5 tips for a successful penetration testing program

Proper preparation is key to finding the real weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your network through a pentest. These are the five things you need to do before starting.

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With the rise in enterprise data breaches and ransomware cyberattacks making headlines, conducting thorough security assessments has become an inevitable part of running a business operation that handles customer data. The data protection requirements brought forth by compliance bills, both in the US and around the world have further put onus on organizations to improve security controls and harden the systems handling proprietary information.

These developments, however taxing in the short-run, should be welcomed as planning a cybersecurity strategy early on can be helpful in saving your company from hefty fines, embarrassment and the overall distress that could arise from a breach.  

A well-thought out security assessment, of course, involves a comprehensive penetration test of critical assets. We interviewed ethical hacking experts and network security specialists to provide insight on the matter. Below are some tips for a successful pentesting program.

1. Identify high-risk assets and business workflow

Understanding what high-risk assets are present in your organization and how they fit into the overall business logic is the key, moreso than using a standard security assessment checklist. When identifying high-risk assets and network segments to put through a pen-test, it helps to have a fuller picture of the weaknesses in your organization, which may require thinking outside the box. 

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