Penetration testing, also known as pen testing or ethical hacking, has become an increasingly popular topic in recent years. The process involves the same method used by criminal hackers in order to test (and attempt to break) the digital defenses of a business. By simulating a cybercrime or attack, a business can identify vulnerabilities in their systems that could be exploited by criminals.
While cybercrimes and digital attacks are certainly illegal, ethical hacking is completely sound. A company can employ a cybersecurity firm or IT team to attempt to hack their systems in order to test their strength. The cybersecurity professionals then provide a complete report of a businesses’ vulnerabilities, including any weaknesses that could be exploited by hackers. We are here to help you learn more about penetration testing, and how it could be an asset for your business.
A few years ago, penetration testing was thought of as absurd. Very few businesses saw value in hiring a hacker to test their business defenses. Now, penetration testing is seen as an asset, but one only attainable by large and successful enterprises. There is a different reality, though; businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from the practice, especially considering the rise of cybercrime due to Covid-19. Notable benefits of ethical hacking include:
Penetration testing can help make businesses stronger. Small businesses are increasingly targeted by hackers, and it is crucial to maintain secure cyber defenses. In the UK, a small business is hacked every 19 seconds and more than 60,000 hack attempts happen every day.
In total, more than 1.6 million businesses are victims of hacking attempts every year in the UK alone. During Covid-19, that number has increased significantly and what’s worse, cybercriminals evolve and become more sophisticated over time. One report found that 46% of businesses and 26% of charities had cyber security breaches in the last year.
Phishing attempts have increased in recent years, and as businesses improve their cybersecurity, cybercriminals attempt to keep up. Consistently checking the digital defenses of your business is essential to securing your data, keeping your business running smoothly, and preventing cyberattacks.
Learning from ethical hacking can save your business money in the long-term and help you avoid the devastation of a digital attack. One savvy cybercriminal has the power to shut down a small business, but penetration testing ensures your defenses are strong where they need to be. Testing in specific areas, such as email hacking, helps identify potential vulnerabilities and enables you to devise a protection plan before an incident occurs.
Hacking attempts and cyberattacks can be expensive. One-fifth of businesses that experienced a cyberattack reported a negative material outcome, meaning the business lost money or data. Two out of five businesses were impacted in a negative way, including time lost, implementing new security measures, or experiencing business disruptions. Investing in cyber defenses can prevent major losses for your business.
If you have never heard of penetration testing or tried it out before, the process can seem foreign. We have broken it down into some manageable steps that small businesses can follow:
Once you understand the benefits of ethical hacking for your business, you may wonder how to get started. Before you can connect with a penetration testing firm to test your digital defenses, you need to have the right solutions and strategies in place first. Our team can help you prepare your system with the right solutions and keep your business protected from cybercriminals. Contact us today to learn more about penetration testing and how you can build up your digital defenses.