Cybersecurity Testing Methods
Cybersecurity testing is a critical part of data management. With cyberattacks and data breaches on the rise, identifying weaknesses in your IT infrastructure is essential for protecting your business and its private data.
You can choose between several different testing methods to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities that could result in a major security threat. Keep reading to explore these IT cybersecurity testing methods and how they can benefit your business.
What Is Cybersecurity Testing?
Organizations utilize cybersecurity testing to check their software and infrastructure for the following:
- Critical vulnerabilities
You can protect your data and operations by working to identify potential weaknesses in your business’s software. Testing allows you to identify security loopholes and reduce exposure to cyberattacks.
The key to preventing malicious attacks is to be proactive in your security testing. Incorporating different testing methods into your cybersecurity strategy will give you valuable insights into your software system and the areas that need extra attention and maintenance.
Why Cybersecurity Tests Are Important
Your business’s critical data needs strong protection against modern security threats. Testing can help you ensure you’re keeping your information safe from hackers.
The following are some of the critical advantages of utilizing cybersecurity testing methods:
- Risk management: Even the most minor vulnerabilities can develop into significant threats. Testing allows you to identify those vulnerabilities early and manage your risk before attackers exploit them.
- Reduced costs: Cybersecurity tests can help ensure your business is secure, letting you avoid the expenses associated with loss and recovery after a data breach.
- Minimal downtime: Hackers accessing your critical information can impact your operation’s productivity and lead to costly downtime. Testing helps you stay ahead of these risks.
- Improved customer trust: Your cybersecurity is part of your business’s reputation. Knowing that you’re actively protecting their data with regular testing can help build your customers’ trust.
- Compliance with regulations and laws: The National Institute of Standards and Technology establishes cybersecurity standards for organizations that process and store sensitive information. Some professional industries require mandatory testing to ensure your data is secure.
- Peace of mind: When you conduct regular cybersecurity testing, you can feel good knowing your applications and infrastructure are protected.
Different Types of Cybersecurity Testing Methods
Let’s take a look at some of the various cybersecurity testing methods:
Penetration testing, also referred to as a pen test, is a method that involves simulating a cyberattack on your software infrastructure. This simulation allows you to proactively identify exploitable vulnerabilities under controlled conditions. Organizations often utilize this testing to enhance a web application firewall.
A pen test involves a series of steps:
- Planning: The first step is to define the goal of the test and the systems in which you want to identify potential vulnerabilities.
- Scanning: Next, you’ll use both static and dynamic analysis to see how an application responds to intrusion attempts.
- Access: Testers can then attempt to exploit vulnerabilities. This step helps to establish the damage the breach could impose.
- Imitation: After gaining access, the test imitates the presence of a persistent threat and its impact on your business’s most important and sensitive data.
- Analysis: Finally, you’ll evaluate the penetration test’s findings — if it successfully exploited your vulnerabilities and how quickly it did so.
With this information, your organization can take measures to mitigate threats before they become attacks.
A vulnerability scan uses software tools to identify and report areas within your system that are susceptible to cyberattacks. There are a few types of vulnerability scanners, including network-based, agent-based and web-application.
This method, also called a security scan, involves thousands of automated tests that gather insights into your systems. They can identify security holes that hackers use to their advantage to:
- Disrupt business operations.
- Gain unauthorized access to your data.
- Steal private information.
The knowledge you gather from a vulnerability scan can help your company establish a plan for mitigating risks and protecting your assets. Once you understand your vulnerabilities, you can identify the necessary steps to protect your weak points and effectively manage your vulnerabilities.
Risk assessment is a cybersecurity testing method that allows organizations to identify risks within their infrastructure. They can then prioritize those risks according to the various levels of threat they impose. This testing method helps organizations establish what could potentially go wrong in their software systems.
The primary purpose of these tests is to keep your business’s stakeholders informed so that the organization can respond to potential risks and:
- Avoid data breaches.
- Prevent regulatory problems.
- Mitigate data loss.
- Prevent downtime.
- Improve data organization.
Risk assessment involves determining your business’s critical assets and identifying the threats that could harm them. Then, you’ll be able to see the likelihood of a cyberattack and prioritize its potential impacts on your operations. You can utilize these insights to address weaknesses and protect your data.
Posture assessment is a testing method that uncovers the security status of your organization’s systems. These tests establish what critical data you have, your current infrastructure and your asset’s value.
You can implement a posture assessment with the following steps:
- Identify your business’s needs.
- Assign your assets priorities from most to least vulnerable and create your posture rating.
- Establish a framework for your cybersecurity needs according to security risks.
- Strengthen your organization’s posture by addressing weaknesses and educating your team on cybersecurity best practices.
Posture assessments can help your business determine your software’s vulnerabilities and the damage they could pose to your operation without intervention.
Secure Code Review
A secure code review is a cybersecurity testing method that examines a specific application’s source code. The goal of this process is to identify any security flaws and logic errors.
These tests are most effective when incorporating both automated and manual reviews. Automated secure code reviews utilize open-source tools that can identify vulnerabilities in real-time. Manual reviews involve a cybersecurity professional personally inspecting a business’s code to identify its flaws.
Secure code reviews can offer the following benefits:
- Improving consistency among codebases
- Enhancing system productivity
- Boosting ROI with faster and more secure operations
Contact Kirbtech to Learn More
Your business needs to take powerful cybersecurity measures to protect your critical data and keep operations running smoothly. Kirbtech can help your organization with support and various IT services, from cloud management to computer repair.
When you partner with us, you can enjoy personalized IT solutions that meet your company’s needs. Our dedicated experts are here to help you save time and money. We aim to be the best-managed IT provider in Central Pennsylvania.
Are you interested in learning more about how Kirbtech can uplift your business with our IT services? Request a quote online today!