Many organisations regularly use penetration testing. Primarily penetration testing is used as a tool to achieve compliance and satisfy customers. However, as cybersecurity programs have matured, penetration testing is becoming more risk-focused.
Business leaders understand compliance, but compliance is just one of many key security objectives. Satisfying a compliance framework, while essential, does little to ensure and bolster security. And penetration testing, appropriately used, can provide significantly more value to organisations than just compliance.
There are five reasons to invest in some form of penetration testing. They are, in value order:
1. Reducing your Cyber Risk
Cyber Risk is a new term in the business world. With the rapid removal of insurance cover for "cyber" related events, Cyber Risk now needs addressing directly. With tools like the Threat Category Risk framework, Cyber Risk becomes a clear financial value. Managing cyber risk is the priority in cyber defence, and penetration testing is a critical component.
2. Protecting your Customer's Information
Customer information is one of the most valuable assets organisations have, and there are numerous regulations in existence to ensure that it is adequately protected. A breach of business systems that leads to a disclosure of customer data is devastating. It can lead to heavy fines, loss of customer trust and a loss of business. Organisations use Penetration Testing to find, identify and risk assess vulnerabilities. Closing these identified vulnerabilities increases security and reduces the likelihood of a breach of the organisation's information systems.
3. Protecting your Systems & Information
Cyber attacks are continuous and pose a severe threat to organisations. All organisations with digital systems are a target. Penetration testing identifies vulnerabilities in websites, applications, and other digital systems before an attacker can exploit them.
4. Managing your Stakeholder Requirements
Every organisation has multiple stakeholders, and they directly influence the decisions made within an organisation. As concepts such as supply chain risk and security have become more widely understood, stakeholders have increasingly demanded close attention to cyber risk management. Penetration testing plays a crucial role in this area.
5. Manage Organisational Reputation
Cyber incidents will significantly harm an organisation's ability to continue in their day to day operations. Cyber incidents undermine customer, supplier, government and public trust in its products, services, and brands. Investing in penetration testing aids preserves external trust by highlighting security weaknesses so organisations can address them, helping avoid high-profile incidents.