The world is technology dependent today more than ever. The creation of digital data is on the rise. The information is being stored and transmitted across networks by businesses and governments. The objectives and health of an organization can be undermined if the vulnerabilities of devices on which data is stored and their underlying systems are exploited. The consequences of a data breach are devastating for any business as it can unravel the reputation of the company and result in loss of partner and consumer trust. Other impacts are loss of competitive advantage and shaky corporate revenues, 3.6 million dollars on average per breach. As data breaches don’t stay under the wrap, organizations need to implement a robust cybersecurity approach.
When gaps are identified in the network, and system security, employee knowledge, and training- advanced cyber penetration testing identifies are used. Penetration testing is fundamental to a cybersecurity professional because it provides recommendations for mitigating the risks. If you want to know all about the penetration test, you can read here.
Learning of the Blog
- Introduction to Cybersecurity
- State of Cyber Risk
- Penetration test
- Final Word
In this article, we touch upon the two terms- cybersecurity and Penetration test along with their interdependence.
Introduction to Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity, also known as information security, refers to ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. It comprises risk management approaches, an evolving set of tools, training, technologies, and best practices for protection from unauthorized access to devices, programs, networks, and data. Here are the common types of cybersecurity:
- Cloud Security – In cloud-based services and applications, cloud security provides data protection.
- Network Security– To prevent threats from entering or spreading on the network, network traffic needs to be protected by controlling incoming and outgoing connections.
- Intrusion Prevention Systems– It works to identify potentially unreceptive cyber activity.
- Data Loss prevention– For monitoring and classification of information at rest, in motion or use- data needs to be protected by focusing on the location.
- Antivirus– This solution scans for known threats and even unknown risks based on the behavior.
- Identify and Access management– To protect internal systems from malicious entities, authentication services are used, which tracks and limits employee access.
- Encryption– Often used during data transfer to prevent transit theft, it is data encoding.
State of Cyber Risk
One of the world’s fastest-growing threats is Cybercrime. According to the security industry, 32% of companies globally reported cyber attacks. 60% of small businesses are targeted, and the cost is expected to reach 2 trillion dollars. Thus, more and more companies are looking for prevention strategies, but they are not enough as hackers become smarter day by day. Cybercrime has become the most significant threat of organizations and tools like Cyber Penetration Testing is a proactive step towards cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity assessment can be classified into risk and vulnerability. Risk is the product of loss probability and likelihood. The perceptions of risk are frequently colored, and its consequences can be over or undervalued. Cloud-based systems are perceived to be less secure than- premises systems. The inconsequential factors make it difficult for a cybersecurity expert to assess risk accurately. Cybersecurity analysts use frameworks to work closely with security engineers and key executives. If the risks are evaluated beforehand, a company can save up to 100 million dollars. A risk assessment points to systems whose vulnerabilities, if exploited, might be less catastrophic. This leads to the proper utilization of resources and uncovering vulnerabilities.
To evaluate what particular risks exist in the current system structure, audits or vulnerability assessments are needed. For any information security team, regular inspections are a good practice.
The best tool for vulnerability assessment is the penetration test or ‘pen test.’ It involves teams of Certified Cybersecurity professionals to take on the role of black-hat hackers and try to gain access to resources by illicit actions. A Certified Pentesting Expert uses automatic scanners, social-engineering, password cracking tools, and other standard exploitation tools. The testing parameters are decided by the entity requesting the tests. This leads to the prevention of exploitation that otherwise can destroy data and disruption of services. Thus, the goal is to find vulnerabilities before attackers.
In cybersecurity, penetration tests are used to thwart attempts of attacks by using the methods of cyber attackers. Pen testers explore the intricacies of the technical infrastructure, just like cybercriminals, to uncover an attack before it happens. With the application of the same tools and strategies, vulnerabilities are found in public devices and networks, revealing information about systems, networks, and applications crucial for an attack. Pen tests are not meant to fix the problem but only to find them. Also, the tests don’t tap root causes but pinpoint vulnerabilities providing recommendations for its correction.
The penetration test is the starting point for the most successful security policies. To protect a company against ransomware, malware, and other malicious attempts, finding weaknesses is essential. The insights are to be followed by action. The combination of pen test and cybersecurity plan provides a strong foundation for fixing and identification of attacks beforehand. For saving money in case of a data breach, it is vital to spend if before on testing. Evaluate the terms and the tester to unearth hidden vulnerabilities. It is indispensable to have an experienced network security engineer who relies not only on tools and a pen tester with hacker ingenuity and out of the box thinking. To get the most out of your pen-testing, understand the depth, scope, goals, contractual agreements, and fine print of the testing.
From our discussion, it is clear that the penetration test is the most visible component of network security. In reality, cybersecurity professionals engage in assessment and testing, learning to defend against risks making it a critically important part of pentest training.