Cyber attacks are a risk for all businesses, regardless of size. Security testing will reveal if your company’s security measures can withstand external threats, and whether they are adequate and functioning correctly.
Effective network security testing simulates an attack from a malicious source, mapping the possibility of an attack and what consequences it can have on your company. The findings can also be used as a basis for improving your company’s information security program.
In this blog post we will have a closer look at four reasons why your company should conduct network security testing.
Network Security Testing and Why You Need it
1. Measures and improves the security performance of your systems and personnel
Protection, detection and response are all important ingredients in good cyber security.
To properly determine the value of your security measures, you should put the them to test. Preferably, by simulating a real-world attack scenario. A security test will check if your implemented controls are effective and sufficient. Furthermore, a network security test will be able to reveal areas of weakness, so that you can quickly eliminate the high-risk areas.
Attackers will use any means to get access to a system. Often they succeed by exploiting gaps between the security countermeasures that your company has implemented. A security test will show you how attackers could get in, and what they could achieve once they are in.
If your company has its own dedicated security personnel, a network security test can be used for training them in detecting and responding to a network attack. The test will also show how effective their response is. By identifying key players, their communications channels, and escalation procedures, your company will be better prepared when a real breach does occur.
A regular network security testing regime, which continually measures and improves the security performance of your systems, networks and personnel, will ensure that your company’s assets and information are reasonably protected.
2. Helps identifying and prioritizing risk
A network can never be completely safe from internal and external threats. To handle the security risks that a company is facing today, you will need to determine how to prioritize the risks in order of importance. Using a network security test to identify all areas of weakness, is a great way to do this.
The result of a security test can give you a high-level overview and point out areas where special attention is needed.
3. Provides assurance to customers and managers
A network security test does not only provide you with a greater level of confidence in the security of your IT environments. It also provides assurance to your customers that their data is being protected. And that your company will not be the weakest link in their information security chain.
Security testing is often required for ensuring compliance with standards such as the PCI DSS and ISO27001, the requirements of the Data Protection Act and other relevant privacy legislation/regulation as well.
The report from a security test can be used as evidence for customers and managers to show that your security measures are adequate and working. It can also play an important role in demonstrating that your IT spending is appropriate and cost-effective. Alternatively, as evidence to support increased investments.
4. Reduces your ICT costs over the long term
Did you know that regular security testing could in fact reduce your ICT costs over the long term?
While a data breach obviously can become expensive, conducting a security test can dramatically reduce your attack exposure.
Security countermeasures are also often expensive. A network security test can confirm the value of your already implemented controls, or confirm if more funding is needed for securing your data.
A high quality report from a network security test will contain both a non-technical executive management report, a detailed technical report and a remediation plan. On one hand, the non-technical report can help senior managers understand the recommendations outlined in the testing overview. On the other hand, the technical report and the remediation plan will make it easy for the IT personnel to implement the recommendations. Hence, saving your company time and costs.
What Should a Network Security Test Cover?
A network security test should include a significant portion of manual work and creativity, to find security issues that automated tools miss. Look for security tests that follow internationally recognized methodology. Learn more about how to choose the best value supplier, and how to prepare for a security test.