How Businesses Penetration Test More Effectively in 2023
Penetration testing is a critical part of maintaining the security and integrity of a company’s systems and data. Studies looking at recent cyberattacks show that many breaches stem from vulnerabilities that would have been easily caught by a routine but high-quality pentest.
What can businesses do to improve the effectiveness of their pen tests in 2023? These guidelines can help:
- Use a reputable and qualified penetration testing firm: It is important to use a reputable and qualified penetration testing firm with the skills and expertise to identify and assess a wide range of vulnerabilities. This usually means finding a firm with expertise in testing your specific type of environment.
- Conduct regular testing: Rather than at random intervals, or when mandated by a compliance requirement, penetration testing should be conducted on a regular basis, as the threats and vulnerabilities facing a company will change over time. By conducting testing on a regular basis, companies can ensure that their systems and networks are continuously protected.
- Test a wide range of systems and networks: Companies should ensure that their penetration testing includes a wide range of systems and networks, including any relevant and connected web applications, mobile applications, cloud-based systems, and on-premises systems. Even though this can increase the cost of a test, it is crucial since without it, the test may be ineffective.
- Use a variety of testing methods: Companies should use a variety of testing methods, including automated tools and manual testing, in order to identify as many vulnerabilities as possible.
- Include stakeholders in the testing process: Companies should involve key stakeholders in the testing process, including IT staff, security staff, and business leaders. This can help ensure that the testing is thorough and that any vulnerabilities are well-understood and addressed in a timely manner.
- Use the results of the testing to improve security: The moment a pentest report arrives is the moment a lot of companies stop thinking about their pentest. Instead, companies should use the results of their penetration testing to identify and address any vulnerabilities and to improve their overall security posture. This can include implementing new controls, updating policies and procedures, and providing additional training to employees.
When done properly, penetration testing can be a key weapon in defending your organization against cyber threats. Testing well and often not only improves security posture but decreases organizational risk and enhances customer trust.