Engaging in regular penetration testing is an essential way to protect an organization’s assets from malicious hackers and other outsiders. Similar to any test, it’s essential to be prepared. The organization needs to take the proper steps to ensure its site passes a penetration test. Passing means the organization can fend off an attacker.
Not only is a pentest something required by most audit frameworks, but it also provides real-world insight into how a hacker may exploit potential vulnerabilities. The test also provides the organization with the information needed to manage all high-risk findings. Some tips to ensure an upcoming penetration test is successful can be found here.
Define Specific Business Objectives
Understanding what an organization’s critical assets are and where they are located is essential to protect them. By defining these goals before a penetration test, it is possible to learn where the business risk is the highest and take steps to improve security at the organization based on the findings. This particular test is a good assessment of if the security processes and controls in place can protect and fulfill its intent. Setting the scope before engagement will help the organization determine how far they will go with the testing process.
Perform Vulnerability Scans
According to best practices, engaging in vulnerability scans quarterly can help ensure remediation of these vulnerabilities is manageable. By conducting these every three months during the year, it is possible to know if any patches have been missed or if there are any new vulnerabilities present.
Define the Hardening Standards
Creating a checklist that outlines the guidelines for hardening a network and various systems is a crucial step in making sure the organization is prepared for the coming penetration test. It will also help ensure the network is safe from the possibility of a malicious attack. The hardening standards will secure any system by minimizing the surface of vulnerability.
Create a Dedicated Penetration Testing Team
Make sure the penetration testing team is dedicated to this process and that they are prepared with the needed backups ready to recover data or restore systems. These individuals should also be prepared to work with the penetration tester to accomplish goals and find any possible vulnerabilities. It is also necessary to promptly address anything that is found.
Find Someone Experienced with Penetration Testing
If someone is looking for a quality and thorough penetration test, it is necessary to find the right tester with a high level of expertise with this process. Engaging in penetration testing represents a huge investment, so don’t be hesitant to ask questions during the vetting process to find the right vendor.
There is no question that penetration testing is a crucial step in ensuring a network and organization are protected. By using the services of the professionals, it is possible to achieve the desired results and learn what is needed to help ensure an organization’s network is secure and free of vulnerabilities. Remember, these tests aren’t a one-time deal. They must be done regularly.