Being proactive in your security practices is essential today with the risk of security attacks across all industries. Conducting penetration testing consulting services regularly is an important step towards keeping your organization as safe as possible from cyber-attacks. Customers that conduct penetration tests on a bi-yearly basis are more likely to detect threats before they affect their environment. In contrast, customers who take a reactive approach to their security and do not conduct regular risk assessments, are far more likely to have to respond to security threats that already have affected their environment. This can be costly, and often, not all data can be restored following a breach. In addition to lost data, breaches can result in a loss of trust from customers and partners. A key aspect of having a proactive approach to cybersecurity is to conduct penetration tests regularly.
Key Aspects of Penetration Testing Consulting Services
When you implement penetration testing consulting services in your environment, both manual and automated tests that simulate real-world attacks will be performed. During the test, your IT environment will be searched for potential ways that an attacker could get ahold of your information. Vulnerabilities will be detected and remediated before it gets in the wrong hands. By detecting and remediating these vulnerabilities, the attack surface in your environment decreases. This helps to give your organization protection against potential attacks.
If your business operates in an industry that requires certain levels of security compliance, pen tests can be an important part of getting to that level of compliance. These industries have strong security compliance standards for a reason because they deal with valuable and confidential information that could be subjected to an attack. Conducting penetration tests is an essential way to protect your customers and can be a step to get ready for potential security audits. If your organization is in non-compliance with the security standard of the industry, it can result in fines and a greater risk of a breach. Having good security hygiene is important for any information that deals with data online.
Different Types of Penetration Testing Consulting Services
External Penetration Testing
• In an external penetration test, the tester will simulate an external attack that comes from outside of an organization. They will identify and exploit the vulnerabilities in your system and attempt to breach the security perimeter of the network boundaries.
Internal Penetration Testing
• In an internal penetration test, the tester will simulate an attack from inside an organization. This doesn’t always have to be a malicious employee but could be an external actor that is posing as someone from the organization. The tester will attempt to escape out of the network boundaries and attempt to gain unauthorized user access to systems within scope and systems connected to the network.
Website Application Penetration Testing
• Website Application Penetration testing is designed to meet best practices and industry relations for application security. Some examples of industry regulations include PCI DSS and HIPAA. In the test, the tester will look at the source code, operating systems, infrastructure, and application functionality. They will attempt to gain unauthorized access to systems connected to the web application.
Penetration Testing Services: The Steps
In a penetration test, the tester will go through a variety of steps to detect and remediate vulnerabilities with an environment.
First, they will conduct automated security scanning to identify potential vulnerabilities. Next, they will analyze the results of the scans and remove any false steps. In this step, a report will be developed and interpreted.
Next, the tester will review the network security design and identify any weaknesses. Manual in-depth testing will be conducted to validate the weaknesses that were identified.
The service provider will then review security policies that your company needs to follow and aim to fill the gaps between your security posture and the level required. After the patches are put in place, a rescan will be performed.
Experts recommend that penetration testing consulting services be performed regularly to best protect your organization from a cybersecurity attack.

Author's Bio: 

I am the founder and CEO of Aurora, a cybersecurity firm specializing in targeting specific problems with sensitive data and creating individualized solutions for various companies. I have a customer-first mindset and intend to build great relationships with my clients and ensure brand consistency.