The Importance of Cyber Vulnerability Testing
Businesses in every sector, regardless of size, are facing rising threats in cybersecurity every year. 2020 has so far seen the highest increases and this is why cyber vulnerability testing is so important.
Government figures suggest that nearly half (46%) of the country’s businesses and 26% of charities have reported instances of a cybersecurity breach in the last year alone. If previous trends continue, this percentage is only likely to rise. Of those businesses, it is the largest organisations that have been most highly targeted (75%), but today no business escapes the hackers, and it is up to us to ensure the right protection is in place.
The nature of cyber-attacks has changed over the past few years. For example, malware and other virus-centric attacks have fallen dramatically from 33% in 2017 to 16% while phishing has risen from 72% to 86% (2020). Some industry sectors have increased their ability to detect cyber threats, which could be reflected in the figures according to the experts.
What is cybersecurity?
In basic terms, cybersecurity is the practice of ensuring computers, mobile devices, systems, servers and networks are protected from attacks with malicious intent.
In a business environment, it is essential to employ sufficient protective measures to safeguard not only the systems, but the data contained within them. Since the introduction of GDPR in 2018, this has become even more important, particularly covering the personal information and business data of clients, suppliers and business associates and employees.
An often-overlooked aspect of cybersecurity is the process of destroying historic data that is no longer required. This can include the correct and complete removal of data from old servers or other hardware and devices. A surprising amount of data can be left in places where it can still be accessed and it is critical to ensure that removal of this information is carried out carefully and professionally to avoid this type of breach.
How damaging can a cybersecurity vulnerability be?
A cyber vulnerability can prove costly for businesses of all sizes. According to UK government data, the average cost of cybersecurity breaches during the last 12 months stands at around £3,230 for a small business and rising to an average of £5,220 for larger firms.
Around 1 in 5 businesses that identify a cyber breach experience a negative outcome involving the loss of money or of data. In addition, approximately 2 in 5 (39%) are left with the need for implementing new measures to combat further cyber-attack. This results in a wider negative impact in terms of investment, downtime and disruption to business operations.
For businesses of all sizes, cyber vulnerability testing is quickly becoming a necessity that they can ill afford to do without.
What is cyber vulnerability testing?
Cyber vulnerability testing involves a deliberate, planned cyber attack on a business’ IT systems and network to determine where the vulnerabilities lie. Known as Penetration Testing or Pen Testing in the industry, it can be a valuable exercise in safeguarding the business from future threats.
Penetration testing forms an important part of the security risk assessment for any business, highlighting clear flaws and rooting out subtle vulnerabilities from a hacker’s perspective. The results can then be used to help safeguard IT systems and networks, effectively plugging any gaps left open to attack. Results can also prove vital in terms of assessing where cybersecurity awareness training is needed and provide the basis for the implementation of new standards.
How is it managed?
Firstly, cyber vulnerability testing is defined by the needs of the business or organisation. This can encompass a range of requirements, such as:
- Network security
- Mobile devices (both business and personal)
- Physical security components
- Applications or software
- For cybersecurity training purposes
- Server protocols
- WAF policies
When carrying out testing, J&L will determine the most likely areas of vulnerability that could be open to a breach. Penetration testing also pinpoints what type of information could be valuable to a hacker and why. This is in addition to revealing the likely damage it could lead to and how the system currently works to fend off the potential cyber breach.
There are various levels of cyber vulnerability testing that we use for your business, depending on its needs:
- Internal – to identify potential attack behind the company firewall
- External – to determine the likelihood of an attack on public business assets
- Targeted – working in conjunction with the business IT security team
- Blind – with little information, such as the business name only
- Double-blind – often for training purpose to help the security IT spot an attempted breach
Talk to us about cyber vulnerability testing
J&L work with businesses of all sizes to strengthen cybersecurity at all levels. Since 2004, we have taken a ‘jargon-free’ approach to this complex subject to ensure our clients can truly understand the value of IT security across the business model.
We work closely with your existing IT teams to deliver the most up-to-date testing available. With cyber attacks evolving, we know that you need to stay a step ahead of the hackers. We make sure that you can through the assessment of your security protocols and processes and giving you the right advice and support.
Here at J&L, we understand that the complexities of cybersecurity are far-reaching for businesses of any size. With 2020 so far creating chaos within many industries and thousands of employees working from home, there are growing opportunities for hackers to exploit the vulnerabilities within your network.
Whether you have experienced a security breach or are looking to plug the gaps in your cybersecurity, talk to us about cyber vulnerability testing and let us help.
The J&L IT Security Services: https://www.jarrettandlam.com/our-services/it-services-and-systems/it-security-services