Penetration testing (pentest)
7 reasons why your company needs a pentest
Penetration testing is a method of checking the security of computer networks, the peculiarity of which is modeling the testers’ actions as if an attack is performed by real attackers. There are a number of reasons why pentest may be necessary.
An information security incident recently took place
Unlike the previous point, which is aimed more at maintaining the infrastructure of the customer organization, here it is more important to check if there are any traces of the attack. If so, how can they be mitigated. In addition, information security incidents, if they do not relate to employee mistakes (accidentally deleted backups, accidentally reset settings), are a strong signal that there are problems with security and that the current system does not allow to trace and eliminate all possible channels through which an attack can occur.
Information security incidents haven’t happened in a long time
If the incident log has been empty for two years since it first appeared, this is a reason to wonder whether the implemented information security tools are really capable of tracking and preventing an attack properly. Maybe the rules of an intrusion detection system or security event management system are implemented incorrectly, and because of that some important information escapes the eyes of the specialists. Penetration testing includes a guaranteed impact on the client organization’s infrastructure, so it becomes possible to track how correctly the attack detection tools work.
There has been a major infrastructure upgrade recently
If any voluminous infrastructure elements (network equipment, information systems) have been updated, pentest will allow you to uncover the gaps that have been made during implementation. For example, if a system administrator has forgotten to change the default password for administrative access to the information system from the default one to a more complex one, the penetration tester will have no trouble connecting to the system. Such configuration flaws are hard to trace, but the pentest allows you to detect and quickly fix them.
In-house information security specialists cannot always tell where the real weaknesses are
This reason follows from the previous one: in-house experts are constantly working with computer networks and information security tools, so any familiar to them feature (for example, a single account for administrators with the password 12345678) may become disastrous when a real attack is launched.
The desire for independent control of implemented measures
What is the goal of all data protection actions? Installing antivirus, software protection against leaks, access control and so on? Usually it is absence of violations of three information security components: confidentiality, integrity and availability. If violations can be caused by an attacker, the purpose of installing the above tools is to protect against that attack. Penetration testing can show how well your information security system will handle the impact of the pentester correctly.
Increase in attacks
Statistics show a steady increase in the number of computer attacks. Of course, countermeasures have been developed and are in place (secure application development technologies, various information security measures, etc), but the methods of attack are improving too. Often an attacker just needs to find one weak spot, one vulnerability, one port not closed on time and the network is compromised. That is why third-party control in the form of pentest provides an additional layer of protection against unnecessary incidents.
Penetration testing is a useful and effective security analysis tool. Works of this kind allow you to assess the real state of the information protection system when countering attacks. The work is not limited to the analysis of existing vulnerabilities and solves a wide range of problems.