Penetration Testing: What It Is & Why Is It Important?

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Penetration
Penetration

There has been a growing trend of cyberattacks in the past few years, and with every passing year, the attacks get more sophisticated and intense. Companies operating in all industries, hence, have become much more aware of the threats associated with cyberattacks, and understand the need for investing in cybersecurity and performing security testing for their systems. These security testing measures help companies understand the vulnerabilities and loopholes in their cyber systems.

What Is Penetration Testing?

An important component of cybersecurity testing is penetration testing which is essentially defined as an ethical hacking procedure that simulates an authorized attack on any given system. It helps identify the given system’s vulnerabilities and picks up problems that traditional IT tools might not be able to detect.

Within penetration testing, an application, a computer system, or a system network is attacked like a traditional hacking attempt. The “hacker” in question, however, is doing so only to test the system’s failures and fix them rather than to gain an advantage over their victim’s vulnerabilities. The ethical hacker tries to find weaknesses that a malicious user could exploit for their advantage. 

Rather than penetration testing being a one-off thing, it is something that companies should engage in regularly. By regularly conducting these tests and increasing their frequency, companies can fortify their systems against all sorts of cyber attacks. It is also a good idea for companies to get penetration testing done by both local and international experts. For instance, a company operating in Australia should first opt for penetration testing in Sydney followed by the same by international experts.

Why Is Penetration Testing Important?

Penetration testing is an integral part of all cybersecurity strategies and allows companies to find their weaknesses before a criminal does. It helps test a system’s security controls and its effectiveness, and given below are two main reasons highlighting just how important penetration testing is:

To Secure System Infrastructure

A secure system infrastructure is crucial to the operations of every organization, and the key to securing it in addition to putting up barriers is testing its strength which can be achieved only through penetration testing. Companies can build firewalls, have two-factor authentication, install anti-virus software and take a ton of sophisticated measures, but these measures are of no use until and unless they are tested. By thinking like a criminal, an ethical hacker tries various ways to test your system’s strength of surviving a cyberattack, and hence in the process secures your infrastructure. 

To Prevent Additional Costs

A data breach brings along with it several costs and consequences. The very first consequences of a data breach are the legal and reputational troubles associated with it. Legal consequences may include the measures affected customers or the government may take against the company for being irresponsible and not taking their cybersecurity measures seriously. Reputational consequences may include their public reputation going up in ruins. To add to all of this, the company may suffer from financial costs associated with legal fees, system failure, and whatnot. The company may incur penalties, and fines, and suffer from loss of business. Penetration testing helps companies forgo all of those additional costs and penalties.

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