10 Things That Could Happen if You Don’t Conduct an External Penetration Test

Incorporating a range of assessments — including penetration testing — as a part of your security process can provide your team with confidence against cybersecurity threats now and in the future. 

External penetration testing is just one of six types of pentests that can assist in reaching your security needs by providing an overall picture of your security from the outside. The external network contains all systems directly connected and exposed to the internet, including websites, client-facing applications, and more. 


The Importance of an External Penetration Test

Even after a company has spent months installing and upgrading their security measures to exceed standards, they may have forgotten a simple password in a Github repository or on a shared drive that could be easily exploited by threat actors.

External pentests look for any way to get inside your internal network by using similar programs and tools as real threat actors — without the damage.


Without An External Penetration Test, You Risk…

1. A Compromised Website

In today’s tech environment, websites hold private personal information, critical business strategies, credit card information, and more. 

This data is valuable to threat actors and is sold daily on the web. Attackers have been known to inject malicious JavaScript into database tables, which can infect the computers of your customers as well as corrupt or slow down website pages. Third-party vendors can also put your data at risk if they have access through APIs or similar connections.

2. Losing Valuable Source Code

If a threat actor steals your source code and re-sells it to other companies or countries, your most valuable assets would be ruined. This happens more often than you may think. In fact, a major cellular company – Samsung – lost their source code to threat actors in March of 2022.

3. Being Infected With Ransomware

Your data could be locked by ransomware, putting a stop to all your applications until you pay up. Threat actors also utilize Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) to sell ransomware products to other threat actors.

4. Losing Financial Records

Stolen financial records could be used to short your stock or expose information to investors before you go public. These missing records can also cause issues with the IRS or business partners.

5. Costly Downtime

When a hacker attacks your company or network, they may attempt to change or destroy network routes and bring down your systems. Downtime of applications and systems cost companies millions of dollars in resources, including customer service and reputation repair.

6. Getting Sued

Many customers or companies could sue you for breach of contract, loss of personal information, and damages done as a result of cyber attacks that could have been prevented with proactive external penetration testing.

7. Missing Out on Training Opportunities

If you aren’t sure what your cybersecurity risks are, you can’t train your employees on how to protect themselves and the organization. Once you know what to look out for, you can educate your team on ransomware, social engineering, and other tactics. 

8. Not Understanding How Your External-Facing Assets Could Be Exploited

The more you know about your cyber security posture, the more you can protect yourself and shore up external network vulnerabilities. Just like every pentest vector, an external pentest comes with a valuable report that walks you through vulnerabilities and suggestions on how to address them.

9. A Publicized Data Breach

Without the information provided by external network penetration testing, you may be leaving yourself open to a publicized data breach. 

A data breach can result in costly fines, lost productivity, public scrutiny, and damage to your brand. With over 4,000 major data breaches reported in 2021, protecting your data is more important than ever. 

10. Negative Reviews and Fewer New Clients

If your company is battling a data breach, it could leave you with a bad reputation and angry clients. Additionally, potential clients could lose confidence in your ability to keep them safe before they even talk to you, costing millions of dollars in missed sales opportunities.


What To Expect With External Network Penetration Testing

An experienced team of cybersecurity experts will set up a pentest framework and go through the phases of the plan to test your outward-facing applications for vulnerabilities. A full penetration test should include communication about the process and a detailed report regarding the findings. 

Now that you know the financial investment in a pentest is worth it, you’ll want to choose a cybersecurity consulting company that has the reputation and experience to meet all of your needs with confidence.


Mitnick Security and External Penetration Testing

Founded by Kevin Mitnick, Mitnick Security is a well-established and respected firm that is ready to go to work testing and improving your security to help prevent a costly data breach. 

Discover what external penetration testing can do for your organization so that you’re ready no matter what threat actors try next.


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Topics: penetration testing, security penetration testing, external pentest

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