Every business is at risk from hackers—there’s no such thing as being too small or too unimportant to be the target of a hack or ransomware attack. To prevent attacks, businesses should be proactively scanning and testing their own networks to find and plug weaknesses before hackers can exploit them, and there are plenty of IT firms out there claiming to help you do just that. However, if a company doesn’t specialize in cybersecurity, you may not be getting what you pay for.
Ideally, businesses should use both vulnerability scans and penetration tests to monitor the security of their systems. However, while terms may be thrown around interchangeably, the processes they describe are very different.
A vulnerability scan is a largely automated process that detects potential vulnerabilities at the network or application level. It’s a wide but surface-level look at your system. Because it is mostly done with software, your business can (and should) run them at least quarterly.
A penetration test (or pen test), on the other hand, is a hands-on simulated hacking attempt, run by an expert actively looking to find and exploit gaps in your network. You won’t run this kind of comprehensive analysis as often, but it should be done on a regular schedule, and after any major changes to your network.
A vulnerability scan will generate a list of weaknesses that may or may not be serious problems, while a penetration test will give you an expert’s assessment of where your system is open to attack and how to fix it. Some firms will charge you pen test prices when what they’re really running is a glorified vulnerability scan—that will never happen at Petronella.
The Key to Our Testing Quality – Craig Petronella
A true penetration test is only as good as the person running it. Craig Petronella, the head of our IT security team, has worked for over two decades building and managing business computer systems. His virtual vCIO expertise gives our clients the support they need to achieve and maintain effective cybersecurity.
Craig’s insight can help you determine the right schedule of vulnerability assessment and penetration testing for your business, keeping your information secure and in regulatory compliance with standards such as PCI DSS and HIPAA. Protect your business and gain peace of mind with Petronella Technology Group.
Contact Us for an initial consult – get the right diagnosis with Craig and his team HERE