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Posted on 20/09/2017 by Charlotte

As the awareness of cyber criminals who are targeting businesses increases, so do the measures businesses are taking to protect their most precious asset – their data. But before you go installing extra firewalls and investing in other security solutions, it’s worth finding out exactly where the gaps in your security are, so that you know what solutions to implement. Otherwise, it’s like putting your whole hand in bandages because you cut your finger – overkill and sometimes less effective. That’s where PEN testing comes in.

 

What Is PEN Testing?

PEN Testing (or penetration testing) is the practice of actively trying to uncover flaws and exploit vulnerabilities in your own IT defences using a professional white hat hacker. A PEN test goes far beyond a basic vulnerability scan or security assessment – these experts (with your permission), will try every single technique used by black hat hackers to break into your systems. A PEN test often involves using a series of automated tools and process frameworks in conjunction with a human tester, who will be able to think creatively and expose any gaps, however small, in your security network. This combination of technology and humans is used because real world hackers will use automated tools to do a lot of the work for them, but will also have the wherewithal and wit to think outside the box and come up with creative ways to get around your defences. The difference is that the white hat hackers are the good guys, and will present you with a detailed report of your vulnerabilities once they have found them, and even put everything back together for you.

 

Why Should I PEN Test My Business? 

Small and medium sized businesses are increasingly at risk of cyber attack as the hackers shift their focus, which means you need to be paying more attention to your security. PEN testing is a fantastic way to finding out where you stand and how much risk your business is currently at, so that you can make changes. There are a few other reasons a smaller business might want to invest in PEN testing, including:

  • To determine the likelihood of attack from certain angles.
  • To test new security systems for vulnerabilities before they go live.
  • Assessing the magnitude of any potential business or operations failures as a result of a cyber attack.
  • Testing the ability of their network defenders to spot and repel a cyber attack quickly.
  • Providing evidence to support increased cyber-security investments or proof of increased efforts to repel a cyber attack.
  • After a cyber-attack; to determine how exactly the attackers got in, in order to shore up your defences.

 

Of course, there are many more reasons you might want to enlist a PEN testing expert, but these are the main reasons we often see. Defining the purpose of the PEN test will largely depend on the drivers for the individual business, and each PEN test will be conducted slightly differently. While we at All Your Computers aren’t certified PEN testers, we can help you understand the results of these tests and what you need to do next to make your business secure. So if you would like some help interpreting the results of your PEN test, or a recommendation for a PEN tester in your area, get in touch with us today.

Posted in Advice ,Opinion
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