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The Sullexis Blog

We did it! Or did we? The Importance of Pen Testing

You’ve spent time creating a comprehensive security strategy, and as you begin implementation, the alerts from your SIEM solution are drastically decreasing. From a security standpoint, everything is looking great! Or is it? If you or, more importantly, outside vendors haven’t tested your solution, then are you really more protected or just missing the right indicators? For you and your company to be confident in the solution you’ve put hours and hard work into, validation through a Penetration (Pen) Test must be run.

Unlike most IT disciplines, the Pen Test routinely provides Security Professionals with a way to check their hubris at the door. If you work with the right partner, their Red Team can identify the things you may have overlooked, the emerging risks you were unaware of, and then help you mitigate the findings. For many companies, it is a good idea to test security defenses once a year. In fact, most standards bodies require it. If you are making significant changes to a security platform and the applications it protects, or if new vulnerabilities within your industry are identified, then out-of-band testing may be advisable.

Not all penetration tests are created equally, however. While scripted tests with popular toolkits, such as Metasploit, are a good starting point and might suffice for compliance audits, to really test your application and security, you need to hire a firm that conducts manual testing in addition to the scripts. Manual tests are costly in comparison but reveal vulnerabilities the scripted test cannot. This is due to the fact that hackers are fundamentally creative thinkers, and as such, they do not operate like a script. Another benefit of manual testing is the preparation it gives to an organization. The data from manual testing is more realistic, allowing analysis to be a learning tool for your SIEM.

Security breaches can affect every aspect of a business. Simply implementing a security solution will not protect you from a data breach. Pen Testing allows you to intelligently identify and manage your security risks. If you want to learn more about how Pen Testing can help you be more secure, or if you want to move into even more advanced activities, such as Wargame simulations, contact the Sullexis team.

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