Cybercrime is projected to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025 and Cybercriminals are actively targeting small businesses and startups. The reasons? These types of companies are not fully matured in terms of information security awareness, security standards, procedures and employee awareness, making them easy targets for criminals. As of 2020, the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million. Unfortunately, there is a false impression that these criminals don’t target startups and only focus on the big players. If you are an owner of a business or startup, you need to take the security of your business and your employee's data seriously before it's too late.
Today's most common threat against any business is a Ransomware attack. Think of it as a kidnapping, Yes... The hackers will kidnap your computer systems and the important data that is present on your servers and workstations. They will then demand a hefty amount of "ransom money" in order to give back your data and/or restore your system to a normal condition.
In the US, there is a daily newsfeed of ransomware attacks and subsequent extortion attempts.
Before getting in-depth let’s first understand the basics of Security Assessments and Penetration Testing.
What is a security assessment?
A security assessment is a process of identifying and avoiding future cyber attacks or data breaches. They are periodic exercises that evaluate your organization's overall security posture and risk profile. The process includes checking your IT infrastructure, your web applications, and networks for potential vulnerabilities which can be used by hackers to perform a cyber-attack or to steal your confidential data such as financial records, user's data, their credit cards, and/or personal information.
Risk: It is a potential for loss and damages caused by the cyber attack.
Vulnerability: A weakness or flaw in your system. (Web Application, Networks/Infrastructure, etc...). These vulnerabilities are exploited by hackers for financial gains or for other motives. If patches are not in place or security testing is not being performed regularly then these elements combined are the biggest threat to your business. According to statistics:
Globally, 30,000 websites are hacked daily.
more than 93% of healthcare organizations reported at least one security breach in the last three years
Cyber attackers are profiting from the recent challenges brought on by the pandemic: they disrupted COVID-19 efforts and distributed critical supply chains attacks which grew 420% in just 12 months.
What is a Penetration Test?
A Penetration Test is a simulated cyber attack that is performed without damaging your infrastructure or applications, by Offensive Security experts. The main objective is to uncover the most critical vulnerabilities, demonstrate their impact and provide a report that helps fix those security holes before the real hackers exploit them too. It’s a very comprehensive test, when compared to a vulnerability assessment. Before the Penetration test engagement starts, a detailed engagement scope is discussed and agreed upon so that the company’s day-to-day operations are not affected by the engagement and sensitive company data is also protected.
For example, if a Penetration test is performed on a Website or Web Application, a penetration tester will evaluate the core functionalities of the site or Web Application, such as it's login panels, payment functionality, confidential data of users and products etc.., A Penetration tester will find and exploit as many potential vulnerabilities present on the website/application as they can during the allotted testing time frame. They will use the tactics, techniques, and procedures that are used by actual threat actors, aiming to emulate them during the engagement and in the end, will ethically report all the vulnerabilities which were found during the engagement, demonstrating how they could be exploited by criminal hackers.
Normally a penetration test is performed every 6–12 months or whenever your systems, infrastructure, and applications go through a major change. Testing frequency can also depend on other factors such as the size of your business and its nature.
There are different types of Penetration tests that can help your organization overcome these threats and maintain a healthy information security posture. These tests range from Internal Network Testing, External Network Testing, Web Application Testing, etc...
At Red Sea Information Security, we believe that information security is not a product, it's a process. We advise our clients to regularly perform Security Assessments and/or Penetration Testing exercises in order to avoid cyberattacks that carry the potential to devastate your business.
If you’re interested in our Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing services, do not hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org We have a dedicated team of security professionals that hold industry standard certifications such as OSCP and several others.
Your security needs are our top priority!