Securing the safety of your company’s digital infrastructure should be among the top priorities on your list of to-dos, especially during this current Pandemic, where most activities are done through digital means. The instance of a security breach could jeopardize not only your own company’s finances, but also the well being of your clients, which will invariably have an effect on your company’s image and reputation. Even in a comparatively safe scenario where your digital infrastructure is left relatively unscathed, there always remains the possibility that legal action could be taken from a client or a customer for putting their sensitive data in a vulnerable position to begin with. Given this, it is imperative that your company undergoes penetration testing.
Penetration testing is a means by which your Digital and IT infrastructure will be evaluated through purposely breaking into (or ‘Hacking’, as is known in popular culture nowadays) your company’s digital security systems, albeit in a controlled environment. This is done by ethical hackers (Or White Hat hackers) so that any cracks in your security system will be revealed. These types of ‘ethical’ hackers are, in fact, using the same methods and searching for the same weaknesses as a criminal hacker would be when breaking into your system. In this regard, ethical and criminal hackers are one and the same. However, the difference is that the former actually has permission to hack, and the latter does not.
By purposefully hacking into your system, a pen tester can root out any vulnerabilities which would be otherwise exploited through the same means as any ‘Black Hat’ Hackers. It’s a way of second guessing the methods and routes criminal hackers might take if a break in would occur. Usually, a penetration test is requested when changes are made to a company’s existing digital infrastructure, or upon the introduction of new software or applications. This can include employing new updates, upgrades and patches, as well. However, it is strongly recommended to frequently pen test one’s digital assets, so that previously undiscovered vulnerabilities can be found.
Upon conducting a penetration test, the ethical hacker will locate exposed points which may be through web applications, the cloud, emails, servers, unsecured wifi networks, and a variety of other entry points. After locating one such weakness, the white hat hacker can then utilize the newly exposed entry point to discover any other points of access whereby data might be compromised.
Reasons for Pen Testing your Digital Assets
Avoid Remediation Costs
The consequence for leaving your business open to hacks is, perhaps unsurprisingly, that your business will most likely become the victim of a security breach (quite logical). However, asides from the obvious is the aftermath. If your digital assets get hacked into, the process of recovering from the breach may cost thousands to millions of dollars, which could include fines or even a lawsuit from a client who’s data was compromised. In fact, the avg. cost of recovery regarding data breaches is currently rising, with around $3million dollars being the estimate in 2018.
Your Company’s Reputation
The issue of trust is one that can make or break your company; if your company’s reputation has been jeopardized, so too will your company’s revenues suffer. So, if a single instance of losing a client’s confidence in your ability to perform inevitably leads to loss of revenue, how about losing a client’s trust in regards to keeping their own personal data safe? The answer should be clear. If word spreads that your enterprise’s ability (Or lack thereof) to protect your customer’s personal assets becomes public, it will be a matter of more than just the client worrying about wasting money on poor quality services. indeed, the issue will pertain more along their own safety. And in this regard, most rational people wont take that risk.
As a precautionary measure, one should always be aware how much their business is worth overall, and how much it would be cost if that business were to incur damages. In regards to companies that utilize a vast array of digital infrastructures, it “pays” more than it costs to conduct penetration testing on your digital assets, as the impact of a security breach will likely be expensive. However, by discovering the particulars of the risk, and where that risk will most likely effect your business the most, you can then prioritize and strategize where to invest time and effort in maximizing protection in this regard.
Complying with Regulations
Depending on your country’s laws, and the type of industry your business is involved in, there might be regulations in place that require your business or the products being sold to undergo thorough security assessment and penetration testing. For example, financial institutions in Singapore are required by law to observe the TRM Notice, which regards tech based risk management for ‘capital market entities.’ Disregarding these rules will lead to a substantial fine. So, it wouldn’t hurt to avoid any misconceptions about what your business is and is not obligated to do by consulting a legal expert on these matters.
Improve your own staff’s Knowledge
Conducting a penetration test offers the opportunity for your team to observe and learn, thereby familiarizing them with the most frequently used techniques employed by hackers, and the ways in which networks can be infiltrated. It can also help developers improve their understanding of potential vulnerabilities within their own projects, thereby reducing the risk of “backdoors” or misconfigurations within their software. Having an increased awareness among your team for the risks of a data breach, even on a basis of “general knowledge,” can always be helpful, if not to simply have your employees conduct themselves with a greater deal of caution when opening emails.
How often should a company undergo penetration testing?
As a rule of thumb, penetration testing should performed at least once every year. However, this is not recommended. Ideally, your company should pen test its digital assets on a regular basis. The PCI Security Standards Council, which develops international standards for security protocol, has recommended doing internal vulnerability scanning on a monthly basis. Furthermore, asides from pen testing on a regular basis, there are various occasions which are considered appropriate times to conduct penetration tests, specifically in regards to a change taking place within your digital infrastructure. In this regard, you should run a pentest whenever, for example, new security patches are installed, policies are updated, your digital infrastructure has undergone an upgrade or new application s have been added to your digital assets.
Services offered by LOGIQUE
To improve the security of your digital systems, Logique Digital Indonesia offers penetration testing services, through our professional IT security team, dedicated to help ensure that your digital assets are not open to a data breach. Please contact us in order to improve your application or website’s cyber security.