Penetration testing involves breaking into your network or computer system to identify potential risks and find areas that hackers could exploit. It’s a simulated cyberattack that tests the security of a system or network, looking for weak points and finding ways to break in.
Penetration testing isn’t easy, but it can also help you find out where your security is weakest. The sooner you discover these vulnerabilities, the easier it will be to fix them before a real hacker exploits them.
Here are some reasons why penetration testing should be included in your company’s cybersecurity plan:
1. You Can Find Out Which Areas of Your Network Are Vulnerable
The single biggest reason for performing penetration testing is to identify which areas of your network are vulnerable. Virtual attack simulations can help you figure out how likely it is a hacker could gain access to your systems and what they might be able to do once they’re in.
By knowing what areas of your network are especially vulnerable, you can prioritize your security efforts by plugging the gaps in your network’s defences.
2. You’ll Know Exactly Where to Focus Your Security Efforts
Penetration testing will also show you exactly where you need to focus your security efforts. This will be especially clear if you use a specialized penetration testing tool. You will be able to see precisely which protocols are being targeted and the level of difficulty associated with exploiting a vulnerability.
For example, you may find that many attempts to break in target a specific server. This is an indication of a vulnerability that needs to be fixed, and you can be sure that real attackers will find it.
The same goes for internet-facing websites. You can use penetration testing to find out which pages are most vulnerable to attack, allowing you to prioritize your security efforts.
3. It Helps Build an Incident Response Plan
Penetration testing can also help you build an incident response plan. This will help you prepare for the worst and decide how to respond to a real attack at different points in your network.
You’ll learn how quickly you can identify the source of the attack, how long it takes to shut down the source and how quickly you can contain the damage. This will help you determine where to place sensors and how to tune your security systems so they respond as quickly as possible.
4. It Helps Establish a Culture of Security Awareness
Another reason to perform penetration testing regularly is to establish a culture of security awareness. This is particularly important in organizations with employees who have access to sensitive data.
Penetration testing can simulate a real attack, forcing your employees to respond to a simulated breach in the same way they would respond to a real one. This will help them understand how important it is to follow security procedures and to be aware of potential threats.
Penetration testing can be an important part of any company’s cybersecurity efforts. It allows you to identify vulnerabilities in your network, prioritize security efforts and prepare for potential attacks. The sooner you find out about these vulnerabilities, the easier it will be to plug them.