Only over recent years has penetration testing become of real interest to businesses. Such intrigue has led to many starting to consider utilising the service. As time has progressed, and recognition of cyber threats has increased, the testing technique is starting to feel essential. Pen testing is an authorised simulated attack on a computer system, performed to evaluate the security of the system. It looks to identify vulnerabilities in web applications, network infrastructure and wireless networks, designed to keep you ahead of cyber criminals. Considering the sharp rise in harmful cyber activity, this consideration has never been more important.
Reduces the risk of being hacked.
One of the tests performed is centred around the potential for unauthorised parties to gain access to a system’s features and data. Hacking attempts are becoming more common, as attackers look to exploit any vulnerability they can find within pieces of software. If successful, they can cause substantial damage, with them gaining complete control of the application. By carrying out a controlled attack, the pen test can identify how easy it would be for an attacker to enter a system. If a certain aspect is found to be potentially susceptible, work can be carried out to strengthen defences within that area.
Gaining access to private information.
The issue of confidential information being accessed by third parties has been in the headlines prominently over recent weeks. Facebook have been heavily scrutinised after handing out private data belonging to its users, prompting an understandably angry response. A similar occurrence, albeit in differing circumstances, can take place if hackers are able to gain access to a network. The attacker would be able to view all the data included, and be able to pass that on to anyone they wanted. By carrying out a pen test, this risk can be minimised, preventing the backlash that would inevitably occur should a hack take place.
Administrative permissions for different users.
Another benefit of conducting a pen test is that it will highlight the administrative permissions different users have been assigned. By looking into an application in depth, such information can be accessed, which can prove useful to a business. Permission rights are not always easily available to view, but they are important to know. By having this data, control can be maintained on exactly who is able to make changes to a system, and who can be held accountable if anything goes wrong. Furthermore, it can help in restricting the number of users, meaning fewer avenues for a potential attacker to target.
Carrying out a penetration test alone may not be enough to prevent a cyber attack from materialising, but it can highlight where one is most likely to take place. Through this, a business can act accordingly, and ultimately, it may just save them from months of heartache down the line.