IT teams have long used penetration testing to identify and address security risk in their infrastructure. Now, as more people are working from home and cybercriminals are working overtime to locate and take advantage of vulnerabilities, most businesses are feeling the pressure to focus on cybersecurity measures. Unfortunately, with increased demands, disruptions, and challenges this past year, the line item for penetration testing may very well have been postponed. Doing so for too long puts your company at risk, however.
Most individuals embraced the extra downtime and life disruptions during the pandemic to catch up on Netflix, pick up a hobby, or spend quality time with family at home. But for a certain subset of our society, that time provided an excellent opportunity to refine their craft and infiltrate businesses across the globe. According to a 2020 survey, phishing attacks spiked during the pandemic with “companies experiencing an average of 1,185 attacks every month” and “15% of organizations … spending anywhere from one to four days remediating malicious attacks.”
Home WiFi networks, weak passwords, and ill-informed employees provide an all-too-tempting scenario for cybercriminals. Penetration testing is an effective preventive measure to reveal exploitable vulnerabilities so you can address those issues proactively.
When times get tough, budgets get tighter. It’s a fact of business. For IT teams, these constraints often lead to a realignment in priorities and reallocation of funds. For many businesses, this means focusing on core, fundamental systems to ensure greater security and stability, often at the expense of upgrades or enhancements. In fact, according to McKinsey, “the cost of securing the fundamentals could reduce budgets for more advanced threat-intelligence upgrades, behavioral analytics, and other tooling.”
Without these advanced tools, IT teams must leverage penetration testing to quickly create a prioritized list of vulnerabilities. Not only will penetration testing assist in short-term risk mitigation, but it will also help IT teams develop or refine a long-term security plan.
In today’s world of overwhelming uncertainties and anxiety, it’s important to communicate with your customers about the security measures you’re taking to protect them. According to a PwC report, 69% of consumers believe companies are vulnerable to cyberattacks, and only 25% believe companies handle their sensitive data responsibly. That’s a huge gap that your company must consider, especially now.
Create a communication plan for your existing customers and others. Share your stance on privacy and security, as well as the steps you’re taking to continually improve the security and integrity of customer and corporate data. For example, penetration testing at regular intervals will enable your team to proactively identify vulnerabilities and address any issues quickly to minimize risk. Let your customers know that your team is investing in this proactive security measure. It comes down to transparency. While you do not need to get into the weeds on your initiatives, you do need to paint a picture for your customers, as well as staff and company stakeholders to build a foundation of trust.
Identifying vulnerabilities in your network and infrastructure is critical. Through penetration testing, your team can prioritize vulnerabilities, identify poor internal security processes, highlight security protocols that should be implemented, improve business continuity, protect sensitive data, and more.
At the end of the day, your business relies on top-notch cybersecurity. Penetration testing is an effective method to pressure test your security and ensure you maintain a high level of protection at all times. In today’s remote work environment with increasing cyberattacks, penetration testing can serve as your security sidekick, protecting your staff, customers, and business.