Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Scanning

If you want your business to be as secure as possible, penetration tests are the best indication of how vulnerable your systems are. This includes conducting a simulated test where authorized agents act as hackers and search for any weak points by attempting to penetrate security defenses.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is otherwise known as “ethical hacking.” It’s the practice of testing a computer system or a website application so that any security vulnerabilities are found, and can be performed either automatically, or manually.

The process involves scanning for potential weak spots, gaining access to the server via those weak spots, and testing how long the penetration lasts for an intruder to get farther into the system. The results are then reported by your IT management services so you can assess the quality of your security, and consider any improvements that need to be made.

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What is Vulnerability Scanning?

Vulnerability scanning checks the internet for any information that could be used to hack into your system, and then tells you the severity of your risk. It leads you to the exposed entry which penetration testing then exploits to assess the amount of information exposed by vulnerabilities in your system architecture. They are both integral to indicating the weak points of your security, and in revealing what information could be divulged if your system were infiltrated.

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Penetration Testing vs Vulnerability Scanning

The vulnerability test basically informs your business that there is an open security hazard. The penetration test reveals what information is available due to that hazard, and what you would need to do to avoid that in the future. It delves into what passwords need improvement, any problems with network sharing permissions, what sensitive information is insufficiently protected, and more.

When these tests are performed, the MSP gathers information leaked into the internet to imitate the methods of a hacker when facing your business security. They can also use public information online and sweep for live hosts that run within your network range.

Lastly, they would attempt to use any information gathered in other phases to try and compromise your system. When the testing is complete, the MSP would come to you and present a formal summary to inform you of the latest developments so you can decide what improvements you want to invest in.

The Benefits

Other than through penetration testing, there really is no other way of testing your security vulnerabilities except by suffering a real attack. And not only can the test be performed at your timing to ensure there’s no interference with your normal routine, but it’s affordable, and you can get updates and notifications with the progress in case any alerts are triggered.

It ultimately means that you get a third party’s expert opinion on your defenses, within all of the compliance regulations and laws, and the information from this procedure allows businesses to adjust their controls to improve their detection and response rate.

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Why Perform These Tests?

It’s important to understand that foregoing any penetration testing puts your company at risk with the amount of hackers that exploit unprepared businesses, regardless of your size; in 2018, 43% of recorded data breaches happened to small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs). 

It takes at least a month to install integral patches to the business network, meaning it’s a process that SMBs need to consistently maintain in order to avoid exploitation from newly developed threats.

Too many businesses underestimate their security risks and the value of proactive security measures. By performing both the penetration test and the vulnerability scan, you can improve your security level, and establish a stronger platform for future growth. Elimination of a hacker’s accessibility to your business and customer data, and staying ahead of their schemes is the objective.

To find out more about our team, and how we can help improve your security, you can get in touch with us today to find out more.

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