It’s not enough simply to have anti-virus software and a firewall. Businesses must know they are secure, rather than assuming they are. Penetration and vulnerability testing allow you to know, for certain, the condition of your defences and any weaknesses that you may need to address.

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing is the process that tests the resilience and security of a computer system, network or website.

Sometimes shortened to ‘pen testing’ or referred to as ‘ethical hacking’, penetration testing mimics a variety of techniques used by cybercriminals – attempting to exploit the vulnerabilities caused by:

  • Code mistakes
  • Software bugs
  • Insecure settings
  • Service configuration errors
  • Operational weaknesses

In short, you can find the weaknesses before a cybercriminal does, in a safe and controlled environment.

With penetration testing, you can set out in advance, the scope and timing of testing and you’ll know in advance about any active exploitation of vulnerabilities within your IT infrastructure.

Why should my organisation conduct penetration testing?

Penetration testing helps to ensure that you can rely on the defences of your IT infrastructure.

Penetration testing will discover if and how your IT infrastructure can be hacked. The aim of this is to establish how equipped your organisation is to defend itself against cyberattacks and identify vulnerabilities that must be improved upon.

What this means is that you can avoid potential harm to your business. The issues you address, following the results of a penetration test, will reduce the risk of serious financial and reputational losses.

You’ll also be able to knowingly comply with regulations set out in leading industry security standards, including PCI, HIPAA and ISO 27001, as well as obligations set out in the GDPR.

When should we be doing this?

Ideally, you should carry out a penetration test at least once a year and whenever you make changes to your IT environment that could have an impact on its security.

It’s a good idea to simulate an attack on your IT infrastructure, in its latest iteration, before a cybercriminal does.

As such, it’s good practice to conduct penetration testing immediately following the deployment of new network equipment and applications (particularly those applications that are web-based) or after making significant changes to your infrastructure. The significant changes we’re referring to include adjustments to firewall rules, firmware updates, patches and software upgrades.

How can Microtrading help?

Microtrading can provide effective penetration testing to assess the proficiency of your IT security.

We’ll then report back to you with usable data and a suggested course of action to address any weaknesses or vulnerabilities that have been identified.

We can also fulfil the required improvements which can be wide-ranging, from patch updates, to IT security training, to the installation of new hardware and software.

For more information about penetration testing, contact Microtrading IT support in Birmingham on 0121 784 0077 or click here to see how we can help.