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What Is Penetration Testing and Why It Matters

Why You Need Ethical Hacking?What Is Penetration Testing and Why It Matters

Due to the increasing number of cyber-attacks such as credential stuffing and malware, there is no reason for any company in Australia to ignore the importance of network penetration testing. Otherwise known as ethical hacking, penetration testing involves routine inspection of computer and network systems. Using this method, companies can discover any IT infrastructure vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit.

How Does a Pen Test Work?

There are two ways to perform penetration testing: a manual and an automatic approach. A manual test requires a white hat hacker who will attempt to break into your system to determine whether your security architecture has become weaker over time. Meanwhile, an automatic test requires several software applications that will aim to obtain results similar to what you would get from a manual test.

Whether you choose an automatic or a manual test, it should provide a comprehensive analysis of the weak spots in your digital infrastructure. Ethical hackers often provide information about potential entry points in a client’s IT system. They should also offer possible solutions to fix these vulnerabilities and incident-response planning, in case they suspect that real hackers know how to circumvent their remediation strategies.


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Why It Matters

It is more necessary to implement penetration testing if you have a consumer-facing website. You should ideally run a test once every year. It can be part of an annual IT audit, but there are other times when you need to do more than one test such as when you plan to use new software tools or applications. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular should conduct regular tests because of their exposure to risk.

It would be difficult to recover from the impact of a cyber attack even if you have cyber insurance, according to the Risk of Cybercrime in Business report. An insurance provider could also reject your claim if the attack happened due to inadequate or outdated IT security.


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Vulnerable Business Sectors

In Australia, 86% of the top 250 websites are susceptible to bot attacks. These websites are unable to differentiate human users from bots that run a script to gain access, which makes them a perfect target for credential stuffing. Penetration testing can help avoid bot attacks that often target businesses in the airline, finance, and health insurance industries. Other vulnerable groups include the real estate, retail, wagering, and utilities sectors.

The Final Word

While any skilled IT professional can perform penetration testing on your behalf, it is important to choose a service provider with a proven track record for ethical hacking. An in-depth test should not cost a fortune, although keep in mind that skimping on your budget can have serious consequences. The money you save may not be enough to reverse the damage caused by a cyber attack.

 

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