Nearly 40% of Americans frequently worry about their personal information getting stolen by computer hackers, a recent Gallup poll revealed. It’s no wonder: Cyber attacks and data breaches regularly make news headlines. How easy would it be for criminals to hack your website and steal sensitive information about you and your customers? Penetration testing could help you find out.
Penetration testing — pen testing, for short — is sometimes called ethical hacking or white hat hacking. It can help you find and fix security flaws in your website and web applications before criminal hackers get a hold of sensitive data.
Here’s how it works: With your permission, a cyber-security pro simulates a real-world cyber-attack on your website. They use the same tools and techniques as the bad guys to look for vulnerabilities in your site — and try to exploit them.
Your tester will share their findings with you. You can use this information to plug up any security holes in your website.
Ethical hackers known as pen testers perform penetration tests. Some pen testers have formal training in the subject, while others are largely self-taught. In either case, they may have certifications to back up their skills. Some examples include EC-Council's Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) or CompTIA's PenTest+.
There are several different types of penetration tests. Some tests you may want to use include:
Ethical hackers may look for many types of security flaws when they perform pen testing. To give you an idea of what they might test for, here are the five most common web application vulnerabilities, according to the Open Web Application Security Project:
Many websites are vulnerable to hackers. Sites that run on content management system platforms like Drupal or WordPress tend to be targeted more often. That’s partly because they’re so prevalent, but also because their code is publicly accessible. And if you’re customized your website with third-party plugins or themes, some of those add-ons could have security flaws.
After learning about pen testing, you may wonder: Does my business need a penetration test? In some cases, pen testing may be mandatory to comply with privacy laws and regulations. But even if pen testing isn’t a legal requirement for your business, you may choose to do it to help protect your customers’ private information.
It’s time to uncover potential weak spots in your company’s website. We make it easy — Find the perfect pen tester today.