We live in times when digital threats are more common than ever for both small businesses and large organisations. Safeguarding digital assets are not just, if not more, important than protecting physical spaces. Companies can employ various different strategies to improve their cybersecurity defences - penetration testing is one of the key ways to test them. This article will explain what pentesting is and how it helps protect your business against potential threats. 

What is penetration testing?

Penetration testing, often dubbed as pentesting or ethical hacking, is essentially a simulated cyber attack against your computer system. The primary aim of it is to check how well your current protection tools are working and find any exploitable vulnerabilities. Businesses will typically hire third-party penetration testing services, who will perform a fake cyber attack using various methods and at any given time. It is a proactive approach to cybersecurity, as it helps uncover any weaknesses before real-life hackers get the chance to do the same with malicious intent. 

Pentesting methods

Pentesting operates by mimicking the exact actions of an external or internal cyber attacker, which could involve a range of different strategies. For example, penetration testing can include network service tests (scanning the company’s network ports), web application tests, Wi-Fi security tests, password cracking, firewall tests, and even social tests (sending phishing emails and scam messages to the employees). Each of these activities are conducted in a controlled environment to prevent actual damage to the company’s IT infrastructure. However, they do an effective job in finding potential vulnerabilities that can be then fixed or improved. 

The benefits of penetration testing services

As the technology is constantly improving, implementing penetration tests at regular intervals is highly important.  This ensures that the company always stays up-to-date with the best protection methods and any new security loopholes are found on time. Such a proactive approach contributes to the continuous improvement of the company's cybersecurity practices, highlighting areas that require enhancement. Of course, this helps protect the company against the potentially catastrophic consequences of data breaches, including financial loss and reputational damage. 

Additionally, penetration testing can be an important step towards regulatory compliance. Many industries mandate regular security assessments as part of their regulatory requirements. The companies that don’t meet them face various legal repercussions or even fines. Pentesting not only helps in meeting these requirements but also demonstrates a company’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of data protection to their increasingly privacy-conscious customers. 

Lastly, penetration testing can foster a culture of cybersecurity across the whole organisation and its employees, too. Human mistakes are one of the biggest causes of security risks, meaning that simply installing good tools will not guarantee the protection of the business. Companies must encourage regular training and educational activities for their employees, so they stay aware of the latest cyber threats, and are able to recognise and deal with them appropriately. 


All in all, staying vigilant is key when facing the ever-evolving threats of today’s digital space. Penetration testing is, therefore, an indispensable tool for businesses to seek proactive protection methods, allowing them to find any security vulnerabilities before anyone else does.