Pop quiz: Does your company have a computer network? Chances are it does, because it’s nearly impossible to operate a business today without at least one electronic device communicating with another. Too many people and processes depend on networks for everything from basic financial transactions to highly complex production processes. So, if you answered “yes” to the question above, here’s another thought: Just how secure is the network you’re running?
Although you might think your business is safe from hackers and other cyberthreats, you might be (unpleasantly) surprised. To avoid the chaos a cyberattack can bring, it’s a good idea to test your system for vulnerabilities before they become full-blown emergencies. A good way to do that is through penetration testing—or pen testing for short.
What It Is
Also known as ethical hacking, pen testing simulates a cyberattack to pinpoint threat risks and vulnerabilities. It looks for things like service errors, misconfigurations, compromised operating systems, and even risky end-user behavior. Pen testing can be done on networks, applications, IT infrastructure, wireless connections, and more. It’s usually an automated process but can be done manually.
When to Do It
This is when pen testing is most appropriate:
- When your network security system detects a new threat.
- When you add new infrastructure to your network.
- When you conduct a system update or install new software on your machines.
- When you move to a new office.
- When you roll out an end-user policy or program.
Once you know where the risks are in your system, the sooner you can implement threat remediation. Below, we outline the benefits of pen testing for your business.
Besides being able to identify and mitigate threats, pen testing can help your business comply with government regulations and security reporting requirements. This, in turn, can help you avoid penalties and demonstrate due diligence to potential auditors.
For many businesses, network downtime can mean money lost. The longer the downtime, the larger the dollar figure. By catching security threats early, you can avoid falling revenue and even legal action. You also can preserve your brand image by averting negative publicity.
If your business deals with sensitive customer information, it’s important to protect it by avoiding security breaches. No one wants their credit card numbers or Social Security details stolen by hackers. When you’re running a small- to medium-size business, you can be at even greater risk for this kind of threat because hackers may assume you don’t have the sophisticated security reporting software of a larger company.
To keep your business going strong, you need constant access to your network. Any disruption caused by a cyberattack can hamper your business activity and the activities of everyone who interacts with you and your employees. Don’t let such a preventable problem put your company in harm’s way.
Call the Experts
If you’d like to remain vigilant about your company’s network security, call the IT professionals at Applied Network Consulting Group. We are a penetration testing company with extensive experience catching problems before they occur and helping clients fulfill their cybersecurity reporting requirements, too.