The growth of the Internet over the past decade can be attributed to the massive boom in the number of websites which number in the billions. The popularity of the Internet has turned it into a huge market and it is no surprise that many businesses have chosen to take their business online. With that being said, is it safe and secure to store data online? Some of the sensitive information stored online include banking information, clientele data, confidential government documents and many more. This is where penetration testing shows it’s relevancy by playing a huge role in safeguarding valuable data online. In Cyprus, penetration testing has gained a lot traction evidenced by the numerous companies who have adopted this service and the various white hacking competitions.
What is penetration testing and how does it work?To put it in simple terms, penetration testing is an authorized attempt to perform a data breach on a system normally carried out by exploiting any vulnerabilities, loopholes and security weaknesses in the system. In layman terms, it would essentially be like a person who is purposefully trying to break into his or her own house to see whether the security system that was installed is strong enough to withstand various kinds of attacks. Due to the frequency of data breaches and hacking activities, penetration testing has become a standard operating procedure for computer systems, networks, servers, mobile devices and even web applications. At SoftwareCy, we provide both internal and external penetration testing. During external testing, we identify any vulnerabilities in your website or network through the eyes of an external attacker, while during internal testing it comes from an internal perspective (e.g. employee or vendor) in order to find any internal network vulnerabilities. A detailed report is generated by us at the end of the test highlighting all internal and external security vulnerabilities as well as recommendations on how to rectify any critical issues if found.
Why should we perform penetration testing?As with other areas in life, when it comes to data breaches prevention is better than cure. Data breaches are known to be extremely costly, time-consuming and incur huge inconveniences to clients under the service. In 2013, there was the infamous Target data breach that cost the company up to $148 million in damages, not to mention exposing over 70 million of their customers’ personal information. A study by Ponemon Institute in 2014 showed that the average cost of a data breach averaged $3.5 million per affected company. It is a common misconception to think that data breaches can be prevented simply by adding many layers of firewalls and defensive mechanisms whereas in reality, the more layers of security added, the more difficult it is to check for security loopholes in the system due to its exponentially increased complexity. While no online system can ever be 100% secure, penetration testing allows IT professionals to identify which parts of the system are most vulnerable and remedy them immediately.
How often should penetration testing be done?The frequency of penetration testing varies greatly depending on a company’s industry and its respective regulations. For instance, with the financial sector being so heavily regulated, more penetration testing is required to be carried out on a regular basis. It is common for companies to only perform the minimum number of penetration testing required by said regulation or after a security breach occurs. Instead, it is highly recommended that companies carry out penetration testing more often than the minimum requirements set for their industry. This is especially true if the system goes through a software update, security patch, infrastructure upgrade or any other significant changes. A little online research will indicate that attacks on security systems evolve extremely fast due to how rampant black hat hackers have become and it only validates the need for more frequent penetration tests.
If you have an online business of any kind, it is safe to say that penetration testing will help safeguard your system in the interest of protecting your brand image and maintaining customer loyalty. If you have any further inquiries about our services, feel free to contact us here and our customer service representative will be more than happy to assist you.