Even Small Business Need Penetration Testing – Here’s Why


Image: Unsplash

Since you’re a small business, you don’t need to run a penetration test. After all, you’re too small to be on the radar of cyber criminals, right?

You’re dead wrong, buddy.

If you’ve been slacking off on your cyber security because you think the cybercriminals won’t target you, then you need to start rethinking things.

There are countless studies and researches made proving that small businesses are also targeted by cybercriminals — at alarming rates, at that.

That being said, you need to give your cybersecurity due diligence by running pen tests, otherwise, it’ll only be just a matter of time before you fall prey to the cyber criminals.

Allow me to share with you several reasons why you absolutely need to run penetration tests, right now.

1. You are a prime target for cybercriminals.

Small businesses like yours are a prime target of cybercriminals.

Sound surprising?

Perhaps it does. You may think it’s only the big businesses that hackers target because they hold far more enormous sums of money and data than yours.

However, hackers don’t think so. The fact that you earn a pretty good income, collect data, and likely spend too little on cybersecurity entices hackers to target your small business.

They believe they can invade your IT systems more effortlessly than they can with established companies and still make a hefty profit.

That means you are just as valuable as the more prominent companies — and face the same urgency to protect your small business with penetration testing.

2. You can map out your cyber kill chain.

A cyber kill chain is a model that outlines the stages cybercriminals are likely to take when executing attacks.

A penetration test pairs well with cyber kill chains.

At each phase of the kill chain, a threat player can enforce simulated cyber attacks in the security layers to gain further access.

The ethical hacker tests your network, perimeter, and internal defenses using various techniques.

You can then map out the tools and techniques used at each phase.

Doing all these allows you to see the entire attack lifecycle, vulnerable areas in your IT landscape, and ways to prevent and combat possible cyber attacks.

3. You uncover weaknesses before unethical hackers do.

Attack simulations tighten your security.

They put your cybersecurity through hacking-like pressures, revealing weaknesses before
unethical hackers uncover and exploit them.

Instead of finding out your cybersecurity vulnerabilities from a real hack — which results in losses — you can uncover them from pretend hacks and gain insight.

That’s the valuable thing about penetration tests.

A professional cybersecurity expert is the one examining your IT systems, exposing errors, and teaching you how to fix them.

As such, you can expect to receive proper evaluation and recommended solutions after the test.


4. You protect your data assets.

Your data assets, known as your company’s lifeblood, is also what cybercriminals relentlessly seek.

Successfully accessing and getting your data into their ill-intended hands is why they keep trying to hack your systems and unleashing cybersecurity threats.

With your data, they can make loads of profit if they sell it on the dark web or to your enemies and competitors.

However, when you execute penetration testing, you can determine how to protect your data assets in advance.

For instance, the ethical hacker will test your cybersecurity by conducting social engineering attacks.

If their findings show that your sensitive information is quickly accessible, he may advise you to encrypt and password-protect your files, among many others.

5. You save money in the long run.

Small business owners often don’t allocate sufficient budget on penetration testing.

They think doing so is too expensive, and they would rather spend more on their marketing and sales campaigns.

If that describes you, you should know that penetration testing is more of an investment than an expense.

Sure, it may cost much. But having poor cybersecurity can cost you more.

It can result in thousands to millions of dollars’ worth of data and financial losses, or
closing of your business — not to mention reputational damage and losing your
customers’ trust.

When you think about these possible losses, you will realize penetration testing may not be that costly after all.

It can even guide you in financially planning your cybersecurity and prioritizing the weakest and most crucial aspects.

Pen testing helps you address potential cybersecurity problems, so you can experience zero to minimal wreckage as much as possible.

6. You bolster your cybersecurity measures.

You must know as a small business that a vital part of the anatomy of a successful website is robust cybersecurity.

Penetration tests help you to attain that.

As they disclose your cybersecurity weaknesses, you can work on bolstering related policies and protocols based on your penetration tester’s examination.

Let’s say they discover that your networks are highly vulnerable to different kinds of malware. You can enforce several policies to address that concern.

You can train your employees on identifying social engineering schemes and avoiding suspicious-looking links, files, and interactions.

You can even regulate the use of public Wifi for business-related tasks or the opening of personal social media accounts and emails during office hours.

You can also implement stronger security configuration settings and mechanisms, patch management, and updating of firewalls and anti-virus software.

7. You prepare for GDPR compliance.

Have you heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)?

As a small business, you must be aware of it.

In its aim to protect customers and clients, GDPR regulates businesses and entities that collect personal customer information to manage data privacy responsibly.

GDPR also issues heavy penalties on businesses that experience data breaches and compromise their customers’ data privacy because of poor network and system security.

Thus, for businesses like yours to safeguard your customers’ data and be GDPR-compliant, you need to establish rock-solid cybersecurity measures.

Pen testing, then, determines the stability of your cybersecurity defenses and lets you mend the necessary repairs.

If your defenses are weak, you need to do whatever is required to secure your files and data.

After all, in the end, protecting your customers’ data also preserves your small business’ reputation.

Invest in pen testing ASAP.

Penetration testing helps you protect your small business from financial and data losses, tarnished reputation, reduced customer loyalty, and weaker competitive advantage.

Don’t wait for black hat hackers to get to you first and make you learn lessons the hard and painful way. Invest adequately on pen testing as soon as possible.

Was this post useful? Take the time to share it on email and social media. Cheers!

Irfan Shakeel
Irfan Shakeel, the founder of ehacking project, he also hosts cyber security training classes at EH Academy. He has discovered many vulnerabilities in the famous platforms (like Google, Dailymotion, Harvard University & etc.). He specializes in Network hacking, VoIP pentesting & digital forensics. He is the author of the book title “Hacking from Scratch”.

Most Popular

What Makes ICS/OT Infrastructure Vulnerable?

Infrastructure security for operational technologies (OT) and industrial control systems (ICS) varies from IT security in several ways, with the inverse confidentiality, integrity, and...

Everything You Must Know About IT/OT Convergence

What is an Operational Technology (OT)? Operational technology (OT) is a technology that primarily monitors and controls physical operations. It can automate and control machines,...

Understand the OT Security and Its Importance

This article discusses OT security and why it is essential for protecting industrial systems from cyberattacks. We will also discuss common control objectives that can...

What is Deepfake, and how does it Affect Cybersecurity?

Producing deepfake is easy. It is hard to detect. They operate with a description of reality rather than reality itself (e.g., a video). Any...