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Pentest; cybersecurity; penetration testing

Penetration Testing: Next Level Cybersecurity

Shannon Mayberry
2 min read
Jul 1, 2022 2:12:00 PM
This post covers:Your Business. Secure. | Managed IT

Here's what you need to know about pen test and your network security

Penetration testing, or pen test, is the latest addition to the arsenal of network security strategies here at Locknet® Managed IT. But what is penetration testing? Is it suitable for small and medium-sized businesses? And how does it protect your organization from cybersecurity threats? Let's explore.

What is penetration testing, or pen test?

Imagine letting someone hack into your network, someone who knows how to find the weakest link in your system that can be exploited. It sounds unthinkable, right? After all, preventing intrusion by hackers is why you have a cybersecurity strategy in place. Well, penetration testing does just that—but with a hacker who is here to help, not hurt.

Penetration testing leverages ethical hackers to identify, breach, and fix vulnerabilities in your business's network, website, and more before cybercriminals take advantage of these weaknesses. This process allows for the evaluation of an app or network so that issues can be flagged, ranging from login-related weaknesses to configurations to user vulnerabilities. It also can allow for the evaluation of your security strategies and other cybersecurity efforts in place. Once our cybersleuths identify your system's weaknesses, we develop a penetration testing report detailing what we've found, the associated risks, and our recommendations for addressing these vulnerabilities. The overriding goal is to shore up your protection so hackers don't have a chance at conducting a security breach.

Penetration testing vs. vulnerability assessments

We've talked in the past about the importance of vulnerability assessments to your organization's cybersecurity. And while pen tests and vulnerability assessments may sound similar, there are distinct differences between the two. Here are a few noteworthy differences.

  • Vulnerability assessments are primarily automated; pen test includes both automated scanning and manual testing
  • Pen test includes exploiting weaknesses to learn from them, while vulnerability assessments are primarily about detecting and categorizing any system vulnerabilities.
  • Pen test can find logic errors that a vulnerability assessment can miss. This is due to the added manual testing.
  • The investment in pen tests is greater, as it takes considerably more time and resources. Vulnerability assessment takes less time and money, but isn't as comprehensive; it simply identifies vulnerabilities. Pen test identifies those vulnerabilities, ranks them, and explains how easily exploited they are, enabling them to be addressed in alignment with organizational priorities and goals.
  • A vulnerability assessment locates security flaws. A pen test exploits those vulnerabilities so you have a clear idea of what's at stake, and how much damage your organization could suffer in a cyberattack.

Note that the terms penetration testing and vulnerability assessment are not interchangeable; though they can be employed in tandem with one another. Both can play an important role in evaluating your security and strengthening your network protections.

Are you ready for a pen test? We can help.

When you're ready to put a pen test to work for your business in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Iowa, the experts at Locknet® Managed IT can help. Our penetration testing service offers a deeper level of protection which can be beneficial to small and enterprise-sized businesses as the threat environment becomes increasingly more daunting. To learn more about pen test, penetration testing, and the other cybersecurity options we offer, contact us.



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