According to new research from Positive Technologies, a substantial 84% of companies contain high-risk vulnerabilities within their network perimeter. Scanning as many as 3,514 hosts, including workstations, network devices, and servers, it was discovered that the highest at-risk industries include finance, IT, manufacturing, government, advertising, and telecoms.
There are often simple solutions to this issue, one of which includes automated penetration testing. This involves simulating real cyber-attacks against a company’s networks and systems in order to discover potential security holes that hackers can take advantage of.
Significant Cybersecurity Risks for Companies
Many such vulnerabilities can be eradicated just by installing software updates. According to the data, these security holes are as a result of:
- Configuration flaws
- Outdated algorithms
- Invalid protocols
- Lack of software updates
- Faults in web application code and accounts
- Weak or default passwords
Ekaterina Kilyusheva, Head of Information Security Analytics Research Group of Positive Technologies, said: “Network perimeters of most tested corporate information systems remain extremely vulnerable to external attacks.
Our automated security assessment proved that all companies have network services available for connection on their network perimeter, allowing hackers to exploit software vulnerabilities and brute force credentials to these services.”
Although there is a myriad of new threats developed daily, many of these threats typically rely on past security vulnerabilities in order to be effective. One of the major risks any company can take is not patching their vulnerabilities when discovered. The Positive Technologies data, for example, revealed that the oldest vulnerability was 16 years old.
“Vulnerability management is a complex task that requires proper instrumental solutions,” Kilyusheva added. “With modern security analysis tools, companies can automate resource inventories and vulnerability searches, and also assess security policy compliance across the entire infrastructure. Automated scanning is only the first step toward achieving an acceptable level of security. To get a complete picture, it is vital to combine automated scanning with penetration testing. Subsequent steps should include verification, triage, and remediation of risks and their causes.”
The Benefits of Automated Penetration Testing
In order to secure a safe, professional environment, it is vital to use committed professionals that are able to defend your systems against cybercriminals.
One of the most important reasons to choose automated penetration testing is so that you can uncover any vulnerabilities found on your systems before hackers are able to exploit them. Penetration testers work within a controlled environment, allowing them to identify and patch any security issues.
Additionally, it can reduce network downtime, which can be extremely expensive for companies. A study conducted in 2018 discovered that the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million. Companies that suffer from such attacks sometimes take weeks to recover. This is very expensive and often means that companies don’t recover at all.
Not only can security attacks have consequences for your sensitive data, but they can also compromise the data of your customers. Automated penetration testing will help you avoid financial losses as well as the impact on your company’s reputation.
A significant amount of companies around the world have insufficient security practices, with as many as 84% of businesses having high-risk vulnerabilities within their networks and systems. These vulnerabilities are lucrative invitations to hackers looking to take advantage of any business, big or small, for their own financial gain and hacking reputation. Automated penetration testing companies can help you quickly identify any security issues and then fix them before hackers are able to leverage them.