How Small Businesses Can Utilise Penetration Testing

How Small Businesses Can Utilise Penetration Testing

Penetration testing? Maybe later. Besides, why would someone attack a small business when there are big targets out there?

This mindset, that a small organisation cannot be targeted, has proved catastrophic for numerous small businesses that have been compromised. An attacker needs only a small, vulnerable point of entry to access something larger.

Regardless of the size of the business, vulnerabilities exist in configurations, software, and the hardware of the system. Moreover, there are regulatory obligations for penetration testing on many businesses irrespective of their size.

So, is penetration testing a necessity for a small business? And how can a small organisation do efficient penetration testing? In this article, we will look at some of the features of penetration testing, as well as some ideas for how small businesses can utilise it.

Why Penetration Testing Is Important for Small Businesses

An estimated 43 percent of cyber-attacks target small businesses, and the cost of potential cyber-attacks is mounting, with the most recent numbers showing that businesses pay an average of $4.24 million USD per data breach. That’s $6.62 million NZD.

Penetration testing is not only about averting the disgrace of a data breach, it’s about good business and common sense.

All businesses, especially the small ones, must do penetration testing. New vulnerabilities are being discovered all the time, and if your company does not detect them and do something about them swiftly, a cybercriminal will.

Let’s dive into how small businesses can utilize penetration testing.

1. Identify Your System's Weak Spots
Studying how your system can be hacked is the most dependable technique to assess its security. A penetration test helps you identify weaknesses in your system and uses them to determine hacking tactics used by a prospective hacker.

A pen test can also expose even the mildest activities and habits that you or your employees do that could lead to potential data breaches. This allows you to spot your weak spots before hackers do.

2. Make Your Cyber Security Stronger
One of the primary goals of a penetration test is to learn about hacker tactics and come up with better ways to prevent future data breaches. As a result, the pen tester will be in a much better position to devise helpful cyber security strategies, methods, disaster recovery, and business continuity plans to help secure your system against future cyber-attacks.

3. Reduce Costs and Ensure Business Continuity
The cost of getting back on your feet and regaining control after a cyber-attack is incredibly high. A single assault can also result in enormous losses owing to service interruption.
Advanced penetration testing saves you money and time by detecting weak areas and developing system security upgrade solutions. As a consequence, your small business’s important business continuity activities remain unaffected.

4. Stay on the Right Side of the Law
Every company that handles credit card data is required by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) to undertake regular penetration testing on its system. This is true regardless of the industry in which you work. Note this is a US law and no doubt NZ will follow, given the recent requirements from the privacy comissioner regarding Data Breaches.

Failure to comply with testing might result in significant fines and, in the worst-case scenario, the liquidation of your company. Regular penetration testing not only protects you from expensive data breaches but also keeps you on the right side of the law.

5. Uphold Brand Image and Maintain Customer Loyalty
After a data breach, even your most devoted clients might lose faith in you. This is because they trusted you with their personal information, but you failed to take the essential precautions to safeguard it.

This, in turn, has a detrimental impact on your brand's image, resulting in even more losses, especially for a small business.

While it is possible to recover from the effects of a security breach, regaining your consumers’ trust is a difficult undertaking. This makes conducting frequent pen tests to ensure your clients’ data protection even more important.

Final Takeaway
Every company must have a robust cyber security strategy in place, and it has to include frequent penetration testing. The advantages of pen testing are numerous:
-Aids in the protection of your data from fraudsters.
-Improves your cyber security practices.
-Prevents financial and reputational damage.
-Secures larger clients that want proof of due diligence.

Without a doubt, penetration testing is a smart investment for any company, large or small. If you’re a small business owner, it is especially vital to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect your data.

A single cyber-attack might spell the death of your company. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to be safe via penetration testing, rather than being sorry without it.

What you need to do now

Contact CT Business here to get started with penetration testing

Guest Post Credit: Author Zach Norton from pentest-tools.com
Image Credit: Profit_Image on Shutterstock



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