Penetration testing is a type of security testing used to test an organization’s IT infrastructure for vulnerabilities. It is also known as pen testing or ethical hacking. The testing aims to identify security weaknesses in an organization’s systems and applications.
Organizations use penetration tests to assess their network and application security before attackers do. By identifying vulnerabilities, organizations can take steps to mitigate them and reduce their attack surface.
Pentesting can be conducted internally by an organization’s security team or externally by a third-party firm. Internal tests are sometimes called white-box tests, while external ones are known as black-box tests. This article will discuss seven roles of penetration testing in your business.
1. Ensure Compliance
Organizations must ensure compliance with various regulatory requirements, such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Depending on the industry, there may be other specific compliance regulations that companies should meet. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in significant fines or even jail time for executives.
Penetration testing can play a critical role in ensuring compliance with these regulations. By simulating real-world attacks, penetration testing can help organizations identify weaknesses in their systems before attackers do. Additionally, testing can provide valuable insight into how well an organization’s security controls work. For this case, companies should devote themselves to conducting a Pentest Vendor Comparison to find a reputable penetration testing firm to ensure that their tests are correctly completed and meet all relevant regulatory requirements. Additionally, they should consider conducting periodic penetration tests to ensure that their systems remain secure over time. A Pentest Buyer’s Guide can assist them during this activity.
2. Reduce Attack Surface
Penetration testing can identify security weaknesses in an organization’s systems and applications. By identifying these vulnerabilities, organizations can take steps to mitigate them. This will reduce the organization’s attack surface and make it more difficult for attackers to exploit vulnerabilities.
3. Improve Security Controls
After conducting a penetration test, organizations will better understand their security controls. They can then take steps to improve their controls based on the test findings. This will help to reduce the organization’s attack surface further.
4. Increase Awareness
Penetration testing can help increase awareness of security risks within an organization. By identifying vulnerabilities, organizations can raise awareness of security measures. This will help ensure that employees are more vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect the organization’s systems and data.
5. Test Employee Knowledge
By conducting social engineering attacks, organizations can assess how well employees handle suspicious emails, phone calls, and other attempts to access sensitive information. Penetration tests can also be used to test employee knowledge of security procedures. This type of testing can help organizations identify weaknesses in their security awareness training.
6. Identify False Positives
False positives can occur during vulnerability scans when a vulnerability is identified but is not a threat. Penetration testing can help organizations identify false positives and determine which vulnerabilities are actual threats. It will help reduce the number of false positives identified by vulnerability scanners.
7.Gain Intelligence on Attackers
When attackers penetrate an organization’s systems, they often leave behind evidence of their activities. Pentesting can help organizations gather this evidence and use it to gain intelligence on the attackers. As a result, companies can use this information to improve the organization’s security posture and protect against future attacks.
Pentesting is a vital tool for organizations to assess their security posture. By identifying vulnerabilities, organizations can take steps to mitigate them and reduce their attack surface. Additionally, penetration testing can help organizations ensure compliance, test employee knowledge, and gain intelligence on attackers.