Although you may have implemented the best cyber-crime defenses and have a great IT team, there can still be holes in the infrastructure that cyber-criminals can manipulate to get access to your valuable data. This is why businesses run a penetration (pen) test.
What is a Pen Test?
It is a test to discover any vulnerabilities in the system before hackers find and exploit them. When running a pen test, you would simulate a cyber-attack on your own defenses to make sure the system and your staff are prepared for a real breach. Once completed, an evaluation of the whole system can be written for all staff to understand, and the shortcomings of the system can be addressed.
When To Perform A Pen Test?
The pen test should ideally be implemented before a system goes live, so that any issues can be detected and dealt with before operations commence. However, a pen test should not be carried out on a system that is fairly new, as there will be holes in a system’s early stages that can be missed if a test is performed too soon. It is always best to leave some time after a network or system deployment before testing commences.
The biggest mistake most companies make is to leave things here and not continue to test their systems. Some companies may only use the pen test after a cyber-attack to find and seal the hole in the system that was exploited by the hacker. Other businesses may only ever run a pen test due to laws or rules laid down by a board of directors.
The importance of the pen test can be lost in the everyday goings on of the business, but it is vital for the security of the business to regularly test its system. Cyber-crime is continuously evolving and new methods of attack keep appearing. With regular pen tests and other system evaluation methods, you can ensure your system has flawless security infrastructure.
How often your business can test its system will depend on factors such as company size, budget or infrastructure. However, testing your system once a year is better than only having it tested once or not at all. Remember, being up to date with certain standards doesn’t always mean you’re totally secure, as your system will change and develop vulnerabilities over time. You should do a pen test as often as you can to keep up with these changes.
The best security for your business starts with a great data backup and recovery plan. Contact ActiveImage today to learn more about the solutions we offer and how we can help you secure your data.