Why Penetration Testing is More Important than Ever in 2020

Early 2020 has been an unprecedented year for businesses, not only across our great nation, but the world at large. Enterprises big and small have shut their doors— and for those that require a storefront or face-to-face interactions to deliver products and services, operations may have come to a grinding halt.

Businesses shifting to online sales are adapting during these difficult times, but with any digital landscape comes its own set of risks. With more people working from home, most physical offices and storefronts abandoned and an unprecedented amount of online interactions occurring, it’s more important than ever to enhance your cyber security in 2020.

If you’ve been putting off performing a penetration test, here are five reasons to prioritize conducting one, as soon as possible:

1. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the weaknesses of your remote workers.

In order to keep employees safe, many businesses are sticking to strict work-from-home ordinances until it’s safe to return to work sites. Trust us, bad actors are fully aware of these new opportunities to break through your security defenses. Cyber criminals are kicking their social engineering attempts up a notch to target unsecure employee home networks, using clever COVID-19 phishing schemes and exploiting vulnerable WiFi networks to move through your employee’s devices and into your organization’s core network.

Now is the time to double-check your endpoint security, taking appropriate measures to educate your employees on new social engineering exploits, transitioning to a company VPN, vetting new tools and more. Check out these five ways to secure your workforce when working from home to elevate your protection. 

Even if all appears well, conducting a penetration test can help to reveal holes in your security now, before an unsuspecting employee holds the virtual door open for a cyber criminal.

2. Your office or storefront is abandoned and vulnerable.

Speaking of holding the door open, physical penetration attacks are documented all the time, whereas sneaky bad actors poise as delivery personnel and walk right through your office door! Once in, all they have to do is plug a malware-injecting device into an unmonitored computer and— BOOM— they’ve gained access inside your network.

With many offices and corporations empty as employees and management work remotely, there’s an increased chance of break-ins to steal sensitive data or inventory. It’s imperative during this time to heighten your security around these buildings and educate any team members with access to follow additional security procedures as well. 

When performing a penetration test, the right cyber security company won’t forget this crucial vulnerability, and will attempt to breach your physical office or storefront to make recommendations for increasing your defenses.

3. If you’re shifting more towards digital sales, you’ll need a secure checkout process.

To remain profitable, many organizations are prioritizing online sales while physical storefronts are closed. Some need to set up an entire digital store for the first time ever and should ensure their domain is protected from cyber attackers. Even pre-existing online stores or websites might not have been designed to handle the increased volume of online sales and traffic and may need important updates.

This is especially true for your checkout process, where many bad actors target exploits to obtain sensitive cardholder data. Be sure to have your checkout process examined by a professional pentester, who can simulate the attempts a real hacker may take to glean the private information of shoppers or account holders.

4. While your budget is limited, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate, not create.

Many businesses are struggling to keep themselves afloat during these turbulent times. Those who are just trying to maintain normalcy may not be focused on growth or expanding their product or service offerings at this time. 

If your company had funds set aside for development, it may be wise to re-allocate money and resources towards finding vulnerabilities in your current framework to make inexpensive, high-return fixes. At the very least, take the time to prepare a list of action items to be tackled when you do have additional means to execute. 

A pentester can help you create a nice prioritized list of low, medium and critical vulnerabilities to mitigate on a timeline that works for you. This will also help you map out a realistic budget for next year.

5. It may strengthen your customer trust and loyalty.

Your customers are feeling anxious during this period of isolation and mass unemployment. They are looking for reliability and organizations they can trust to support them throughout this difficult time.

Show them that you are protecting what matters the most by heightening your security. When they are in a better financial situation and ready to make purchases again, customers will depend on your brand even more, for prevailing through the chaos and strengthening its commitment to their safety and peace of mind during these trying times.

There’s No Pentester Quite like Kevin Mitnick and His Dedicated Team of Handpicked Ethical Hackers

With more of your employees working remotely and online sales and services on the rise, there’s no better time than now to run a penetration test.

Learn more about why Kevin Mitnick, once coined “the world’s most famous hacker,” and his Global Ghost Team are considered one of the best in the pentesting business by exploring our Pentesting services.

Topics: penetration tests, security penetration test, pen-testing

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