How Would My Business Benefit From Vulnerability Assessments and Penetration Testing?

You’ve likely heard all of the buzzwords around vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, but you might not know what they mean or how they can benefit your business.

As more companies are facing cyber attacks on a daily basis – it’s crucial to develop an Information Security Management System (ISMS) that ensures protection of the company network/infrastructure and data.

While these buzzwords might be hard to understand, we’ll break down what they mean and how they can help your company in the event of a cyber attack.

What is Vulnerability Assessment?

A vulnerability assessment evaluates security weaknesses and vulnerabilities on a computer system, network or other device (e.g., printers) and produces a report with prioritized steps to fix the problem. Vulnerability assessments help an organization’s security team prioritize and repair security issues, such as software weakness and configuration errors, which could leave a computer system open to exploitation by cyber criminals.

Vulnerability assessment is frequently confused with penetration testing. While both activities are used to identify vulnerabilities in a network or computer system, penetration testing goes a step further by actually exploiting those vulnerabilities to identify more serious issues.

What is Penetration Testing?

Penetration testing (or pen testing) involves authorized and often times simulated attacks on an organization’s computer systems and network with the intent of exposing any weaknesses that would allow hackers easy access into your company’s data.

Penetration testing goes further than vulnerability assessments in that they simulate real-world hacking techniques and advanced persistent threats (APTs). Penetration tests are used to identify vulnerabilities and exposure of cyber security risks, such as:

Lack of network segmentation  Insufficient firewall rules Inadequate access control lists Insecure web applications Enterprise wireless weaknesses Sub-standard encryption methods

Penetration testing is a great way for a business to uncover security gaps and fix them before cyber criminals do. Penetration tests should be conducted on a regular basis in order to maintain an enterprise level of protection from hackers.

What is Secure Software Design?

Secure software design focuses on how the product, or system, is built and the security measures that should be taken to create a secure environment. Secure software design can ensure that critical data or services, such as user accounts and sensitive documents, are not compromised by hackers.

Secure software design looks at how systems and applications should be developed in order to protect your business from vulnerabilities, threats and attacks. In addition, secure software design also looks at how applications are developed in order to mitigate damage, such as information leaks or data loss, in the event of a cyber attack.

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