Penetration testing for small business

How Penetration Testing Professionals Can Help Your Small Business

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The digital age has motivated many young entrepreneurs to start their businesses. But this achievement has come with its own cost. Most small businesses have become vulnerable to cyberattacks because of weak policies and not taking the risk certainly. If you run an establishment like this, the risk factor will be similar. In such cases, penetration testing professionals will help you strengthen your IT infrastructure.

IBM’s The Cost of Insider Threats Global Report 2020 report shows that small organizations with less than 500 employees spend an average of $7.68 million per incident [1]. Another research has also revealed that 43% of SMBs don’t spend any resources on cybersecurity, which often proves fatal [2]. The pandemic has increased cybersecurity challenges. Penetration testing is a necessary process to figure out security vulnerabilities. If you run a small business, it will help your establishment in multiple ways. Here are a few reasons why penetration testing for small businesses is highly recommended.

What Is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing is an approved and planned cyberattack conducted to discover exploitable security vulnerabilities. Penetration testing professionals hunt for real-time weaknesses within your system that could jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and data availability (CIA-triad).

A penetration tester is akin to an attacker seeking gaps and vulnerabilities. However, they differ because the penetration tester is authorized to introduce the attack while the attacker isn’t. The goal of the penetration testing plan is to identify and remove the threat.

Why Small Business and Startups Are Unduly Targeted by Cyberattackers

Penetration testing for small businesses is necessary because it provides insight into your organization’s defenses from a hacker’s perspective. It is also a sure strategy to get a sense of your security posture. These tests use the same methodologies and technologies as an attacker to uncover loopholes.

Small businesses and startups are easy targets for cybercriminals because they are more vulnerable. They are also disproportionately targeted because they are less likely to invest in cybersecurity. Since your venture may be an easy target, penetration testing is critical for your business continuity.

How Penetration Testing Professionals Can Help Your Small Business

Now that you understand why penetration testing is essential for your small business, let’s examine how penetration testing professionals will be helpful.

Be one step ahead of cybercriminals

Your business continuity depends on your ability to uncover vulnerabilities before malicious attackers can exploit them. Penetration testing professionals can shed light on misconfigurations and loopholes that your cybersecurity strategy may have overlooked.

Ensure compliance is met

Most businesses are mandated to protect the sensitive information they carry. They are also liable to a lawsuit and other penalties if a data breach occurs. Financial industries and health care sectors are required to follow the PCI-DSS regulations for continuous and yearly penetration testing.

Save money in the long run

Most small businesses and startups don’t have defense strategies because they feel it is too expensive. However, penetration testing for small companies saves you money in the long run. Adhering to penetration testing best practices will be cost-effective when you think about all the benefits you stand to enjoy. Moreover, a penetration testing plan will guide you in distributing your cybersecurity budget to get most of the money spent.

Expose the capabilities of your network defenses

The more time a vulnerability goes unnoticed, the more time an intruder has to exploit such weaknesses. Based on the insights offered by Ponemon Institute, the standard time necessary to detect a data breach is ideally 197 days. These attackers use that period to steal confidential information, redirect your customers to another site, or even shut down your website indefinitely.

However, penetration testing professionals can assess your defense systems’ capabilities and the people in charge of your networks. They use pen tests to illuminate whether your IT team has the necessary tools in place. Or whether your intrusion detection/protection systems are effective.

Besides, an independent tester can quickly assess your system, gauge your security team’s efficacy, and discover other existing gaps in the system.

Secure Your Small Business with CPENT

Small businesses have a limited budget, so it is understandable to see your reprehensions about the penetration testing process. In such cases, a better idea is to facilitate penetration testing training for your IT team. Pentesting professional certification will add cybersecurity specialists to your system without any additional expenses.

EC-Council’s Certified Penetration Testing Professional Certification (CPENT) is one of the top pentesting certification programs around, covering every important aspect of this skill. It is the first penetration testing course to introduce IoT in its learning module.

7000+ Penetration testing jobs positions vacant in the USA!

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What should be the time period between two penetration tests?
Ideally, you should test any software or system before it is put into production. A penetration test should be performed just before a system is put into production after it isn’t in a condition of frequent change.
What is the difference between white box and black box penetration testing?
The difference between a white-box penetration test and a black box penetration is that the former is valuable for simulating a targeted attack on a precise system employing many attack vectors. However, no information is made available to the penetration testing professionals in a black box penetration.
What is the best penetration testing tool?
Penetration testing can be done for a number of reasons, which determines the best tool to be used. Nevertheless, the top penetration testing tools are:

  • Nmap
  • John the Ripper
  • Nessus
  • Kali Linux
  • Burp Suite
  • Wireshark
  • Metasploit
  • Aircrack-ng
  • Hashcat
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