Protecting your business should be one of the top priorities of any company. All it takes is one breach for customers to lose confidence in the company and take their business elsewhere. Depending on what information is leaked, a company could be exposed to an investigation by the government. Therefore, understanding how to perform a network penetration test could help you keep your company up and running for years to come.
Why a Penetration Test Can Help Your Company
Penetration testing can help a company understand the vulnerabilities that may exist within its network. Knowing where a network’s weaknesses are makes it easier for an organization to take proactive steps to avoid what could be an embarrassing situation. Taking steps before a crisis occurs is generally easier and cheaper. Instead of having to make fixes that may or may not work for the long-term, a business can take its time and implement upgrades that provide maximum network security.
Get Outside Help With Penetration Testing
A third-party will ideally be involved with a penetration test. While your IT team can certainly be involved with the network testing, a third-party will generally be an unbiased observer who can offer objective advice. Before bringing in an outside consultant, make sure that this person or company has a good track record of helping other companies with their security issues. For smaller companies that may not have as large of a security budget, it may be possible to hire a remote adviser who can work from another location.
How Often Should a Network Penetration Test Be Performed?
Network testing should be performed on a regular basis as new threats can emerge at any time. Ideally, you want to make sure that you are performing a full test at least once a year while doing diagnostic work as necessary. Whenever you see something that isn’t quite right with your network, do not hesitate to investigate further. If someone has taken steps to breach your network, you need to take action right away.
What Can Be Done to Limit the Risks of a Breach?
The best way to avoid a security breach is to educate your people about proper network usage as well as how to keep information confidential. It may be worthwhile to have all employees sign a confidentiality agreement regarding any sensitive information that they may come across.
This should be done even if the employee isn’t authorized to see certain information or may not have any reason to see it in the course of that person’s employment. Regardless of what information an employee sees while at work, others in the company could leak information or talk about information that they shouldn’t be talking about.
Therefore, having such an agreement in place ensures that the information stays within the company. If you think that employees may still be tempted to access sensitive information, you can give each employee a tracking number, which will let the employer know who specifically is accessing the network.
Protecting your business against a network attack is an ongoing project. A good company will have a network usage and access policy that all employees will be aware of and agree to adhere to. In addition to such a policy, penetration testing should be conducted on a regular basis to ensure that there are no weaknesses that employees or outsiders could potentially exploit.
Tully Rickets: A life long traveler with interests in ethnic food and new technology. When I’m not writing about technology, I enjoy researching ideas for my book. An avid fan of science fiction I try to find the common ground between the ideas of tomorrow and the world of today.