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20 Nov 2017

5 Reasons Why Penetration Testing is Important

Cybersecurity has become the prime concern for every service organization these days. Organizations, unacquainted with the cyber-attacks and the harm it can cause to the systems are falling prey to these attacks. Therefore, the most appropriate way to secure the organization is to focus on comprehensive security testing techniques. The effective testing approach to assess the current security posture of the system is known as penetration testing also known as ‘Pen-Testing’.

What is Pen-Testing

Pen-testing aims to identify vulnerabilities and risks in the system which may impact the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data by emulating a real attack. In this approach, the organization employs security analysts who work as hackers (ethical hackers) to identify the uncovered security loopholes. The only thing that separates a penetration tester from an attacker is permission. A pen tester will always have consent from the owner of the computing resources that are being tested and will be accountable to provide a report. The objective of a penetration test is to validate the current security implementation and identify the vulnerabilities with the updated attack set.

Most of the pen testers are hired just to find one hole, however, in most of the cases, they are expected to keep looking past the first hole so that additional threats and vulnerabilities can be identified and fixed. It is important for the pen-testers to keep comprehensive notes about how the tests were performed so that the results can be validated and if there are any issues that are uncovered can be resolved. These days, companies are following the “defense in depth” methodology, in which multiple independent network layers and the OSI layers are checked for vulnerabilities. This methodology means that no single security-control catastrophe can bring down your IT infrastructure. This approach defends the networks and systems through the use of various simultaneous protection schemes.

Why Perform Pen-Testing?

A pen test is generally performed to find vulnerabilities and fix them before an attacker does. Sometimes, the IT department is aware of the reported vulnerabilities but still needs an external expert to officially report them so that the management is sure of the vulnerabilities and can fix them properly. Having a second set of eyes to corroborate all the vulnerabilities is always a good security practice. Let’s find out the reasons why performing pen-testing is important.

1. Meeting compliance: There has been a mandate in the payment card industry to follow the PCI-DSS regulations for an annual and ongoing penetration testing. A pen-test allows the enterprises to mitigate the real risks associated with the network.
2. Maintaining confidentiality, revenue and goodwill: Failure to protect the confidentiality of the data can result in legal consequences and a loss of goodwill. A security attack can affect the accounting records, hampering the revenue of the organization. Pen-testing not only helps the enterprises discover the amount of time that is taken for an attacker to breach the system but also helps in confirming the companies to prepare the security teams in order to remediate the threat.
3. To verify secure configurations: If the security team of an organization is doing a good job, and are confident of their actions and the final results, the penetration reports verify them. Having an outside entity acts as a confirming agent of whether the security of the system provides a view that is lacking the internal preferences. An outside entity can also measure the team’s efficiency as security operators. It helps in identifying the gaps in the system.
4. Security training for network staff: Penetration testing allows security personnel to recognize and respond to a network attack properly. For instance, if the penetration tester is able to compromise a system without letting anyone know about it effectively, this could be indicated as a failure to train staff on proper security monitoring effectively.
5. Testing new technology implementation: Testing the technology, before it goes into the production stage is considered to be a perfect time. Performing a penetration test on new technologies, before they go into production often saves time and money as it is easier to fix the vulnerabilities and gaps before the application goes live.

Importance of application security testing in preventing cyber-attacks

TestingXperts’ Pen-Testing Capabilities

TestingXperts holds a rich expertise in security testing and is catering to diverse business needs. TestingXperts have been serving clients across different industry verticals for more than a decade now.  Our web application penetration testing exposes vulnerabilities in applications and minimizes the risks of the application. Moreover, our efficient pen-testers ensure that the software code of the application is benchmarked for increased quality assurance.

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