Blog 4: Lessons Learned from Penetration testers

In our fourth and final blog in our series, we explore the misconceptions about whether you should have penetration testing (pen testing) for your business. Published on: 21st April 2020

In our fourth and final blog in our series (read blog 1blog 2 and blog 3), we explore the misconceptions about whether you should have penetration testing (pen testing) for your business.

You may well hesitate to perform pen testing due to the costs of engaging an experienced and qualified cyber security firm and their services, not to mention the expense of implementing the recommendations after the test.

If you are not convinced about the cost-benefits of pen testing, then maybe lessons from real-life pen testers will help you to reconsider.

Firstly, pen testing will help to assess the level of preparedness of technical and non-technical staff to respond correctly to cyber-attacks.

Pen testing does involve attack simulations. As such, it’s an excellent way to train your staff to hopefully identify and handle threats.

As an example, a pen tester ran a simulated phishing campaign against an entire company to assess the possibility of a successful attack and gauge the impact. The results of the test showed that a significant security risk existed. Over 78% of staff clicked on what could have been a malicious link in an email. The company chose to ignore the warning and 18 months later fell victim to a very well worked CEO fraud or business email compromise, that allowed cyber criminals to arrange for £100,000 to be stolen from the company before anyone noticed.

Secondly, pen testing provides a very good opportunity to compile a security checklist for your staff and business.

After the test, the pen tester will give the company a list of vulnerabilities, security improvements and fixes you should really implement.

The security checklist is one of the best outputs you can get from a penetration test, as it gives you a starting point for developing your defences against data breaches and theft.

Final Thoughts

Pen testing plays a vital role by identifying your security vulnerabilities which in turn allows your business to strengthen its defences and protect the data of your customers and your suppliers alike.

After all’s said and done, the benefits of implementing pen testing for your business far outweigh the costs of paying for damages from a cyber-attack, both in fines and remediation, not to mention the negative impact on your hard-earned reputation.

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