Penetration Testing Steps for a Secure Business

by Sarah Harvey / October 18th, 2018

How to Secure Your Business Through Penetration Testing

Being prepared for cyber attacks and having the ability to fix the weaknesses within a system helps organizations avoid the consequences of data breaches. Not only are these breaches costly due to the accumulation of legal fees, IT remediation, and customer protection programs, but customer loyalty can be lost following a breach. By being aware and prepared for attacks before they happen, organizations who regularly undergo penetration testing are more likely to avoid these consequences. Undergoing regular penetration testing can help your organization identify and remediate vulnerabilities found in your security posture. But what steps does your organization need to take to ensure that you’re getting the most out of undergoing penetration testing? We suggest following four steps.

Before you begin undergoing regular penetration testing, you need to determine what type of penetration test your business needs. Penetration testing is a service that attempts to gain access to resources in an organization’s network without knowledge of usernames, passwords, or other standard means of access. Penetration testing is a form of permission-based ethical hacking to expose vulnerabilities in the network’s infrastructure. KirkpatrickPrice offers both standard and advanced service level penetration testing services, including internal and external network, web application, web service/API, wireless, and social engineering.

Once you know which type of penetration test you need, you need to determine who will perform your penetration test. Because of the complexity and maturity of today’s threat landscape, you need to choose a qualified, thorough penetration tester who delivers quality services. This will help you build a strong security testing methodology, help you meet your compliance objectives, and protect your organization from malicious attacks. So, how can you tell whether you’re making the right choice? Start by asking candidates or potential firms the following questions:

  • Does the firm outsource penetration testing services?
  • Does the firm have qualified, professional penetration testers?
  • Does the firm know the difference between a vulnerability scan and a penetration test, and promise to deliver a penetration test?
  • Does the firm use both automated and manual testing methods?
  • Does the firm have a history of finding security vulnerabilities that previous internal or external penetration testers have not found?
  • Does the firm have a commitment to educating you one the implications of your security vulnerabilities?
  • Does the firm provide post-exploitation direction?
  • Does the firm intend to help you determine how the testing results can impact information security audits?

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