stay ahead of those with malicious intent and avoid the high cost of hacking. Plus, it offers a few unexpected benefits. But you don't have to take our word for it.

1. Penetration Tests Will Lessen Your Cyber Security Risk

The main reason any company pays for penetration testing is to look for loopholes that hackers will exploit to access their systems and data and then close those loopholes. Simply put, this testing helps you decrease your cyber security risk, even if you think hackers wouldn't target you or your security is already topnotch.

2. Hacking Is Becoming More Prevalent and Automated

Hacking has become more common for several reasons. First, hackers have automated their activities, which means less time and effort to hack. If all a hacker needs to do is run a script to target multiple victims at once, failed attempts don't discourage them. Furthermore, hackers saw the advantage of a remote workforce, which expanded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees were no longer using secure networks, hardware or software, making hacking easier than ever.

3. Pentests Bring Your Vulnerabilities to Light and Allow You to Prioritize Your Risk

All vulnerabilities aren't the same. Some offer the potential for hackers to shut down operations, gain control of your systems or access confidential data, while others are less pressing. With penetration testing, you can identify many of your risks and prioritize hardening those larger vulnerabilities and ignoring false positives.

4. Penetration Testing Saves Your Organization Money

While penetration testing isn't free, the price pales compared to the cost of being hacked. Each year, companies spend millions of dollars after falling victim to hackers. And if you think you're too small for hackers to care about you, think again. Can you afford the average of $200,000 that small businesses pay to clean up a hack? A digital forensic audit is often the first step to figuring out how hackers got in, and you could already have identified and closed that vulnerability with a pentest!

5. Penetration Testing Will Help Secure Your Critical Data

Pentesting doesn't just reveal your most significant vulnerabilities. It encourages you to think about your assets, including data both on site and off. Then, you can prioritize how you secure those assets. Penetration testing can help you find weak or outdated protocols and suggest security practices and tools that you should revamp to protect your data.

6. Pentesting Can Help You Abide by Compliance Regulations (PCI, HIPAA, etc.)

If you accept payments via credit card or handle sensitive patient information, you're already aware of the regulations you must abide by to operate within the law. PCI and HIPAA come to mind. Of course, these are just two common regulations, and businesses in any industry should know their legal obligations to protect client data. It's not enough to be aware, however. You must proactively safeguard that data from hardware or software failures or hackers. With penetration testing, you can look specifically for compliance with those regulations and make adjustments as necessary.

7. Train Developers to Be Cyber Security Aware

Whether you perform penetration testing in-house or hire a third party to test your systems, doing so offers an invaluable opportunity for your developers to think like hackers. Not only can they update current apps to be more secure, but they can keep those lessons in mind when coding software that your company will use in the future to make it more secure from the start.

8. Pentests Give You the Opportunity to Fix Your Vulnerabilities

While penetration testing might stop after you identify vulnerabilities, there's still work to be done. Your team has to get to work closing those vulnerabilities, starting with those that are the riskiest. Depending on the vulnerability, there may be a quick fix, or it could take days or even weeks to resolve. That's why it's crucial not to wait to perform a pentest.

9. Pentests Help an Organization Identify Security Controls That May Not Be Implemented

Sometimes a company's security risks exist simply because they aren't using specific security controls. Additional security may be employed with a click of the mouse. Yet, businesses fail to take advantage because they don't understand the utility of those tools or even because someone temporarily disabled a security control and forgot to turn it back on once they finished the task. Thanks to penetration testing, you can identify easy ways to beef up your security.

10. Pentests Will Ultimately Improve Your Business Continuity

No matter the size of your business, you need to have a disaster plan in place, and we're not just talking about natural disasters. What would you do if someone hacks your system and gains data, takes control, or otherwise disrupts operations? How will you clean up, communicate to clients, and continue operating? Disaster plans fall under the umbrella of business continuity. You need to know how to provide products or services at an acceptable level, and penetration testing can show you how much a security event could potentially interfere with your ability to do so.