Security Penetration Testing: What It Is and Why You Need It
If your bank is requiring your company to perform a penetration test as part of your PCI compliance, you’re not alone. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) are now requiring penetration testing (or pen tests) for all organizations that accept credit card payments. It’s an added way to ensure the security of credit card transactions and associated storage practices.
So what, exactly, is penetration testing? It’s a way to test your system’s security by trying to exploit its weaknesses. In the same way that the Federal Reserve requires FDIC-insured banks to undergo stress tests, penetration tests are safe methods of attempting to identify security weaknesses in your systems. As the saying goes, one of the best ways to help protect against hacks into your systems is for someone you trust to try hacking into your systems. This will allow you to rectify security issues before they can be exploited by unauthorized individuals.
That’s led us to penetration tests. Usually administered by firms outside your organization, penetration tests can zero in on specific components of a company’s tech infrastructure, such as specific applications or features, but more often are aimed at the entire security of your environment. With new forms of malware, hacker tools, and malignant computer viruses being created at an exponential rate, there’s a growing likelihood that your system could be compromised at any time. A penetration test is a tool that checks upon the security of your systems. It’s not enough to simply install security measures. These days, everything needs to be tested by skilled professionals.
What are the benefits?
Aside from being mandated, penetration tests can actually provide a number of benefits to firms that employ them.
A good penetration test will not only assess whether or not your systems are or could easily become compromised, but it can also provide a full bill of health for your entire infrastructure. Getting a big-picture look at several different security mechanisms at once can help your business plan for the future by examining which pieces are likely to fail first and which components may be conflicting with others. In the same way that taking multiple medications can affect the efficacy of each pill, employing a variety of security measures can sometimes lead to unintended consequences. Penetration tests are a great way to check up on these sorts of interrelated issues.
A well-implemented penetration test exposes your infrastructure to outside professionals, whose input for current implementations and future upgrades can be invaluable for your company’s security, according to Forbes. Oftentimes, as security infrastructures mature and become more complex, in-house IT professionals can get so used to the same system that they may miss potential threats. Hiring third-party auditors or penetration testers is a great way to ensure that fresh eyes scan your system for various back doors and poor configurations that can lead to breaches.
Personalized penetration testing by Atlantic.Net
While there are many low-cost ways to perform penetration testing, security services from Atlantic.Net provide a superior experience. Cheap penetration testing services rely on cookie-cutter procedures that aren’t personalized to fit your specific security infrastructure. Atlantic.Net has experience helping a variety of companies meet PCI standards and securing their systems. We know how to ensure that your penetration test is a rigorous and useful exercise that accurately assesses your security, and we back it up with the support you need to implement changes.
Utilizing penetration tests on a routine basis also provides a good starting point of where your company’s security currently stands. This sort of benchmark then becomes an important measuring tool as your business grows in the coming years. By taking an accurate measurement of your security protocols and the efficacy they provide, you will be better able to determine the value of any additional features or opportunities that present themselves in the future, all while making sure you remain secure and compliant.
Atlantic.Net’s penetration testing can save you money
Penetration tests can also reveal a lot about your systems that could help your bottom line in the long run. That’s why using a personalized service, like one from Atlantic.Net, is crucial. For instance, if a certain portion of your security network is ineffective or redundant, we can provide insights into what you really need to stay secure. Understanding the true return on investment of your environment’s security is notoriously difficult to assess, but a penetration test is a good way to understand which functions are performing adequately and which can be eliminated.
We work with you to help prevent security breaches
Most importantly, penetration tests will determine how robust your security measures are and provide insight into how your organization might handle a catastrophe in the future. A security breach is a terrible thing in the digital age, but how a company responds to leaked or hacked information is crucial in keeping customer trust and responding appropriately. Don’t trust your security assessments to cookie-cutter solutions or the lowest cost options available. Stick with the proven track record of Atlantic.Net to ensure that the feedback your business receives is actionable and useful. Only thorough, vetted information can help your organization make better security decisions. A good penetration test, like those offered from Atlantic.Net, can lead to new and better security policies or applications, making your business (and its sensitive data, such as that handled in PCI hosting or HIPAA compliant hosting) that much more secure in the future.
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