Why You Must Automate Your Penetration Testing Program Now

Assess More Often and Reduce Your Cyber Risk

In the wake of high-profile cyberattacks like the one that hit Equifax, Facebook, or Yahoo!, or the six times at T-Mobile, it’s more important than ever for businesses to take steps to protect themselves from potential threats.  

If you are responsible for the security of a company’s data, you may have heard that one of the best ways to do this is through penetration testing, also known as “pen testing.” 

But what exactly is a pen test? Penetration testing is a security exercise where a cyber-security expert attempts to find and exploit vulnerabilities in a computer system. The purpose of this simulated attack is to identify any weak spots in a system’s defenses that could be taken advantage of by an attacker. In other words, it helps a business find the holes in their armor before the bad guys do. 

Penetration testing can be conducted manually or with automated tools. It can be done internally by a company’s own IT staff, or externally by a consultant.  

Pen testing is not just for big companies; small businesses benefit from pen testing as well. In fact, the Small Business Administration recommends that all small businesses should have their systems tested, in the very least, once every two years.  

However, as the cybersecurity landscape shifts and changes, and more businesses both large and small are more and more susceptible to cyberattacks, frequent penetration testing is a key first response to assess and defend against all credible threats on any company’s horizon.  

The Benefits of Penetration Testing 

There are many reasons why penetration testing can be beneficial for your business. Most importantly, pen tests can help you assess your system’s true level of security. As you know cyberattacks are becoming increasingly complex, and it’s no longer enough to simply have a firewall in place. You need to know that your systems can withstand even the most sophisticated of attacks. 

Penetration tests can also help you identify which assets are most critical to your business and need the highest level of protection. You can use this information to create a prioritized list of security improvements that you need to make. Additionally, pen tests can help you assess the effectiveness of your current security controls and identify any gaps in coverage. 

Finally, penetration testing can give you peace of mind knowing that you’ve done everything possible to protect your systems from attack. In today’s digital world, no business can afford to be without this important security measure. 

The Difficulty With Traditional Penetration Tests 

Traditional penetration tests typically take several weeks or more to conduct, and are generally limited by the tools the pen test administrator has and uses at the time of testing.  

Also, traditional penetration tests are costly and the results are not delivered in a way that the business can create an appropriate response and then quickly and effectively deploy repair measures. 

Because of these two factors, the business is left with a window of opportunity for hackers to take their advantage: the “holes” are known, but the time it takes to respond to these holes is too long. 

In the world of the traditional penetration test, it takes weeks, if not months, for decision-makers to come together to take appropriate action. 

What are Your Options? 

As a small or medium sized business making sure you administer a penetration test at least once every two years is mandatory. But also, as an SMB, you need to be agile and responsive in a world where the cyber landscape changes every day.  

If you’re not already performing penetration tests on your systems, now is the time to start.  

If you’re already performing annual penetration tests, now is the time to start automating those pen tests. 

Pen tests offer a number of benefits that can help improve your system’s security and give you peace of mind knowing that you’re doing everything possible to protect your business from attack. Not sure where to start?  


Ways you can become proactive today: 

1. Read about Netswitch’s Security and Risk Assessment (SARA). We can help you find your best solutions within one week. 

2. Join us in an upcoming LinkedIn Live Event where we will discuss how you can change the narrative around GRC in your organization. Watch Previous Events HERE  

3. Request to join other risk professionals in our Cyber Risk Governance LinkedIn Group – The largest LinkedIn Group about Cyber Risk and Governance  JOIN 

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