Data Security & Penetration Testing

Data security is not optional. It is a must for any modern business that depends heavily on computer systems. Clever hackers are out there looking for vulnerabilities that they can exploit for a quick buck. They are like burglars who survey homes to find possible entry points that they can use to get in and take valuable assets. For businesses, data are prized assets. Some of these are highly sensitive. If a competitor gets their hands on these, then the whole company could collapse. Data leaks erode the public's trust and it is incredibly difficult to get it back.


penetration testing


It has become standard practice for businesses to be proactive when it comes to digital security. Instead of waiting for the hackers to attack, they hire professionals to find vulnerabilities in their systems. Penetration testing allows them to gauge their readiness to repel threats. It also gives them a chance to spot weak points before outsiders do. They will have time to study and use appropriate remedies before others can strike. It will then become much harder for malicious individuals to gain entry in the iron-clad system. They won't be able to take control or steal data. Their presence could also be more easily detected.

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Testing Phases


The first phase of the test is reconnaissance. Testers gather vital info about their target so they can plan their approach and mount a more effective attack. The next phase is scanning which is a more technical assessment of the system using software tools. After a thorough study, testers can begin to gain access. They might send a payload through open ports and deploy automated attacks on known weak points. It should be noted that most systems will have built-in detection so maintaining access can be tricky. Testers must find a way to stay inside long enough to accomplish their mission. Once the deed is done, traces of the attack should be covered to avoid discovery.


Example Applications


Those that are frequently targeted due to their valuable data perform penetration testing on a regular basis. For instance, banks and credit card companies will often deploy security professionals to seek out vulnerabilities and find ways to improve their system. Hackers are always devising new techniques to launch an attack so they cannot let down their guard. Governments are also frequently targeted at all levels. Their sensitive data is a gold mine for other countries and corporations. Penetration testing is crucial in protecting information.


The Impact of GDPR


The European Union is acutely aware of the challenges with regards to cyber security. They are particularly concerned about the protection of personal data as these are collected and processed by different businesses. The EU passed a law called General Data Protection Regulation which enumerates the guidelines for handling personally identifiable information by businesses established within the region. They are required to have protective measures in place to safeguard data, respect individual privacy, and ensure informed consent. All of these put added pressure on companies to secure their systems.