Is Your Security Systematic? The Importance of Regular Pen Tests & Vulnerability Assessments

Is Your Security Systematic? The Importance of Regular Pen Tests & Vulnerability Assessments

Cyber security is one of the single biggest areas of concern for modern businesses and it is crucial that the right measures are taken. After all, the list of potential threats is growing all the time, from viruses, phishing attacks and DDoS attacks, through to spyware, ransomware and even human error within your own organisation.

For this reason, it is important that your approach to security is methodical and systematic, and that the issue is not treated as an after-thought. In this post, we explore the vital role that regular penetration tests and vulnerability assessments can play in helping to protect your business from malicious threats.

Vulnerability Assessments

One way your business can adopt a more systematic approach to security is through a vulnerability assessment. In essence, this is an assessment that looks at your organisation as a whole, including your infrastructure, and the systems, processes and software you are using, in order to identify any vulnerabilities that exist.

As the National Cyber Security Centre's Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF) states, security needs to be a continuous activity, not a one-time solution, because vulnerabilities can emerge over time. This is especially true when new technology is introduced to the workplace, but new vulnerabilities can also be found in older tech too.

Businesses may have a wide range of vulnerabilities, with examples including un-patched or outdated software, or insufficient IT security awareness training for employees. Once you have identified where your business is potentially vulnerable, you can then take steps to address these issues and enhance your security.

Penetration Testing

While a high-quality vulnerability assessment will help to give you a comprehensive overview of the current status of your security strategy, another important part of adopting the kind of systematic approach that will keep your business safe is to carry out penetration testing - or pen testing for short.

This is a process that works best after enlisting the help of a managed service provider with sufficient experience in this area. In simple terms, the idea here is that the MSP will then attempt to carry out various types of attack, mimicking the behaviour of real hackers, cyber criminals, and other malicious individuals or groups.

With penetration testing, you can see on a practical level where your security is strong, where it is weak, and what kind of threats you are most at risk from. Again, carrying out this kind of testing will help you to take action to plug any gaps in your security strategy and keep your systems, data and other assets fully protected.

Fifosys' Security Services

As we have covered previously on this blog, businesses have a lot of valuable assets that they need to protect: company files, customer data, employee identities, accounts, email addresses, online activity, privacy and more. Keeping all of these things safe needs to be a continuous process, based on tried and tested methods.

The consequences of failing to keep assets safe can be catastrophic, potentially leading to business down time, damage to reputation and, in the worst cases, legal action being taken against your business.

Here at Fifosys, we work with our clients to assist them with vulnerability assessments and pen testing. In both cases, we will carry out the assessment or test and then provide a detailed report, outlining not only our findings, but also some recommendations for steps that can be taken to bolster security.

Our focus is not only on allowing you to understand what and where the weaknesses in your setup are, but also who or what may be able to exploit those vulnerabilities. We can also work with you to make sure your systems are up-to-date, your software is fully patched, your network infrastructure is optimised and your employees are sufficiently trained.

The Last Word

Businesses today are hugely reliant on information technology, but this does bring with it certain risks. Hackers and others with malicious intent will look for any vulnerabilities in your security setup and cyber attacks are increasing all the time, as criminals find new ways to get their hands on the information they are looking for.

It is, therefore, essential that businesses adopt a serious, systematic approach to tackling the issue, based on methods that really work, such as comprehensive vulnerability assessments and penetration testing. It is also vital to know that this needs to be an on-going effort, rather than something that is done once and then forgotten about.

James Moss

Technical Director

James Moss