What Is PEN Testing And Why Is It Important?

August 01, 2023

Security , General Interest

Pen testing is a simulated cyberattack that helps organizations identify and fix security vulnerabilities.

Pen testers use a variety of techniques to exploit vulnerabilities, such as scanning for open ports, probing for weak passwords, and exploiting known security flaws.

On June 9th, a new compliance law went into effect that has a significant impact on CPAs. The new requirement, known as the FTC Safeguards Rule, requires all CPAs to implement and maintain a comprehensive cybersecurity program.

The law defines a cybersecurity program as "a set of policies, procedures, and technologies that are designed to protect a CPA's information systems and data from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction."

The law requires CPAs to:

  • Assess their cybersecurity risks
  • Implement appropriate controls to mitigate those risks
  • Monitor and test their cybersecurity program on a regular basis
  • Report any cybersecurity incidents to the appropriate authorities
  • Designate a qualified individual to manage their information security program

The FTC requires CPAs to have the PEN Test and a Vulnerability Assessment. The law also provides for civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance.

Pen testing is an important part of cybersecurity because it helps organizations identify and fix vulnerabilities before they can be exploited by real attackers. By identifying and fixing vulnerabilities, organizations can reduce their risk of a cyberattack.

The scope of a penetration test can vary depending on the organization's needs. Some organizations may only want a pen test of their web applications, while others may want a pen test of their entire IT infrastructure.

Penetration testing is an important part of any organization's cybersecurity program. By identifying and fixing vulnerabilities, organizations can reduce their risk of a cyberattack.

In addition to the tips above, there are a number of things businesses can do to protect themselves from smishing attacks:
  • Educate your employees about smishing attacks. Make sure your employees know what smishing is and how to spot it. You can do this by providing them with training materials or by sending them regular emails with tips on how to stay safe.
  • Use a security solution that can protect you from smishing attacks. There are a number of security solutions available that can help protect businesses from smishing attacks. These solutions can block malicious links and warn employees about suspicious text messages.
  • Monitor your network for suspicious activity. Security solutions can help you monitor your network for suspicious activity, such as an increase in spam or phishing emails. If you see any suspicious activity, take steps to investigate it immediately.
  • Have a plan in place for responding to smishing attacks. If your business is targeted by a smishing attack, it's important to have a plan in place for responding. This plan should include steps for notifying employees, blocking malicious links, and investigating the attack.

How is Penetration Testing Done?

Penetration testing is typically done in four phases:

  • Planning: The pen tester meets with the organization to discuss the scope of the test, the target systems, and the desired outcomes.
  • Discovery: The pen tester gathers information about the target systems, such as IP addresses, open ports, and running services.
  • Exploitation: The pen tester attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in the target systems.
  • Reporting: The pen tester reports the findings of the test to the organization, including any vulnerabilities that were exploited.

Why is Penetration Testing Important?

Penetration testing is important for a number of reasons, including:
  • It helps organizations identify and fix security vulnerabilities.
  • It can help organizations improve their overall cybersecurity posture.
  • It can help organizations comply with security regulations.
  • It can help organizations reduce their risk of a cyberattack.

How Does Penetration Testing Relate to Cybersecurity?

Penetration testing is a critical part of cybersecurity. By identifying and fixing vulnerabilities, penetration testing can help organizations reduce their risk of a cyberattack. Penetration testing is also a valuable tool for organizations that are looking to improve their overall cybersecurity posture.

If you are interested in learning more about penetration testing, there are a number of resources available online. You can also find a list of qualified penetration testing firms by visiting the website of the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)².

Why Vector Choice?

Vector Choice approaches cybersecurity differently than other IT Companies. We approach cybersecurity, not from an "if", but from a "when it does happen" standpoint. We take the assumption that you will be hacked, because 95% of all breaches will be due to user error. Which means, it's just a matter of time. Do you want a company that is just blocking the perimeter, or do you want a company that takes a holistic approach and protects the perimeter, the internal network, and trains staff to account for the human element?

Our Pen Test is easy as we do not need site access, admin credentials, there are no network or firewall rules. Our lite version is a light weight agent that does a very targeted risk assessment looking at patches, local admin accounts, password stored in browsers and vulnerabilities on each system scanned.

Vector Choice offers a free Pen Test and Vulnerability Assessment that will help your help you identify mitigate your cybersecurity risks. Learn more here!