Cybercrime cost the global economy $6 trillion in 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This dramatic increase in cybercriminal activity, combined with intensified regulatory scrutiny and stricter compliance laws, has driven companies to implement stronger cybersecurity measures. One of these measures is penetration testing, aka pen testing.
A pen test is a simulated cyberattack on your company’s IT enterprise, conducted in a controlled environment. The test is an important part of any security program. It is used to evaluate the defence systems of your IT infrastructure, detect vulnerabilities in your enterprise systems and find solutions to resolve identified risks. Pen testing requires an elevated level of specialized skills and qualifications, which may be beyond the capacity of your in-house IT team. For this reason, and those listed below, you may want to consider engaging the services of an expert third-party pen testing service provider.
6 Reasons to Outsource Your Penetration Testing
- External Perspective
For a pen test to be accurate in identifying your cybersecurity vulnerabilities, it should be conducted by an unbiased, independent ethical hacking team. Your in-house IT team may be too familiar with your enterprise and may inadvertently overlook fundamental weaknesses.
To detect vulnerabilities in your IT security that your team might not see, an outside pen testing service will objectively follow a comprehensive process that they have perfected over time and constantly update. A trusted company will:
- Confirm your objectives for the penetration testing
- Stick to a pre-determined schedule for the tests to prevent any disruptions to your network
- Use processes that are in line with Open-Source Security Testing Methodology (OSSTMM)
- Agree to a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect the privacy of your company’s data
An outsourced team will constantly monitor and validate your security programs, run tests regularly to reveal any new vulnerabilities, and ensure that your IT infrastructure is secure and compliant.
- Advanced Techniques
A good pen testing service provider will have access to the latest, most advanced assessment techniques and industry best practices. They will use the most up-to-date automated vulnerability scanning and other internally developed or open-source techniques to find and report on any security weaknesses. They will already have a proven system in place to:
- Systematically plan and prepare for the pen test
- Uncover and exploit the vulnerabilities
- Analyze the test results
They will then supply you with a detailed report, with suggestions for fixes and ways to close the loopholes.
- Specialized Skillsets
Unlike most in-house IT teams, pen testing professionals will have all the necessary knowledge and up-to-date certifications, including Global Information Assurance Certification (GPEN), Certified Penetration Tester (CPT) and Offensive Security Certified Professional (OSCP). They will also have the skills to conduct controlled attacks on your IT infrastructure, compromising as many of your systems as possible and delivering detailed insights.
- Legal Compliance
Pen testing has become integral to complying with cybersecurity regulations and personal data protection laws. This brings challenges, as these laws can vary across countries, states, and provinces, and complying with all applicable laws is mandatory. Your internal IT team may find it difficult to stay up-to-date on all the regulations that are relevant to your company. Yet a qualified pen testing team will know all the laws and guidelines and ensure your company is compliant.
- Objective Reporting
An outside pen testing partner will be able to provide an objective view of your system and explicitly report any risks, while internal staff may fail to report vulnerabilities and risks out of fear of retribution. Since an external service is a third party and removed from your day-to-day operations, they can conduct robust testing without limitations and report their findings with honesty and complete transparency.
- Cost Savings
The amount invested in a pen testing service is negligible compared to the cost of a data breach. There are numerous variables, some not so obvious, that must be considered when assessing the cost of a breach, including:
- Direct costs: The losses incurred after a breach, including operational expenses, legal fees, and the cost of alerting customers.
- Indirect costs: The costs associated with the loss of customer and employee trust, the drop in investor confidence and the cost to your company’s reputation.
Save the expense of employing an in-house penetration testing specialist or training one of your already overworked IT team members. An outside service has the skills, time, processes, and expertise to identify vulnerabilities in your enterprise and provide solutions, at a fraction of what a data breach would cost.
The right pen testing partner can help shore up your weak defences and ensure data compliance, integrity, and security. They can also offer expert insights into the general health of your cybersecurity protocols, giving your IT team the tools they need to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals. Want to know more? Reach out to our team today.