Penetration testing, or pen testing, is an essential part of cybersecurity and refers to the security process that can evaluate the system applications for vulnerabilities and suspect threats like hackers and cyberattacks for data breaches. Penetrating the company’s security protection requires much skills and time to involve. But today’s technology makes it easy to penetrate the company’s security protection without any problem.
Suppose you are an e-commerce company or any organization such as healthcare, banking, or another service sector. Then they ask why we need penetration testing in an organization. If you think that your organization would never be hacked, your organization or services is not on the radar of threat actors; then this is just a matter of time before organization data will be breached anytime.
What Is the Penetration Test?
A penetration test, a pen test, or ethical hacking is an authorized cyberattack performed on a business. In contrast to simulations, a penetration test aims to break through the company’s defenses in the real world to identify current weaknesses or evaluate a network’s strengths before a criminal does.
A penetration test is commonly incorporated in a security audit to comprehensively assess a company’s security measures. This type of test may simulate various attacks, including phishing, identifying open ports, creating backdoors, modifying data, and installing adware. It involves using similar methods to those of a malicious hacker to try and breach one or more parts of the System.
The value of penetration tests lies in offering a hacker’s viewpoint of a company’s defenses. Such tests can help uncover potential blind spots that security professionals may have missed during development or draw attention to vulnerabilities that are difficult to identify from an insider’s viewpoint.
Why Does an Organization Need Penetrating Testing?
Recognizing that penetration testing serves a purpose beyond vulnerability scanning or compliance auditing, especially when engaging with a customer’s security auditor, is crucial. A penetration test is tailored to assess the effectiveness of the organization’s security measures in a real-world scenario where a skilled attacker may use multiple attack methods to exploit any vulnerabilities. This can be advantageous because it enables organizations to identify and rectify weaknesses before attackers exploit them.
Below is some main reason which indicates the importance of penetration testing in an organization.
Uncover the hidden vulnerabilities
It is crucial to proactively discover and address security vulnerabilities that attackers still need to exploit to ensure safety. This is why security patches are prevalent in modern applications. By conducting penetration tests, weaknesses in cybersecurity plans that were initially overlooked can be exposed. A penetration test prioritizes hazards based on their chance of being exploited, allowing for intelligent resource allocation. A penetration test’s human component will enable you to identify weaknesses that:
- Only occur due to a collection of lower-risk defects that attackers can use in a particular order.
- Rely on the human element, like in the case of social engineering or human error, to show the security education components that need improvement.
- When networks have been automatically screened for vulnerabilities, extra validation is needed.
Testing the Abilities of the System
The Ponemon Institute estimates that discovering a data breach takes 197 days on average. The more time attackers have to steal sensitive data and deploy harmful software, the longer a breach stays undetected. By putting a rootkit on your computer or stealing resources through crypto-jacking, they can also gradually steal more of your private information. Testing the abilities of your network defenders refers to assessing the effectiveness of your organization’s cybersecurity measures and the team responsible for implementing and maintaining them. This involves performing various tests and simulations to evaluate how well your network defenders can detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats.
Assessing the Potential Damage of the Attack
Small businesses incurred an average cost of over $200,000 due to cyberattacks in 2022, including fines, lost revenue, and hiring professionals to address security gaps or update their IT infrastructure. Apart from the financial losses, a successful breach can also significantly impact businesses. Anticipating and identifying these impacts beforehand can enable companies to take necessary measures to reduce their impact and prepare for the post-breach recovery phase.
Lower remediation cost and dwell time
The average time it takes to detect and halt a data breach is 277 days, leading to more significant harm and severe repercussions as sensitive data and harmful software are exposed to malicious actors. In addition to the financial implications, such as downtimes, poor network performance, loss of brand reputation, customer loyalty, and revenue, the effects of cybersecurity breaches can linger for many years.
While restoring normal operations requires significant financial investments, cutting-edge safety measures, and several weeks of downtime, identifying and addressing vulnerabilities uncovered during a penetration test can minimize downtime and inconvenience for your business. Moreover, it costs a fraction of the expense of dealing with a successful breach. According to IBM’s latest research, the average cost of a data breach globally in 2022 is $4.35 million, up 12.7% from 2020.
How Much would penetration testing cost the organization?
When conducting a penetration test, pricing typically starts at around $5,000. The total cost can vary depending on the network or website’s size or the application being tested. The price of testing a single small app would differ from testing multiple user roles for a website, several applications, and an entire network.
We designed affordable pricing so that any size of business can access top-notch security solutions to protect their business. See our pricing details.
In conclusion, penetration testing is an essential part of cybersecurity that helps organizations identify and address vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them. By conducting penetration tests, organizations can uncover hidden weaknesses, test the abilities of their System, assess the potential damage of an attack, and lower remediation costs and dwell time. It is crucial to recognize that the cost of a breach can far outweigh the cost of a penetration test. Therefore, it is recommended that organizations invest in regular penetration testing to ensure the safety of their data and systems.